Rich Motors 1964/5 at San Fernando Drag strip!

Frank L. Di Gioia

True Classic
Bit of nostalgia/history here. I first was introduced to Fiats in around 1964/5 as the rumor of a fantastic little "circus car" swept Granada Hills High school. The buzz was that a tiny, I mean mini, car was blowing everything off at the local 1/4 mile! Next Sunday San Fernando drag strip was packed. Once things got to the class finals it came out. A Fiat 600 from Glendale sponsored by Rich Motors. Actually their national champ H production sedan, or whatever class it was in. They beat Al Cosintino out nationally. First up was a 413 Dodge Ramcharger with the dealers name pasted all over the side. I think it was from Ventua Blvd. The little guy ate him out of the hole and walked away on the top end!!! Next was a 425 HP 396 Corvette. Same thing! I was hooked on small bore cars after that, Fiats in particular. That place called Vietnam interfered with my following up for quite some time. Next installment (if anyone cares to hear anymore semi-senile rambling) will be a visit to Rich Motors, Glendale California around 1969. This was in the days that a 289 Cobra could be bought used, you choice of colors, on Wilshire Blvd. all day long for $3400. Yes, I'm as old as dirt....
 

AKimball92

True Classic
I wonder what was underneath the rear hatch of that Fiat 600. There is a well build 500 or 600 out there today powered by a Lambo V10 I believe. This thing doesn't look anywhere near stock though.
 

Frank L. Di Gioia

True Classic
Thanks for the accurate historical information Jeff. I never made the pits and wasn't aware it ran the twin cam engine. Author Jerry Titus drove for Carol Shelby about the same time and won B production at Pamona the first ever race for the 350 GT Mustang. Saw the car the next weekend in their shop, but that's another installment...
 

carl

True Classic
Does anyone have a copy of the Rich Motors catalog from the late 60s? I ordered one and it was very slick with thick paper and wonderful photos, I think in color, a lot different than the FAZA catalogs which were more like your local newspaper.
 

Jeff Stich

True Classic
Thanks for the accurate historical information Jeff. I never made the pits and wasn't aware it ran the twin cam engine.
For a little clarification, the car shown in the SCG article photos is a "sleeper" street-driver that John put together using a mix of Fiat, Abarth & Rich Motors-made specialty parts. This car didn't run a twin-cam head, it had a special RM dual-carb head (a highly-modified 600D head with two 600D Weber 28ICP downdraft carbs).

This car isn't the same car (or engine) as the Rich Motors D-Production #63 racecar:

WM_Riverside-1966-09-18-063.jpg
 
Last edited:

Jeff Stich

True Classic
Does anyone have a copy of the Rich Motors catalog from the late 60s? I ordered one and it was very slick with thick paper and wonderful photos, I think in color, a lot different than the FAZA catalogs which were more like your local newspaper.
I can probably help you with a color-copy of the original 1969 catalog. PM me. ;)
 
Top