William "Grumpy" Jenkins Chevy Vega #10
The legend continues! The 1972 Chevy Vega #10 is currently in the final stages of restoration. The infamous Willliam “Grumpy” Jenkins Vega #10 has been surrounded by Championship titles, Mystery, and Controversy. In August at the AHRA Gateway Nationals in St. Louis the Vega #10 broke the record by qualifying at 8.97 sec doing 153.05 mph breaking the AHRA record. Shortly after the competition the Vega #10 was stolen in southern Illinois while William “Grumpy” Jenkins was having breakfast at a local eatery. This was an effort by the competitor to obviously find out what kind of technology was used on the engine to make the Vega part of the 8 seconds club. Later on the authorities received an anonymous tip with the location of the Vega #10, However, the engine and transmission were completely pulled out of it. Grumpy being the prepared man that he is could have replaced the motor and trans but opted to wait a couple weeks before bringing the Vega #10 back out to “smack” the competition. William “grumpy” Jenkins finally sold the Vega #10 in 1975. The new owner raced it under a different name and different paint job, everything that made it a Grumpy toy was change to conceal the fact it was the #10.
Certain individuals in the racing circle knew Mark Pappas was interested in purchasing an original Grumpy Toy. After extensive negotiations Mark “Grumpy Jr” Pappas Finally had an authentic Grumpy Toy of his own. A lot of skeptics doubted this was the original Vega #10 until William “Grumpy” Jenkins confirmed the secrets of authenticity he implemented when it was originally built by himself. There was a mounted stick in the car known as the Grumpy stick, This over 30 year old broom stick was use to hold up the hatch so rear support modification could be done in the trunk. All the other hidden secrets were revealed to confirm its originality such as: webbing in the dyna 60 had holes drilled in it for weight saving but not compromising the strength. Another confirmation sign was the Grumpy signature on the block plate made with a diamond rotary engraver in 1973, which Grumpy says can not be duplicated.
Now begins the rebuilding of a legend. Windy City Rods and Restorations located at*************, is where the renovations will be completed to restore this iconic car back to its original form when Grumpy built it. Windy City Rods and Restorations had there work cut out for them. They had to fix 37 years of stress cracks due to it being acid dipped in 1973, along with the wear and tear of pro-stock racing up until 2008 under a different name. Windy City Rods and Restorations repaired all damaged panels, doors, lower quarter panels and rear tail panel. All the stress cracks around the windows had to be extensively repaired. The Vega was then sanded down vigorously from top to bottom. It was then hand blocked, sealed, and painted to perfection. All floors tins and engine compartment tins where completely cleaned and polished. The roll cage which was painted blue had to be stripped down, primed and painted. The extra bracing that was added to the roll cage was then removed to restore the Vega back to 1973 compliance. The front end suspensions components where media blasted and then painted Grumpy Grey. All wiring was redone to 1973 standards. Windy City Rods and Restorations also installed a new fuse block that was given to them personally from William “Grumpy” Jenkins. The car was then thoroughly wet sanded then buffed to give it that glass looking shine. All period correct stickers were placed on the vehicle. The Vega was then hand pinned stripped and lettered. New seat and bracket were installed in the car. New rear tubs were fabricated, and all glass was installed including the original rear glass.
Windy City Rods & Restorations would like to thank the late William “Grumpy” Jenkins for supplying all the original spare parts for the Chevy Vega #10 as well as Jake and the rest of the Jenkins Competition team. Windy City Rods & Restorations reports that they have been receiving surprise parts every week from Grumpy's shop, to ensure its being restored to its original form. Currently Windy City Rods & Restorations is anticipating the arrival of the period correct 331 motor, they are also waiting on the period correct Lenco transmission.
The 1972 Vega #10 is a legendary car full of mystery, mystic, and controversy. This car was ahead of it time, and with its championship history it will continue to intrigue people for years to come
8.97 at 153.05 MPG (which wer new AHRA records)