DOUG MARION, SR.
DOUG MARION CO.
I BEGAN MY ONGOING 42 YEAR PHOTO-JOURNALISM CAREER IN 1976 AND WORKED 20 YEARS WITH SUPER CHEVY AND POPULAR HOT RODDING MAGAZINES. IN 1978 I CREATED THE CHEVY ENTHUSIAST WEEKEND EVENTS - ALSO KNOWN AS "SUPER CHEVY SUNDAY" THEN A DECADE LATER, "SUPER CHEVY SHOW". I ENVISIONED DRAG RACES WITH 5 ET BRACKETS, A FULLY FACITED CAR SHOW, A SWAP MEET AND A PARTS MIDWAY. THIS WAS IN 1979. EVENT #1 WAS IN 1981 AT ORANGE COUNTRY INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY, IRVINE, CALIFORNIA. BY THE 1990s SUPER CHEVY MAGAZINE HOSTED 25 SUPER CHEVY SHOWS ALL OVER THE USA.
NEXT CAME ALL AMERICAN CHEVYS MAGAZINE AND CHEVY RUMBLE MAGAZINE - THEN STORY ASSIGNMENTS WITH CORVETTE FEVER MAGAZINE, SUPER ROD, STREET ROD BUILDER, PERFORMANCE BOATING AND MORE - INCLUDING MONTHLY STORY ASSIGNMENTS WITH SUPER CHEVY, 2008 - 2015.
DOUG MARION CO.CREATED THIS FUN WEBSITE TO DISPLAY / SELL MY PHOTOS, PUBLISH / SELL MY STORIES AND SELL OFF VARIOUS CHEVY-RELATED COLLECTIBLES I HAVE BEEN COLLECTING SINCE 1960.
ALL PHOTOS ARE TRADEMARKED/COPYRIGHTED BY DOUG MARION, SR. AND CANNOT BE USED BY ANYONE WITHOUT AT LEAST WRITTEN PERMISSION AND PROBABLE FINANCIAL PAYMENT ($). YOUR CONSIDERATION IS GRACIOUSLY APPRECIATED. PHOTO-JOURNALISM IS MY PROFESSION.
CORRESPONDENCE IS ALWAYS WELCOMED:
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SIMI VALLEY, CA 93062
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WHO ALL HAS VISITED MY WEBSITE?
THANKS TO VISTAPRINT, I CAN REVIEW WHERE ALL WEBSIRE VISITORS ARE FROM. OVER THE LAST MONTH, BY NUMBER, VISITORS HAILED FROM: SCOTLAND, IRELAND, BRUSSELS, AMSTERDAM, FRANKFURT, THEN VIRGINIA, CHINA, CHICAGO, TEXAS, RUSSIA, WASHINGTON, FRANCE, BRITAIN, OKLAHOMA, INDIANA, TENNESSEE, POLAND AND AUSTRIA.
MY NEW, SPECIAL-ORDER '66 L79 NOVA
Hard to believe but it's the only NEW, special-ordered, Chevy I've ever owned. (Serial Number 116376W162834). I ordered it when I was Owner Relations Manager at Nickey Chevrolet, Chicago, Illinois, on February 25, 1966. I still have the original order document. I took delivery five weeks later on April 1. It window-stickered for $3,210. The Nickey Chevrolet out-the-door "employee price" was $2,450.
I last heard twenty-five years ago (1994) it was a 283 / TH350, black primer ET drag car owned by Mr. Richey south of Chicago in Paris, Illinois). He then sold it via Ebay online. I don't know where it is today. If you ever see a '66 Nova Sport Coupe see if you can check its serial number. I've listed it above. I don't wish to buy it but it would be fun to know where it is. I assume it is repainted and looking good. I doubt if the current owner knows its history and who its original owner was (me).
My Nova was undefeated in C/Stock/Unit 4 at Great Lakes Dragaway, Union Grove, Wisconsin. I never ran it showroom stock. To me, that was a waste of time. Chevys ran best super-tuned and modified. With S&S slapper bars and G60-14 Firestone wide oval tires, it ran 13.40 @ 104.65 mph. It got down to 12.70s at 108 mph with a few bolt-on modifications: hood scoop, S&S Tri-Y headers, Mallory electric fuel pump, Air Lift air bags, 4.88:1 gear ratio, Corvette shift arms for shorter-throw gearshifts and M&H 9.00-15 slicks. The L79 327 engine was factory-stock internally and the heads were never touched.
My '66 L79 Chevy II quarter-mile performance does not compare to today's Camaros and Corvettes and it shouldn't. But if it had one of today's 6-7-8-speed transmissions I believe it would.
BEATING MR. NORM'S STREET HEMI
In March '66, I was one of eight Nickey Chevrolet employees who stood on the shoulder of the Edens Expressway at 2:00 AM north of Skokie, Illinois watching Al Gartzman's brand new, red, '66 L79 Nova sedan beat Mr. Norm's Grand Spaulding Dodge's customer-ordered, brand new '66 Coronet 426 Street Hemi - 5 straight. Driving was Mr. Norm's brother, Lenny. Riding with Gartzman was U.S. Law Marshall, John Adams.Together their L79 two-door sedan was soon a legal drag car called "Adam's Apple".
I was also standing in the Nickey speed shop after work when then-manager, Jim O'Connor called Lenny Krause at Grand-Spaulding Dodge and said, "Wanna run a Chevy II?" Ah, the good ol' days!
'56 NOMAD STATION WAGON / 3RD OWNER (1967-1970)
SERIAL NUMBER: VC560078932.
WHERE IS THIS CAR TODAY????
It was an original California car. I purchased it in Hawthorne, California from the second owner, Bill Jefferies in April, 1967 for $600. It was a Power Pack 265 with Powerglide and was all original. The next day I drove 150 miles south to Tijuana, Mexico and got a complete black tuck-and-roll interior for $150. I then drove back to Los Angeles to buy four Wheel Center 5-spoke wheels at Glendale Speed Center then I headed home 2,100 miles to Palatine, Illinois.
As-seen above, I was on Route 66 in the San Bernadino mountains. At a pull-out area, I decided to stop and take a few pictures. I then thought I ought to check the engine fluid levels for the first time. Glad I did. The radiator was very low so I turned around and coasted down the mountain into a gas station. I filled the radiator, saw no leaks so I headed back up the mountain. (There was no Interstate back then). A few days later I was home.
Within a few months I bored the original 265 0.125-inch to 283 ci and fitted it with 11.0:1 pistons, Z28 heads (yes, the valves cleared the cylinder walls), Edelbrock C4B aluminum high rise intake manifold, 700 cfm dual-inlet Holley, Trans-Dapt 4-1 headers ($65 mail-order at Honest Charley's) , a '61 Borg-Warner T-10 wide ratio four-speed, original 3.36:1 open for highway and 4.88:1 Posi for the drags (E/MP), chrome-plated everything including the differential, Traction Master Monster bars, bright yellow lacquer paint and more. I drove it back to California with the 3.36s in 1970 and averaged 70-80 mph and 18 mpg. With the 4.88s, it ran 13.80 at 100 mph at Fresno Drag Strip. I fashioned much of it after Popular Hot Rodding magazine's "Project X" '57 210 which commenced in 1965.
'62 FUEL-INJECTED CORVETTE / 3RD OWNER (1970 - PRESENT)
We purchased it on 12-23-70. Strangely, this was the same day that my Dad bought his new '61 Corvette - but a decade before (12-23-60). The '62 was "all there", in nice cosmetic shape but was mechanically tired and in need of TLC. It was still seemingly stock but had Hedman headers and rear helper springs. According to the 2nd owner, it had been SCCA road raced in northern California, around Redding as well as Laguna Seca. The second owner purchased it pretty tired at around 50,000 miles and drove it another 32,000 miles as-is. When we bought it, it had 82,000 miles. The engine had lots of piston ring "blow-by" plus a "rocking" rear cam bearing which cut off oil to one bank of rocker arms above 5,000 rpm - causing the oil pressure gauge to quickly go to "0". So, we never drove fast or accelerated quickly for the first few years.
We were also told that the car had been stolen once. Gone was the Rochester fuel-injection and air cleaner assembly, the F.I. body emblems and the close-ratio four-speed transmission. When we purchased it, the engine had a 300 hp 327 cast iron intake manifold and a Mopar E-Series Carter AFB with adapter plate. The transmission and the "no lockout" shifter were both 1957-59 Corvette Borg Warner T-10 issue. In the late seventies without thinking, I traded the '57 T-10 4-speed transmission to So. Cal's Gary Bosz for a '62 T-10. That '57 4-speed must be worth a small fortune today.
Other than the NCRS, few back then cared about vehicle originality but for the most part, I did. While searching for a 7017360 Rochester fuel injection, noted NHRA Junior Stock '57 Chevy record-holder, "Big John" Barkley told me that A-1 Automatics' Marv Ripes had a nice '62 injection sitting in his shop that he would sell. It had previously been run on his '57 Corvette which he won the 1968 NHRA World Finals "Stock Eliminator" crown. It was a Hot Rod Magazine project car. Marv was and still is the Father of Powerglide transmission prowess in Junior Stock Eliminator and more. I had been into repairing/tweaking Rochester fuel injection since 1963 so when Marv told me he had other spare F.I. parts he'd sell, I bought everything. This was in 1973. At this time I was a salesman for Flying Tigers All-Cargo Airline in Seattle. I covered Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska.
It's 2019 and we still own this superb '62 Corvette: Original interior, original body chrome, etc. It has been happily sitting idle since 1985 and before that since 1976 - due to my magazine work load. In '70, we bought a cherry '68 L79 350 hp 327 short-block for $150. I swapped short-blocks in 1972 then in 1983-84, I did a few stories in Super Chevy under the title, "Patti's Daily Driver".
In 2005, I rebuilt the original short-block at Joe Sherman Racing Engines in Santa Ana, California. He recommended a Competition Cams "Thumper" roller cam, Edelbrock Performer RPM intake manifold and an Edelbrock 750 cfm AFB carb. I replaced the 11.0:1 forged aluminum pistons with 0.020-inch oversize, 10.0:1 compression, (for pump gas) hyper eutectic pistons - purchased online. They are strong, and do not expand like forged aluminum pistons do so less piston-to-cylinder wall clearance can be run. Joe had never seen a "461-X" fuelie head before and took it upon himself to clean up the ports as he saw fit - to increase cfm port flow to the cylinders.
With stock breaker point ignition, stock spark plugs and Joe's dyno headers, running 91 octane unleaded gas, the Superflow dynamometer said the engine produced 409 hp at 5,800 rpm and 416 hp at 6,100 rpm. The original factory horsepower rating was 360.
MY DAD'S '61 SILVER CORVETTE
LAKE GENEVA SPORTS CENTER,
LAKE GENEVA, WISCONSIN.
"CX" (C/Modified Sports) Class Winner & Street Eliminator.
Photo by Chicago Tribune newspaper.
11.0:1 compression 327 with 327 FI heads, modified Carter WCFB carbs Racer Brown R39 roller cam Horsepower Engineering 4-1, two-piece headers, Wheel Center 5-spoke wheels, 4.88:1 gear ratio, 9.00-15 Bruce slicks, Sun 10,000 rpm tach. Satin silver with red interior. S.N.:100,463 (463rd built).
"CHEVY CHARGER" 1962 409 Super Sport UNDEFEATED 1965, C/Stock/Unit 1 (C-1)
GREAT LAKES DRAGAWAY UNION GROVE, WISCONSIN
"Olympics Of Drag Racing" 12.27 @ 112 MPH.
INAUGURAL UDRA NATIONALS,
ROCKFORD DRAGWAY, 9-24-65.
12.37 @ 111 mph and 11.96 @ 115 MPH. (Class Final was at 10 PM + cold air).
DOUG'S 1957 CORVETTE PROJECT
As a result of placing 1973 newspaper "Parts Wanted" ads came this '57 Vette. It was black new and had been a lettered drag car from Montana originally. I bought it in partnership with John Barkley. We paid $1000 for it and ended up with $1900 invested after complete refurbishing. We sold to a fellow in western Canada for $4300. That's John's race car trailer. I lived in the Highwoodlands neighborhood in Kirkland, Washington.
1976: BACK TO SO. CALIFORNIA
MY FUN 1976-1995 CAREER AT SUPER CHEVY & POPULAR HOT RODDING
BACKGROUND: From 1961 - 1968 I drag raced four different Chevys in Stock and Modified Eliminator. I won 107 of 121 final rounds and was undefeated in class in 1963, 1965 and 1966. Throw in my owner relations work at Nickey Chevrolet and my Parsons College, Fairfield, Iowa BA degree and some have said that I had a lot to offer the performance car magazine field. Not bad for a kid who grew up in a town of 600.
FYI: Super Chevy magazine commenced as a special insert in Popular Hot Rodding magazine in 1973. PHR's technical editor, Larry Schreib gets the credit. SC was then published as a real magazine four times a year (quarterly) in 1974.
A full-time ad salesman came on the scene after I was given the editorship reigns in 1979 and sales then took off. Beginning in 1981-82 they hit the 100,000+ sales. Wow. Monthly sales were audited by "ABC" (Audit Bureau of Circulation) and it stated so on the cover of each issue. For six years during my 10+ years as Editor, Super Chevy had the highest sales increase -- measured six-months-to-six-months year-to-year..... of all automotive magazines.
Sadly the number of monthly copies printed never exceeded 220,000 during my time. In 1988-1989, monthly sales peaked at 150,000-155,000 out of 220,000 printed and supposedly distributed to wholesalers. Of the150,000 - 155,000, 96,000 were subscribers!
1980 POPULAR HOT RODDING'S "PROJECT X
In 1979, at historic Orange County International Raceway we photographed the next PHR magazine cover. It was Project X with its front wheels airborne on way to an 11.70 ET at 117 mph run with PHR Editor, Len Emanuelson driving.
PROJECT X '57 & ME IN HOLLYWOOD KNIGHTS MOVIE
A few weeks later, the '57 was the lead car in a movie being filmed called "Hollywood Knights". It featured the great Tony Danza and Michelle Pfeiffer. Other notebles were Robert Wuhl, Fran Drescher, the legendary Tony Nancy, Dawn Clark and many others.
Len and Tech Editor, Mike Johnson were on magazine deadline so Len said to me, "Dougo, trailer Project X to Hollywood Knights. I drove it in the drag race scene against Dave Urehara's SC 427 Cobra. This scene was filmed on Van Nuys, California streets at 3:00 AM. There were off-duty rent-a-cops there plus on-duty police too. I spent 8 nights overseeing Project X and fixing it as-needed. Each night of Project X filming began at 5:00 pm and ended at 5:00 am.
I received a "Hollywood Knights" t-shirt, pin and a Hollywood Knights cast aluminum club license plate (which I mounted on the parcel shelf tray for movie authenticity. It now sits a few feet behind me in my office. Some day these three collectible items will be for sale.
MY VERY LAST DRAG RACE COMPETITION
1982 "CORVETTE NATIONALS"
Bracket Five Winner
King Of The Hill Winner
This was an annual charity event at Orange County Raceway which raised monies for abused children. I always covered it editorially in Super Chevy. In May, 1982, I decided to enter as a contestant in a new '82 Corvette - incognito. Don't ask me who owned the car. I'll just say that Chevrolet Motor Division's Chief Engineer, Fred Schaafsma, was very happy when I won all the marbles. The race featured six different ET brackets and about 500 total entries.
With four 'Vettes remaining in the Bracket 5 quarter-finals (65 total entries), fellow competitor, Norm Curtis recognized me and began harassing me in jest. But it was he who had the big edge. He ran his 'Vette regularly and knew what it could do. I was there on a lark - driving my butt off like we did in the sixties. Norm and I raced for the Bracket Five gold and I won. He went too quick and "broke out". I went on to beat three other class winners to win "King Of The Hill" laurels. The final race was a monumental dandy. I was up against the Bracket One winner, Gary Cook. He was also the 1982 NHRA Winternationals Super Gas champion - in his 1959 Service Center big-block 'Vette. I dialed 15.55 and went 15.57. I was passing the 1/8th-mile mark when Gary launched! Was it WILD watching a Vette capable of 9.90 ETs come after me in the other lane. He told me later that his ET dial-in was 10.15 seconds. I had cut some very good reaction times all day and there weren't any close calls at the finish line. I was 2 car lengths ahead of Gary nearing the finish line so he let off thinking that I broke out. Not so.
Besides Norm Curtis breaking out, so did the great Bob Verbancic, the winner of Bracket Six. He was a long time racer who owned a great engine and dyno shop with his brother. He won in a friend's 'Vette who worked for Bell Helmets and was one of the OCIR starting line crew. Verbancic had a zillion local followers and just as many friends. He later told me that he did not care that he broke out. He was just glad to tell people that he beat Doug Marion - even though he broke out to do it. The race photo and others I have were taken by a great photographer and friend, Lancaster, California's Paul Schmitz (and once published in Super Chevy magazine).
FOR THE RECORD...............
I have always had a one-on-one, open-door policy on key CHEVROLET and CORVETTE information - mostly high performance facts, figures, truths and sagas. I assume that most of you know me or at least know my name from my 20 year career at Super Chevy magazine plus a bunch of years with sister-publication, Popular Hot Rodding and the fun-filled, family-oriented "Super Chevy Sunday" weekend events which I first outlined in a staff meeting in 1977 - then created. By the way, after 15 years with finally 23 events per year and a major sponsor, it ballooned into an annual $7 million dollar gross-profit center.
1977: DOUG MARION CREATED "SUPER CHEVY SUNDAY"
As a feature editor for Popular Hot Rodding and Super Chevy magazines I sat in a monthly staff meeting with PHR feature editor, Steve Coonan (later - of Rodder's Digest fame), PHR technical editor, Mike Johnson, PHR editor, Leonard Emanuelson and Argus Publishers' editorial boss.
All discussions were completed then the Boss asked: "Does anyone have any good ideas"? There was no response so he looked at me and said, "Doug, you have good ideas. Give me one". Since Popular Hot Rodding magazine had its own annual drag race at U.S. 131 Raceway in Martin, Michigan, my immediate response was, "Super Chevy magazine needs to have an event like the VW Bug-Ins". His immediate reply was, "We don't have enough staff". Knowing how the PHR event was run by the track's staff that seemed like an extremely odd answer. A year later, a new ad sales guy was hired and in short order he was in my office telling me that he had thought up the Chevy events and his son thought up the name. I realized that other persons were trying to take the credit. He then asked me to lay out the car show and anything else I thought this event should include. So, I said nothing. With my college BA degree, I knew how to pick my battles. So I had my attorney contact the Argus Publishers' two owners. Both agreed with me. The guy trying to take my credit eventually resigned.
During Argus Publishers' corporate event planning months later, I was officially given the credit as the founder -- for envisioning and creating these events. I was then again asked to create the overall event breakdown: car show class rules, drag race ET brackets, swap meet and the Manufacturer Midway.
I was now Editor-Emeritus of SC.
I was Senior Editor of Argus Publishers Corporation.
I held many key SCS, magazine and corporate positions, including: Car Show Director, Car Show awards announcer and co-announcer, SCS Assistant-Director, SCS Business Manager and in 1994-95, Vice President, Editorial Director of SC & PHR.
Some six months prior to Argus Publishers Corporation being sold via leveraged buyout in late 1995, I had been slated to be the VP/General Manager of the Corporation and I have corporate documentation to prove it.
In the mid-1980s, I created Super Chevy magazine's "Hall of Fame" to help remember Chevrolet's torrid performance history. It shold never be forgotten. In all, eight Chevy performance legends were inducted (in this order): (1) Vince Piggins, (2) Zora Arkus-Duntov, (3) Bill Jenkins, (4) Dick Moroso, (5) Johnny Loper, (6) Hayden Proffitt, (7) Bill Hielscher and (8) Junior Johnson. All were alive at the time of their induction. Six have since crossed the finish line.
God bless them all.
THANK YOU !