The Inch Pincher VW Drag Racing Car: A Brief History

May 06, 2023

The Inch Pincher is a well-known Volkswagen (VW) drag racing car that has been around since the 1960s. This iconic car has a long and storied history that has captured the attention of drag racing enthusiasts around the world. In this article, we will explore the history of the Inch Pincher VW drag racing car and how it has become an important part of the sport's history.

The Inch Pincher was originally built by Joe Vittone and Dan Gurney. The car was a 1956 VW Beetle that had to stay relatively stock for drag racing purposes. An anti-roll cage was installed along with a camber compensator. The only mechanical modification was a sports exhaust. It ran its first race in 1963 at Nassau. The Inch Pincher was given its name because it could win with fewer cubic inches.

In 1964 Dean Lowry took over and built a 1700cc engine to put in the car. In 1964 the car could run a quarter mile in 14.9 seconds at 91.5 mph.  

The Inch Pincher quickly made a name for itself on the drag racing circuit, winning numerous races and setting records along the way. When the BRM wheel made its debut in 1966, the Inch Pincher was one of the first cars to have them. 

In 1966 Dean installed a 1900cc 40hp-based engine with Okrasa heads and dual 48IDA Webers. He ran it at the Riverside 1/2 mile drags with a time of 22.04 seconds and high speed of 115.5 mph.

For the 1967 season the Inch Pincher underwent major changes. The front suspension, floorpan, doors, fenders, and front and rear decklids were removed. The original torsion bar suspension was replaced with straight axle. The body panels were replaced with fiberglass. The original oval window was removed to save weight and provide a better view for the driver. Plexiglass replaced all glass windows. It was also repainted in red Metalflake with flames and the Inch Pincher name on the door.

In 1968 the Inch Pincher was raced in NHRA competitions. It received a vinyl roof, new fenders that housed one-piece headlights, and eyebrows. The engine was a 1952cc with a Porsche transmission. It was racing in the low 12-second category and was a force to be reckoned with.

The car's success continued throughout the 1970s and into the 1980s. In 1984, the Inch Pincher was sold to a new owner, who continued to race the car with great success. The car was later sold again and underwent several modifications to make it even faster and more powerful.

In the 1990s, the Inch Pincher was retired from active racing and became a popular fixture at car shows and racing events. The car's unique design and history made it a favorite among VW enthusiasts, and it continued to draw crowds wherever it went.

Today, the Inch Pincher remains an important part of drag racing history and is considered one of the most iconic VW drag racing cars of all time. It has inspired countless racers and has helped to establish the Pro Stock VW class as a legitimate form of drag racing.

The Inch Pincher VW drag racing car is a true icon in the world of drag racing. Its unique design and powerful performance have made it a favorite among racers and enthusiasts alike. The car's history is a testament to the ingenuity and creativity of its builders and drivers, and it continues to inspire new generations of drag racers to this day. 

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