Winged Warriors/National B-Body Owners Association
Special Recognition - Ray Nichels

Text by Sue George

We are proud of long time member Ray Nichels, of Nichels Engineering, who was inducted into the Western Auto Mechanics Hall of Fame as a 1996 Legend:

"Former car owner and crew chief Ray Nichels was voted for by a select group of past and present crew chiefs as the 1996 'Legends' inductee to the Western Auto Mechanics Hall of Fame. Nichels' cars won six Grand National races, including the 1964 and 1966 Firecracker 400 at Daytona International Speedway and the inaugural Talladega 500 in 1969. Drivers who found success behind the wheel of a Ray Nichels engineered car include A. J. Foyt, Paul Goldsmith, Bobby Isaac and Richard Brickhouse. Congratulations to Ray on his induction into the Western Auto Mechanics Hall of Fame from everyone at Western Auto and Parts America!"

At the same time that Ray was being inducted into the Hall of Fame, he had another honor bestowed upon him, the Sagamore of the Wabash Award, given by the state of Indiana's Governor Evan Bayh, for his hard work and dedication to the racing and automotive fields. Congratulations on both of your honors, Ray!

For information on Nichels products for your car's engine and drive line, contact Buzz Miller Distributing, 1278 Poplar Blvd, Kalona, IA 52247 or call toll free 1-800-826-4777.

E. P. A. Nichels SuperBird (Circa 1972)

Ray Nichels presented a specially prepared SuperBird to the Environmental Protection Agency to be driven in tests on a rented race track, on North Carolina highways and for chasing jets as they take off down runways, for the purpose of gathering data on the four suspected sources of harmful, brake linings, jet engines and highway surfaces.

Ray's SuperBird, valued at the time at over $30,000, was equipped with a vast array of air sampling and testing devices plus a generous helping of his performance parts. The SuperBird's engine was capable of accelerating the car from zero to 100 MPH in less than 15 seconds and could sustain a speed of 100 MPH for two hours. The rear wing was used as a sampling platform and for aerodynamic changes affecting the load or weight on the rear tires. Dual alternators were mounted on separate circuits to power the car and to provide power to three 13-volt batteries which comprised an energy package and instrument deck mounted in the rear seat area. Other features were a safety harness, fire extinguisher, fuel tank bladder, aircraft transceiver radio, car braking instrumentation, and a special suspension system and gauges.


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