|A QUICK HISTORY
It all started in the early 50's, when Dad ( Rod Ross ) was a young man and Southern California was still orange groves and farmland. If you wanted a Hot Rod, you built it yourself from scratch. So Dad built his "34 Ford Hot Rod" and cruised Wilshire Boulevard and raced out in the desert at the dry lakes with the Screw Drivers Car Club. Not satisfied with the speed of his flathead Hot Rod he and his pal built a Salt flat racer. With their hand fabricated alcohol injected 354 Hemi C-Class Modified Roadster they set the Bonneville Land Speed Record of 199.46 MPH in 1955. Way to go Dad! All the while Dad and his pal were racing the Bonneville car, Mom thought Dad was not driving it. Well, all that changed at the movies one night when a newsreel segment showed brave race car driver Rod Ross piloting his car to a new Land Speed Record. Busted! Dad retired from racing soon after to raise a family and continue his happy marriage to Mom. We kids never knew the racing fire that burned within Dad until we were in high school and he began bracket racing with the family station wagon at our local drag strip and re-established his winning ways with multiple "King of the Hill" wins and lots of trophies.
This began the Ross Brothers ( Dick and Bob ) association with the motor sports. The family grocery getter just didn't cut it. Dad wanted to go faster. Soon he bought an original 1963 Plymouth 2 door Post 426 Max-Wedge car and we were off to the races, NHRA style. We competed in Stock class ( B/SA )then later moved to Super Stock ( SS/EA ). We spent many enjoyable seasons with Dad racing around in the N.W. region, NHRA Division 6. Tuning, adjusting, and learning what it took to make our Mopar hook up and fly. We had a great time, met some great people, and ended up with a competitive car, that we still own to this day. But, we wanted to go faster! So, we took Bob's beater 63 Plymouth, 2-door post and began a 3-year journey, a quest to see how fast we could go with a steel b-body, a V-8 and a push button automatic and a Dana.
We tried a max-wedge, a 2-4 bbl Hemi, but settled in with a single 4-bbl 383 screamer engineered by Dick. The car was put on an extreme diet, added Lexan glass, fiberglass hood and trunk lid, caged and tubbed it out for 14 x 32 slicks. When all was said and done we weighed 2900 pounds and ran the 1/4 mile in 10.26 @ 131.96 MPH naturally and 9.67 @ 141.00 MPH on the bottle with great wheelies.
Not to be outdone by his kids, Dad bought a 3 year old, Pro-Stock car, a Pinto wagon from Coe and Larsen. Installed a 2-4 bbl cross ram 426 Hemi and a Torqueflite to compete in the "Pro-Gas" 9.90 bracket class. He won a couple of races with that car ( Medford and Seattle ) and turned his fastest time at Fremont, California of 9.42 @ 145 MPH. That car hooked and drove straight as a string every pass. There were a few times we took the '63 Plymouth lightweight and the '73 Hemi Pinto to the track at the same time (flatbed hauler with trailer ). But we never could beat him although we had great fun trying, and bench racing about it for weeks after. One of the things we got from Dad was the fun element in competitive motorsports. Win, lose or draw the effort is fun. One of the last, yet most significant things Dad introduced us to was Road Racing. We rented some import cars and participated in a local sports car club's Competition Driver's Training session. One day on the road course at Portland International Raceway was all it took and we've never looked back. Thanks, Dad.
We joined Cascade Sports Car Club and began our odessy as Novice road racers at P.I.R. with our F-body V-8, a 4 speed car. After our first day at P.I.R, our 100,000 mile Aspen R/T was smoking like an early morning diesel truck. We knew the drill : build a real engine over winter. So we built a durable production class 318 4-bbl. We added an Accu-Sump oil system, installed gauges, then removed everything we could within class rules. What we found, our first day back at PIR was, no matter how much horsepower you have or how light you weigh, at Turn One you'd better have awesome brakes and a stable suspension or you're in the weeds. Our big challenge was brakes, shocks, springs, and weight distribution. Engine power alone won't help if you can't get around the corner. At the race track we've learned that momentum, kinetic energy, centrifugal force, geometric relationships, center of gravity and polar moment, all have very real impact on us. We first addressed brakes and rotors, and had to fabricate our own pads because no other manufacturer's pads would stop the R/T without killing the rotors. We offer parts and products we have used successfully on our cars, and at a fair price. We are proud of the quality of our inventory . Cheaper products are available all around us. Any serious racer knows : You Get What You Pay For. The three years we spent racing our Aspen R/T were great. We did well. Two years in a row, we were voted "Most Improved" and even set the Track Record for our class at Seattle International Raceway in 1996.
But, we wanted to go faster, so we purchased a local NASCAR Northwest Tour team's backup car. The tube framed, glass bodied Lumina didn't stay Bowtie very long. The addition of Mopar tail lights and grill, along with a W-2 340, 4-bbl and Jericho 4-speed did the trick. It's now a Mopar. The learning curve from Production Class to the infinite adjustments on our Super Production class La Baron is steep. Road racing is a humbling endeavor. One step forward, two steps back, sometimes one step sideways. This car is incredibly fun to drive and to watch race. We won a few races and even placed second in the Portland Rose Festival, Rose Cup Race in 1998. This was our first time on the podium spraying champagne while the tv news camera rolled. Big time, at least for us. Dad would be proud. Well, that's who we are. Surely there will be more to this story. Many people have helped us along the way. We would love to talk to you. If there is any way that we can help you with your pride and joy, call us.
Firm Feel, Inc.