Bell & Bell Vintage Modified
Racing Series History
Written by: Bobby Williamson
Here is a very important message that we need to convey to
the World in general:
Our Series was not “started on some poor back-woods dirt
track, because that was the only place we could start”.
And we never, had the mindset of “we'll start here”, in
hopes of working our way UP to the big (asphalt) leagues.
NOPE, we started on dirt by choice, and by choice we will
remain dirt. In NO way are we mirroring the NASCAR Story.
What's now known as the Bell & Bell Vintage Modified
Series, began in June of 2009 at tiny Hammerdown Speedway,
Red Springs, NC with Jim Wilmore and Bobby Williamson. Jim
had asked track owner Mike Weeks if he could bring his
vintage '37 chevy race car over and simply help to roll-in
the track. Jim invited me to come along, and at least we'd
get to driver our cars on an actual race track. Later that
evening, race director, Gary Ford, offered us a 5-lap
"race" as a reward for our track rolling service. Although
we had not planned on racing, Jim and I quickly agreed,
and five laps later, as we crossed the finish line, Jim
had won by a nose. MAN, it was fun, and exciting! We
quickly asked if we could return the next month for
another race, and we quickly began recruiting anyone and
everyone we could think of to join the excitement. Doug
Meyer, Rick Lovett, George Pavlisko, Tommy Cresswell, Bill
Tripp, and Dave Blankenship all joined the group. We
adopted the name: Cape Fear Classic Auto Racing Show, the
series had begun. We raced monthly from June through
November of that first year, but at season's end, the
Hammerdown Speedway was bulldozed. Of necessity, the group
received permission from the Carolina Speedway in 2010,
and all activity shifted to Lake View, SC. Bell & Bell
Buick/GMC became title sponsor in June of 2010.
In the beginning, we were all inexperienced race
'drivers', and for our series to grow, we needed cars.
Rules were pretty lax in an effort to attract interest and
participants. For the most part, it all worked out pretty
well. In 2013, we could have had 20 cars on hand, had all
members showed on the same night, but we averaged about 15
cars per event. But with the passage of time, the
disparity of abilities both mechanical and physical became
increasingly evident. Also, with the passage of time,
others, both veteran and fledgling racers, have been
attracted to our series, and that's VERY GOOD. My job, as
president, is to make all these dynamics fit together. To
have strong competition, to attract the veterans, to allow
entry level drivers a venue, to keep costs as low as
possible and to make it all FUN. A new plan is necessary,
and I'm very proud and very excited to unveil a totally
new concept to auto racing, first implemented by our
group. From the beginning, organized auto racing has
attempted to classify and segregate by the mechanical
signature of the vehicle cubic inch, weight, tires,
suspension, body, component materials, etc. etc. this
concept has been in effect for over 60 years, that's how
we all have learned to 'think' and to view the subject.
Mechanically equalize all vehicles, and the playing field
should be level, or as level as possible. For the most
part, it kind of works, and for the most part, this basic
concept has never had an alternative.
However, realities and 'ideal situations' are rarely one
and the same with a classic, and modern example being
NASCAR's Jimmie Johnson. If everything is the same, how
does he win 6 championships? And, an equally important
question, is domination healthy for the sport? Does it
attract interest, or foster boredom and indifference? Over
the past 60 years, we've seen examples of both. Fans
adored Richard Petty, and Dale Earnhardt, if they'd won
EVERY race and championship, the fans would have cheered
all the more. But, the reverse has been experienced with
Jimmie Johnson's success. Right, there's a ton of 'holes'
in our basic bible.
I've said this many times, but I'll repeat it here, again.
VINTAGE RACING IS NOT EXACTLY THE SAME SUBJECT AS 'REAL'
RACING, AND CAN NOT BE VIEWED, AND GOVERNED AS SUCH.
Whatever 'works' for the normal racing is not necessarily
an answer for vintage racing. Sure, there's lot's of
carry-overs, but not everything. Problem is, we don't know
how to think in any other capacity. While similar, the two
subjects are different:
1. Vintage racers, do not race for monetary compensation
and heaven forbid that ever happening. OK, If not for
money, then what is the attraction, or the reward?
2. I've said this many times too vintage racing is EXACTLY
like going fishing or going hunting. The love of the
subject, the ability to participate, the fellowship and
companionship resulting from the experience and the
pursuit. The love of the game. HAVING FUN. The main
question becomes: What contributes to a fun experience in
3. High on the list: Safety, feeling secure and protected
as possible, in an actual on-track racing environment.
Also, on our personal list: Success every vintage racer,
hopes for some degree of on-track success. We want to feel
'good' about ourselves, that we have performed well, and
the potential our future holds is exciting.
Bell & Bell Vintage Modified Racing Series
Bell & Bell Vintage Modified Racing Series Rules
Our goal is simple; to provide an opportunity for car
owners to enjoy the thrills of racing without the pressure
to win, though we do encourage maximum participation in
every race. We race for entertainment and winning is not
our final solution to having a great time.
Bell & Bell wants you to be able to enjoy racing your car
without the pressures to win.
General Safety Rules 2014
NOTE: B&BVMRS acknowledges that every situation can not be
anticipated, and hereby reserves the right to make
certain, necessary, and prudent on-site judgments.
1. Eligible models: 1948 and earlier American made
vehicles. The Open division will receive additional
latitude with regard to body eligibility. Pinto, Vega,
Gremlin, and other modified-appearing bodies (at the
discretion of BBVMRS® officials) will also be allowed. It
is highly discouraged from building a car.
2. All interior/exterior trim, chrome, lights, glass must
be removed. Windshields are optional, and can be replaced
by plexiglass. Safety bars/wire-mesh must be installed in
the case of windshield removal.
3. Driver’s side window net, optional but highly
4. Steel firewall must exist between driver’s compartment
and fuel cell. Openings in engine firewall must be kept to
5. Fuel cell mandatory, size of cell optional.
6. Fuel supply line may route through cockpit, but must be
7. Fire extinguisher must be mounted in cockpit, and must
be within driver’s reach.
8. Five point safety harness, securely mounted to roll
10. Racing style aluminum or fiberglass seat, securely
mounted to roll cage, mandatory.
11. Steering wheel quick-release hub optional.
12. Flame retardant suit, gloves, shoes, and full coverage
racing helmet mandatory; SA-92, SA-2000, SA-2005 accepted.
13. Six-point roll cage, 1.25” minimum ID tubing
mandatory. No drive-shafts, exhaust tubing, or galvanized
material shall be utilized in cage’s construction. Cage
must contain 4 bars in driver’s side door and 2 bars on
passenger’s side. Roll cage must be fabricated in a
workman-like manner and padding and gussets are
recommended in all critical areas. Cage may extend into
the engine bay, and incorporate/facilitate front
14. All doors must be welded, bolted, or strapped closed.
15. Bumpers may be fabricated, but must not have any sharp
or protruding edges. Towing-hitch points for front bumper
16. Nerf bars optional, but highly recommended.
17. One radiator mounted in front of engine.
18. Electric fuel pump allowed, but must include inertia
19. Battery shut-off switch, accessible from outside of
20. Window-openings may be enlarged for driver entry.
21. Drive shaft must be painted white and all cars must
have drive shaft safety loop.
22. Battery mounted in driver’s compartment must be
23. Complete floorboard in driver’s compartment.
24. Hood and trunk lids must be secured by pins and, or,
25. Rear-view mirrors recommended, and may include side
Suspension/Drive Train Open Modified
1. Chassis/body may be interchanged among mfg. Lines.
Fabricated chassis allowed.
2. One-piece straight axle or independent front suspension
3. Leaf spring and coil-over shock or a combination of
both are allowed as suspension components.
4. Rear suspension may incorporate leaf, coil, and
Mulit-link components will not be permitted.
5. Shackles, sliders, lowering blocks and jack bolts are
6. Drum, and disc brakes are legal. Cockpit-located brake
bias and shut-off valve allowed.
7. Tires and wheels optional.
8. Shocks optional.
9. Steering optional.
10. Rear axle assembly optional, with the exception of any
independent axle assemblies. Rear assembly can be
11. Any manual or automatic OE type transmission. Bert,
Brinn, Falcon, or any other racing transmissions are not
12. Transmission shifter(s) optional.
13. Internal-driver-activated weight transfer mechanism(s)
will not be allowed.
14. Forward gears may be altered, and removed, but all
cars must have working reverse gear.
15. Scatter-shield or explosion proof bell housing
recommended but not mandatory.
Engine Open Modified
1. As the philosophy of Bell & Bell VMDRS is fun/enjoyment
based. Engine “extravagance” and technical protesting is
not anticipated, at this time. However, as general engine
guidelines, for the open class:
2. V-8, V-6, Inline-6 and Inline-4 cylinder American
manufactured cast-iron engines are all allowed in the open
modified division. No aluminum blocks accept flathead V8.
However, there may be exceptions for guest appearances
only in the open class, contact us for approval prior to
3. Engines shall be normally aspirated, although in
special circumstances, officials may allow an exception
(fuel injection) to participate in a one-off situation.
Carburetor type and quantity are both optional. Carburetor
adapters and spacers are allowed. Intake manifold
optional, including aluminum units. Two throttle return
4. No dry-sump oil systems.
5. No Aluminum after-market or angle-plug cylinder heads.
6. No magneto ignition. Point, HEI, or aftermarket
electronic ignition systems allowed.
7. Engine must have starter and working reverse gear in
8. Alternator, power steering pump allowed.
9. Headers optional.
10. Manual fuel pump, pump gas mandatory. Electric fuel
pump allowed, but must include inertia switch.
11. Oil pan size optional. Oil pump pick-up may be
modified, windage trays allowed.
12. Stock stroke, and stock-appearing crankshafts only. No
lightening or altering of crankshaft. Bore may be
.060 over plus .010 wear tolerance.
13. Connecting rods/pistons/rings optional.
14. OEM style clutch system only. Hydraulic-assisted
clutch unit allowed.
15. Camshaft/lifters/rocker arms optional. No roller cam
16. Valve cover(s) may be modified to allow for crank-case
Suspension 6 -Cylinder Modified
1. Chassis/bodies may be interchanged along manufacturer’s
2. No fabricated chassis. OE chassis only.
3. Straight front or independent axle.
4. Leaf, coil, or coil-over shocks suspension are all
legal on front and rear axle. No multi-link suspension
5. Lowering blocks, screw jacks, sliders, and shackles are
6. Rear axle is optional with the exception on any
independent-type axle assembly.
7. Brakes optional.
8. No driver-activated weight altering devices.
9. Steering optional.
10. Tires and wheels optional.
11. Any OE type manual or automatic transmission. Gears
may be altered and removed, but all cars must have working
reverse gear. Bert, Brinn, Falcon, or any racing type
transmission are not eligible. Shifter(s) optional.
12. OE style clutch, pressure plate, flywheel. No
mini-clutch system. Hydraulic assist units are legal.
13. All cars must have on-board starter.
Engine: 6-Cylinder Modified
As the philosophy of Bell & Bell Vintage Modified Racing
Series is fun and enjoyment based.
Engine ‘extravagance’ and technical protests are not
anticipated at this time. However, as a basic framework,
Following rules will be invoked.
1. Any in-line American manufactured 6 cylinder engine.
Engines may be interchanged among body and chassis
2. Stock stroke only. Cylinder bore will be limited to a
total tolerance of .070.
3. OEM style crankshaft, no lightening or altering
4. Connecting rods optional.
5. Flat-top pistons only, rings optional.
6. Camshaft, lifters, rocker arms optional.
7. Intake and exhaust manifolds optional.
8. Normal aspiration only, Carburetor(s) optional.
9. HEI, OEM electronic or point-type, ignition systems
allowed. No magneto systems.
10. No dry sump oil system.
11. Oil pan optional, and oil pump pick-up may be
12. Alternator and power steering pump allowed.
13. Valve cover may be modified for crankcase ventilation.
14. Air cleaner optional.