"[After that run], I coasted to a stop, and Kip came down and got me," says Ed. "We took the pan off, checked the pump, and finally pulled the valve cover and found a broken arm that let a lifter come up and show the oil pressure loss. Four or five people came around to help, and we got it ready to go."

Fixed and fired up, Miller beat Don Grotheer's Cable Car RO '67 Plymouth and Larry Cooper's Dodge in the opening two frames. He took a satisfying victory over a red-lighting Jenkins in the semifinals, and then parlayed a careful driving job in the drizzling final round to beat an up-and-coming Dick Arons in his SS/EA Camaro. The $10,000 cash prize was the largest ever in NHRA competition, and won by a two-year-old car, somewhat to the dismay of both NHRA bosses and perhaps even George Hurst.

Several years ago, noted collector Don and Mary Lee Fezell had a chance to buy the car; Don has a penchant for historic race cars that originated in the Northeast. And this, the very first Multiple Class Super Stock Eliminator World Champion, was perfect. At the time he purchased it from owner Pat McGroeder, it needed work, and now has a fitting place in the Fezell noteworthy collection in western Pennsylvania.

"That [win] was really great, because we had won [our] class at the Winternationals that spring, and then we posted runner-up for Super Stock Eliminator, which was disappointing" says Ed. "Kip and I agreed we had lost the first one, but we would win the last one with the big money. We ended up doing it. It was a once-in-a-lifetime deal. A couple of years, even Don Garlits told me he remembered it was a big deal."

Fast Facts

65 Plymouth A990 of Miller & Gunther

Don and Mary Lee Fezell, Dubois, Pennsylvania

Mopar Power

  • Engine: Don needed a motor that was right for his restoration and went to the source--Ed Miller himself. Using the tricks from back in 1967, Ed built the replication around a 1964 Hemi block like he had used, adding period parts (not much was allowed to be changed in Super Stock yet) and a Comp cam and lifter package. Like most of Don vintage race cars, it is at the real compression ratio and sounds just like the original did.
  • Transmission: This one has an 833, and is one of only three four-speed A990 package cars known to still exist in that form. Miller also rebuilt this unit for Don.
  • Rear: One Sure Grip Dana 60 with a 4.56 ring; dumping the clutch mandated it. It was gone through as well.

Sure Grip

  • Suspension: The car retains its original-style Hemi rear springs, as well as vintage Hurst shocks. Don has raced since the 1960s and maintains that level of aftermarket technology on his restorations.
  • Brakes: Stock brakes, plus a Hurst LineLoc
  • Wheels/Tires: Cragar wheels 15x3 front, 15x7 on the rear give the right look. For rubber, its a set of super-rare Stahl front 7.10X15, with M&H 11x30 rear stickies.

High Impact

  • Paint/Body: Originally, the color was copper; this was the base when the racing paint was restored by Bob Carpin of Burndale, Pennsylvania. The replication of the original lettering was carefully done by hand, courtesy Terry Imler of Altoona, Pennsylvania.
  • Interior: The inside is still all original except for carpet and headliner.