Featured Race Car: Bob Gill's Pro Mod Jeep

boblead.jpgIn the coming months, NSDN is going to feature some of the baddest race cars tearing up the sand drag tracks across the country. This month’s race car is one that has created a buzz all across the country ever since it hit the track and photos have been posted on the Internet. This is the Jeep Altered belonging to Bob Gill.

Bob and his son Geoff are no strangers to having some of the nicest race cars at the track and shaking up the record books. Geoff recently set the Top Fuel record with a 2.284 in the Gill Bettencourt Racing Top Fuel dragster and he also holds the C/Pro Jeep record with a 3.210 in the family’s “Black Tie” Jeep. This latest creation from the Gill Family has turned heads since its introduction to the sand.

The 125” Ken Keir-built altered chassis started its life in NHRA’s Competition Eliminator class on the asphalt. At that time, the altered was fitted with a 500” Pro Stock-style engine to fit into Comp’s A/AA and A/AP classes. Bob’s debut with the altered body on sand was racing in the NSDA Top Eliminator class at a few select events in 2007 and 2008. The car performed well, dipping into the 3.1 second zone as Bob wanted to get a handle on the car before moving on to the next step. That next step would be a custom Jeep body fitted to the chassis that would enable him to run in the NSDA Pro Mod class along with the Top Eliminator class.

After the car’s debut with the Jeep body in Avenal, CA in October and appearance the same month in Primm, NV for the Fall Nationals; pictures and video circulated the Internet of the car bringing about questions of what is under that body powering the car and how fast can it go. Well, let’s start first with the drive train. The power plant is a 615 cubic inch Reher-Morrison Big Block Chevy topped with a Speed Tech single-stage Fogger nitrous system. A Mike Transmission Monster Glide backs the monster engine, and is equipped with an A-1 Converters torque converter. The power goes through a Mark Williams rear end to the rear tires. A couple different sets of tires adorn the Jeep depending on which class the car competes in. 36” casing Goodyears with Skat-Trak Hookers are used in the Top Eliminator class while S.T.U. 20.00’s are used to meet the requirements of the NSDA Pro Mod class. Suspension components include Koni Electric Double Adjustable rear shocks and Strange Engineering front struts. A Computech Data Pro Data Acquisition is used to obtain the information necessary to tune the Jeep.

In just the car’s third race out, this time in November ’08 at Avenal, CA; Bob shoed the Jeep to a 3.031 ET backed up with a 3.060 to take the A/Pro Jeep record away from Tommy Beck by over a tenth of a second. The 2009 season sees a new Carbon Fiber version of the custom Jeep body with a wild paint job from Jeff Nedham at The Magik Shop in Visalia, CA. In two 2009 outings, Bob’s best run is a 3.042/116.87 in Yuma, AZ February ‘09. Just as amazing as the 3.042 pass in Yuma, was the fact that Bob laid down the quickest ever lap in NSDA Pro Mod class competition with a 3.176/115.46 on 20.00’s. That was an incredible pass for an incredible race car.

Bob would like to thank his family for all of their support along with Hardcore 4X4 and Joe Bettencourt Motorsports. It’s not a matter of if; it’s only a matter of when we will see the 2 second barrier broken with this Jeep and the A/Pro Jeep record lowered. Watch out for the Bob Gill’s Jeep across the country in ’09, pushing the limits of a Jeep in the sport of sand drag racing.

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Bob with the front end in the air racing in the TE class in Yuma.

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This is an example of the tremendous wheel speed that is created attempting to put the 615 c.i. of Reher-Morrison power to the ground through 20.00 tires in the NSDA Pro Mod class.

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Check out the amazing detail put into the paint job on this body by the folks at The Magik Shop in Visalia, CA.

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Bob's car first debuted in NSDA competition with this beautiful Bantam altered body on it.

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The car even entered competition in October '07 in Primm, NV with no body on it as Bob sorted the bugs out of the car.

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This was the first version of the body that debuted on the Jeep in October '08 at Primm.

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One last look at this beautiful ride with the new, lighter Carbon Fiber body on it heading to a best of 3.04 at the NSDA Season Opener in Yuma.

Photos Courtesy C3 Productions -- www.c3productions.net or www.myspace.com/c3productionsphotos.

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