CHOPPER BOB

PEOPLE LIKE US

STORY & PHOTOS POVI PULLINEN

> WISCONSIN, USA

DAY three of Hot Rod Drag Week 2015 saw us at the historic Great Lakes Dragway in Wisconsin, where we bumped into Chopper Bob and his AMC AMX – complete with an eight-track player with Steppenwolf’s Gold in it. He’s definitely an AMC enthusiast – he’s got three – and he left us with a souvenir fridge magnet showing his pink AMX smoking the tyres before a drag race, with the slogan: ‘You can’t stop the Chop!’

Love the car, mate!

It’s been like this for 28 years, a real street-and-strip car. It’s my daily driver. I painted it pink Firemist years ago when my daughter was born, and added flames around eight years ago. The new [metalflake] colour is called Prismatic, but we just call it pink.

Did you do the metalflake paint yourself?

Yep, in between rainstorms in my carport at home.

I repainted it just before Drag Week this year, so there’s no flames now. Some guy in a restored AMX was doing a burnout and lost control and hit the driver’s side. It was a good thing [it hit me], because was there was a whole street full of kids, and if not for my car it wouldn’t have been good.

Ever done Drag Week before?

Yep, back in 2006, when the car still had flames.

Ran a best of 12.13@108mph and was the quickest AMC that year.

So what’s the driveline?

It runs a 390 with a 401 crank and Muscle Motors ported heads. Those guys have helped us out with a few parts, and with the bore the engine is now 409 cubic inches. It’s also got a 727 and five-inch Supertraps. Originally it was a Big Bad Orange 390 and four-speed car.

Is that a Winters quickchange under the rear?

Sure is. I pulled it out of a modified years ago and welded some spring perches on it. It’s been in the car for 23 years and runs 3.79 gears at the moment.

Do you have any other cool cars?

I also have a red 1974 Javelin and a Seafoam Mist Rebel Machine. I bought the Rebel Machine back in 1970 during Vietnam.

Did you serve?

Yes sir, I was in the air force and served two tours from 1968 to 1972, and my own father was a B-25 pilot in WWII. I was a mechanic working on F-100 Super Sabres. When I came back I opened my own chopper shop, building a lot of Nortons.

So do you consider yourself a bike guy or a car guy?

Both. I do about 60 car shows a year, letting little kids sit in it and fire it up. My children have cool cars too. My daughter has a 1966 ’Cuda, one son has a 1969 ’Cuda and the other has a 1965 altered-wheelbase Coronet, a 1967 GTX, 1968 Hemi ’Cuda and a 1970 AMC Rebel Machine. s