5-6 October 2017

The Ralph Whitworth Collection

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Lot 171

1956 Chevrolet 210 H/Stock Drag Car

  • Identification no. AZ37848

Sold for $21,450

  • Offered from the estate of Ralph Whitworth
  • Maintained by its original owner and racer for 45 years
  • Equipped with its original racing speed equipment
  • One of the most authentic Stock Eliminator cars of its era remaining

A man named Jim Lamatrice purchased this 1956 Chevrolet 210 sedan brand new and would own it for the next 45 years. The best option that year was the mid-year release of the Corvette-derived 265-cu. in., 225-hp Power Pak engine, with dual-WCFB Carter four barrels on an inline intake, Duntov-type 30/30 mechanic camshaft, and factory dual exhaust. Jim’s classic “shoebox Chevy” also ended up with the three-speed overdrive manual transmission and steep 4.57:1 PosiTraction rear gearing; the overdrive kept the car streetable with a final gear ratio of about 3.70:1.

Many original Power Pak race cars were radically changed over the years; it is rare indeed to find an example whose competition heritage ended in Stock Eliminator, as this 210 post sedan did, and whose equipment as such has remained in place. The 210 Chevy could be converted with minimal changes (basically intake and carburetor swaps) to various classes of Junior Stock racing; between 1957 and 1970, it ran in H, I, N, and O/Stock, setting records and winning events, the most important being an O/Stock title at the 1970 NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, California. It also won a similar crown at the fabled Fuel Gas Championships at Bakersfield later that same season. While Jim conducted almost every change to the car himself, during this time legendary fuel dragster racer and upholsterer Tony Nancy redid the car’s interior.

After 1970, Jim decided he wanted to enjoy the car in a more relaxed fashion and mildly detuned it for street use; it was repainted metallic brown and driven on occasion until 1978. Living in Arizona by now, Jim parked the car at that point and did not drive it again until he finally decided to sell it in 2002. Its third owner, Joe Petralia, decided the car should be as close to competition-ready as it had been in 1970, and did a full restoration to that end, using all the original speed parts that Jim had included and rebuilding the engine to its NHRA-legal 225-hp configuration.

A race car that is also completely streetable, this may be one of the finest authentic Junior Stockers of the 1955–1957 Chevrolet breed to be offered for sale.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver


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Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

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Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

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Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

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David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

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Michael Squire


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Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

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Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

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Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more