Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our loyal customers and drag racing fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today we're featuring Mark Kuehn from Las Vegas, Nevada , who owns and races a 1970 Chevy El Camino.
How did you get interested in drag racing?
I got interested in drag racing in the mid to late 50s. My father had an ambulance and he would get paid by the local track to have his ambulance there and ever since then I’ve been hooked.
When and where was your first drag race?
My first drag race was at Little Country Bumpkin Drag Strip in Wattsburg, Pennsylvania when I was 16 years old. The car I took to the dragstrip was a 1955 Chevy with a six-cylinder in it that I bought for $25.
What model/year do you race now? Any special features?
At the present time I have a 1970 Chevy El Camino with a big block Chevy, it’s a street and strip car. It’s not the fastest in the world but it’s mine. Last year was the first time in 47 years that I started to race competitively again and it was quite a learning experience, but fun.
Does your car have a nickname?
What's under the hood?
A BBC that started as a ZZ502. Just had it redone now it’s a 509 with all the good stuff in it.
Which BTE Racing products do you use in your vehicle?
Just received a 10-inch torque converter with that 3500 style speed, which came highly recommended by lots of people. I can’t wait to try it out!
Why do you use BTE? How has BTE helped you improve your racing?
I came upon you guys from listening to other racers and listening to what they had. So when I got ready to redo the motor this fall I asked lots of questions and I chose to go with your converter, and I must say your staff was more than friendly and very knowledgeable. More than some of the other places to buy a converter!!!
Describe BTE Racing in 3 words.
Best products available
Who is a drag racer you look up to?
All-time favorite is Big Daddy and of course you have to pick John Force.
If money were no object, what would your dream car be?
My dream car to have would be a 1968 to a 1970 Cuda with a Hemi.
What is your proudest drag racing moment?
For me it was the first couple races after taking a 47-year absence and taking a points leader out two races in a row that made this old man’s chest puffed out like a banshee rooster!!
Why do you race?
This could be a long story. I love the sport and I love competition. We go on a Friday night to a local cruise night. We’ve been going for years and everybody says my car runs this my car runs that, so one night with the group of 25 that I hang with after a couple pops I suggested we all go to the track and let’s see what our cars will do. I was the only one that went to the track and I instantly got hooked again. Win, lose or draw, I’m the happiest person there.
What is your biggest challenge as a driver?
For me at my age of 70, my biggest challenge is the learning curve: How things have changed from the old days back in the late 60s early 70s, also for me cutting a good light (my car is a footbrake car).