33 Willys

Bones ~ Dubach ~ Pisano
33 Willys
Driver: Bones


From Hot Rod mag site: Hemi Heroes - Hot Rodders views of the legendary engine
Anecdotes From The Legends

John Mazmanian, Car owner

John Mazmanian, like Tim Woods (Stone-Woods-Cook), was a well-off businessman who paid to have his car prepped and his engines built by a professional, a rarity in the mid-’60s. He switched to Hemi power in 1964 and was the first racer of note in A/GS to do so. His supercharged 467ci engine, built by Bob “Bones” Balogh, produced 824 hp on the dynamometer. Bones was also the pilot, and he drove this ill-handling, high-powered, catastrophe-waiting-to-happen smack into 150 mph. Yeah, man! In 1965, Maz and Bones held both ends of the NHRA record: 9.71 at 152.28. Mazmanian’s homage to early Hemi power was “one of the most important events in the history of Supercharged Gas Coupes…” (Don Montgomery, Supercharged Gas Coupes). After seeing what Garlits and Chrisman were doing with the Hemi head, the team, at Bones’ insistence, made the decision to replace the Oldsmobile standard.

This event precipitated a near-universal acceptance of this superior power source. It also enabled the fans to root for the two biggest draws in A/GS world. As an historical note, the success of the B&M Hydro-Stick transmission and the latest (though still quite hard) 10x16-inch M&H dragster tires were almost able to absorb the hideous torque and maintain a semblance of bite; the wrinkle-wall slick wouldn’t be available for another year. Bones: “With a 5/8-inch stroker motor, the car smoked the tires like a Fueler.”

The new model (’64 426) Hemi didn’t come into use until the late ’60s; the early type was tons cheaper, readily available, and nourished, while the 426 was too new and too expensive to consider. Everyone had their combination set with the ’92. Eventually, Bones did use some late-model connecting rods that were shorter, thus giving the engine even more bottom end. He worked for Iskenderian at the time and had help from other quarters as well. They only thing he didn’t like about the early engine was its weight. “One day I was washing those damned heavy heads. I picked one up, slipped on the floor and chipped my elbow. I still feel it today.”

In its final form, Bones was getting 850 hp from 467 ci running 16 percent over on the blower (about 15 psi) and a compression ratio of 8.0:1 (with the pistons 0.125 inch in the hole). In the beginning, he used a stud girdle to secure the bottom end; as the racing progressed, he trashed the girdle and prepped the block with four-bolt steel main caps.

As graphic illustration of the Hemi’s capability, we offer this anecdote. In 1964, Bones Balogh and Gary Dubach’s ’33 Willys eventually ran 143 with a 364-inch Chevy. When third partner Joe Pisano offered to poke it with a 465-inch Hemi, there was celebration, but in fact the car wasn’t ready for the tectonic influx. It snapped six axles in a single day of testing. Then, at Lions, an axle sheared at the hub, and Bones rode the ’33 sideways into a pole. Six months later, their new (2,800-pound) ’33 ripped off a 9.38 at 155 mph.

Article contributed by Rod Padrick

These pictures of the '33 Willys were taken after Bones accident at Lions about 1965-66.  They saved the 2 original doors from the crashed car and didn't have time to paint the new car before Bakersfield.  At that race Bones beat Stone, Woods & Cook and whoever else and then he came up against your dad (Jr.) for the final.  Your dad (Jr.) pulled one BIG holeshot on him and won the race.  This all happened right in front of your mom (Anita Thompson) and me and we just looked at each other like oh well, that's racing!  I didn't know whether to laugh, or cry so we smiled at each other and went back to the pits together.  It seems like just yesterday!  I remember it well!

THANK YOU to those who contributed items for this page. If you have any photos of any of Bones cars that you would like to share here send an email to



Updated 2007 RestLeSs Designs© - All images belong to the webmaster of this page and/or the contributor, unless otherwise noted.  No copies can be made without express written permission of the owner's of the page and/or contributor.  Thank you.