Muscular Monza

Photos by Christa Haley
Muscular Monza
Photos by Christa Haley

Bruce Boyle of Manhattan, Ill., is a firefighter by day and a drag racer “by weekend.” His current racing car is a muscular Chevy Monza with a Dart 400 engine that cranks out massive horsepower and can get the car down a quarter mile drag strip in less than nine seconds.

”I’m an open comp racer for NMCA (National Muscle Car Assoc.),” Boyle told Racing Junk. “It is a beginner’s type of racing class, because NMCA generally does not have a class in which you dial in your number on every run. Instead, you have to qualify in and run the same ET (elapsed time) all weekend.”

Muscular Monza

According to Boyle, the fact that NMCA races that way makes it much more difficult to win a race. “NMCA has a class that you qualify off of a reaction time,” Boyle explained. “Generally, top 10 qualifiers are 0.10 seconds or less.” He said that NMCA is set up for “door car” racing.

Boyle’s Monza has a square tube Alston chassis. The carbureted 400-cid Chevy small block is linked to a Powerglide automatic transmission. The car’s fastest run was 8.80 seconds. “I usually run 9.2s because of the class,” Boyle pointed out. He said the Monza only weighs 2340 lbs. with him in it.

Muscular Monza

Boyle has been drag racing a long time – since 1974. All of his experience has been in drag racing. His home is five miles south of Route 66 Raceway, which he considers to be his “home” track.

Before the Monza, Bruce raced a Vega. He likes small cars because they fit well in his garage. He campaigned a Camaro even earlier, and he started racing with a 1967 Impala big-block four-speed car at Oswego, Ill. Just this past year, he bought an IHRA (International Hot Rod Assoc.) crate motor car to use in an Eliminator car.

Muscular Monza

“I think I’m going to try to sell the Monza this year and finish the other car next year. Drag racing has been a long term, enjoyable sport,” Boyle noted. “I’m a very mechanical type of guy. My grandfather got me started with the mechanical aspects of doing all this stuff and I just went with it. A friend took me to the drag strip and left me there and I just loved it. It’s something that everybody can do.”

Boyle said he is 63 years old and headed for retirement. Before he bought the Stock Eliminator car, he bought a ’67 Camaro. “My goal was to find a street car and convert it to a Sportsman car. The Monza requires a fire suit and all that,” he noted. “I was kind of looking for a car which I can race with just a helmet and a jacket, so I bought the Camaro; it had been sitting for 25 years and I’ll restore it when I retire.”

Muscular Monza

About John Gunnell 137 Articles
John “Gunner” Gunnell has been writing about cars since ‘72. As a kid in Staten Island, N.Y., he played with a tin Marx “Service Garage” loaded with toy vehicles, his favorite being a Hubley hot rod. In 2010, he opened Gunner’s Great Garage, in Manawa, Wis., a shop that helps enthusiasts restore cars. To no one’s surprise, he decorated 3G’s with tin gas stations and car toys. Gunner started writing for two car club magazines. In 1978, publisher Chet Krause hired him at Old Cars Weekly, where he worked from 1978-2008. Hot rodding legend LeRoi “Tex” Smith was his boss for a while. Gunner had no formal journalism training, but working at a weekly quickly taught him the trade. Over three decades, he’s met famous collectors, penned thousands of articles and written over 85 books. He lives in Iola, Wis., with his nine old cars, three trucks and seven motorcycles.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


I agree to receive emails from I understand that I can unsubscribe at any time. Privacy Policy
Copyright © 2005-2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands
All Rights Reserved.

Internet Brands