The Dennett Brothers Raced at Detroit Dragway
One for the main things we wanted to do at DetroitDragway.com is to preserve the memory of this track and all the people that made Detroit Dragway the destination for so many of the top hot rods & drivers. Along with all the people that spent their weekends racing, and watching the races. I have people sending me photos from times past at the DD…
Last week I put a few of these photos up on our Facebook page. One such photo was of a 65 Chevelle at DD named “Psycho”. This hot rod was owned & driven by the Dennett Bros. from Westland, Michigan. Well I’m lucky enough to have Fred Dennett as a Facebook friend, and he stated he had never seen that photo before. After a couple of text I stated I would like to put a story of the Dennett Bros. on the DD website. I asked Fred if he had any photos/info he wanted to share. I/we got very lucky Fred sent many photos, and so much racing history for us to share. Thank you Fred Dennett.
The following information & photos about the Dennett Brothers is from Fred Dennett, and not taken from old articles from the net. Enjoy. Please don’t take photos without permission, and never remove their copyright notice.
· Richard Dennett, older (29 in 1965) of the three; He was the builder of the engines, transmissions, and rear ends. Tuner, crew chief. (The Boss)
· Fred Dennett, Middle (24 in 1965) of the three, Mechanic
· Ken Dennett, youngest (19 in 1965) of the three, Driver and Mechanic
Started racing in 1965 thru 1972.
About the 1965 Chevelle!
In 1965 Ken special ordered at 1965 Chevelle 327ci 350hp, and became one badass car on the street, running out of Mt. Clemens, MI and Wayne/Westland, MI area. With a month or so, (Bad News was born), Richard started working on the car, changing camshaft, carburetors, changing axle ratios. Ran great, but not fast enough for us. Therefore, we added cross ram dual quads, roller camshaft swapped out the 4:10 axle for a 4:88 and then ran in the Modify Production class. It was fast.
By, Mid-summer, Richard swing a deal with Jim Davis Chevrolet in Wayne, MI. for a sponsorship. They provide new Corvette 427ci, and with some internal changes to the engine, and to the car itself.
Ran this on both the street and Detroit Dragway & Motor City Dragway.
The following year (1966), Ken was asked by “Uncle Sam” to visit Vietnam (not a vacation) for about two (2) years.
So, (1966) Richard and I started to tear the Chevelle apart, start building the “Psycho” Chevelle as a B/Gas or C/Altered car. Doors and front end were Fiberglass Trend, 427ci big block Chevrolet, GM Turbo-Hydro B&M Clutchflite, Logghe Chassis (front end), Crower Fuel Injection, General Kinetics cams, roll cage by Antieau’s Welding in Inkster, MI, picked up a sponsorship from Midwest Auto Part, and Paint work and both work by “Shedlik Engineering, Wayne, MI”., Custom Built Engines, by the Dennett Bros & All lettering was done by “Paul Hatton”.
With Ken still in Vietnam up by the DMZ. Richard and I started running the car at Detroit Dragway.
In the spring of 1968, Ken came home and started driving and racing the car at the tracks in Michigan, Ohio, and Ontario, Indiana.
Did a couple of Detroit AutoRamas,(1968 & 1969) with the Psycho Chevelle.
Click Photos To See Larger Images.
After the 1969 Autorama, we decided to build a funny car. Ordered a Stage 1 FC Chassis from Loghe Stamping and Corvette Body from Fiberglass Trends, and by July/August 1969, the car was completed.
To complete this task, help by the following:
· Nitro Fuel Injected Chevrolet 468ci or 512ci engine
· Turbo-Hydro B&M Clutchflite
· General Kinetics cams
· Crower Fuel Injection and Hilborn Fuel Injection
· Shedlik Engineering, Wayne, MI did painting
· Logghe Stamping complete chassis
· Al Bergler aluminum
· Paul Hatton, did Lettering
· Custom Built Engines by the Dennett Bros.
· Antieau’s Welding
· Just to mention a few
The Corvette Funny Car Won several awards at the 1970 Detroit AutoRama. Best of show in class, best show in Funny Car class, Best Competition interior, and Best Engineered Car in Show.
We ran the NHRA circuit throughout the Midwest, including NHRA’s Spring, Summer and Indy U.S. Nationals. Qualified for a ran at the World Finals in Dallas, TX. Winning at a couple NHRA points meets helped in qualifying for the World Finals. Also set and reset the NHRA A/FC National Record for MPH!
Most of the summers were running with the UDRA Injected Funny Car circuit in the throughout the Midwest. (Match racing) The circuit included about 40 nitro injected FC’s. The circuit ran in the following states; Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Texas, & Canada
More story to tell, but this is getting to long.
Fred Dennett & Ken Dennett
Photos of “Psycho” Click for larger image.
Here are other images and newspaper stories.
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