Regardless where you grew up, you could never escape the adrenalin-fueled AM radio announcer proclaiming the upcoming weekend of drag racing in your hometown. Sundaaaay immediately caught your attention as a flurry of famous names were revealed who would battle it out on the quarter-mile to see who would receive the big trophy that weekend. America was alive with drag racing with ’strips situated all across the country packed with fans anxiously awaiting the smell of nitromethane and burnt rubber.

For Bob Urick, growing up in Silver Spring, Maryland, in the early ’60s certainly had its benefits. As a youngster he immersed himself deep into the drag racing culture, first through magazines then along with good friend Marc Weller, the pair kept busy building countless scale models and racing slot cars. One of his main influences however came from a local neighbor, Guy Hawkins, and his wicked Deuce pickup packed with a hopped-up Old’s V-8, which fueled the fire even more. As the years passed, being so close to a number of local dragstrips led Bob to become a regular visitor to such legendary tracks as Capital Raceway, Aquasco Speedway, and 75-80 Dragway. It was the in-place to catch Gasser Wars in full fury, featuring many of the S&S Speed Shop gassers as well as names like Stone, Woods & Cook, “Ohio” George Montgomery, and “Big John” Mazmanian, to name but a few. While in his teens there was plenty of time spent hanging out at the Douglas Speed Shop as well as crewing for good friend Eric Hansen and his Algon-injected small-block, Chevy-powered rail dragster.

Bob later got involved with motorcycle road racing, competing at Summit Point Raceway for a season before settling down and having a family. He never forgot all the years at the local dragstrips, however, especially the time spent overwhelmed by the impact of all the Gassers he had worshipped. One late night while reliving the past, he was cruising cars for sale on eBay and came across a wicked ’63 Chevy II Nova that possessed plenty of the right old-school elements. The car had a nosebleed stance, flashy paint, a hot small-block Chevy, and what appeared to be magnesium wheels. Bob marveled at the car for some time that night and thought, “Why not put a bid, on it,” never expecting to win it. Well it wasn’t long till he had the high bid, winning the car. A seven-hour ride with a truck and trailer followed to pick up his new ride in the rain. Due to weather conditions he wasn’t able to drive the car, but noted that it looked pretty good and made the deal. Once home in his own garage he began to give it the once-over and started noticing a number of problematic areas. While the body and paint looked really good, there were obvious electrical woes with more than half of the car’s wiring incomplete, glaring suspension issues, and engine problems. The first drive around the block had the rear wheels dragging on the wheelwells and engine fighting to stay alive, which was enough to make Bob bring the car back into the garage and undertake a four-year redo of many of the Chevy II’s major components.