Video: Bill Jenkins at the 1968 U.S. Nationals

Drag racing legend Bill “Grumpy” Jenkins would have been 83 this week. To celebrate the great man’s birthday, here’s a clip starring Jenkins at the 1968 U.S. Nationals in Indy. Race fans, don’t miss this. 


If ever a racer required no introduction: Ladies and gentlemen, Bill “Grumpy” Jenkins. One of the sharpest technical minds in the annals of motorsports, Jenkins is responsible for numerous innovations, from the Jenkins-style traction bar to the small-block/short wheelbase Pro Stock combination. But it might be for his mastery of internal combustion that Jenkins is best remembered. Nobody ever wrung more output from a Chevrolet V8. Nobody.

This ten-minute video, which includes narration by veteran broadcaster and Car and Driver writer Brock Yates and interviews by a host of the Grump’s peers, showcases Jenkins in action at the 1968 U.S. Nationals in Indy. There are many neat moments here, but our favorites include the in-car segments with Jenkins up on the wheel. Enjoy the video.


4 thoughts on “Video: Bill Jenkins at the 1968 U.S. Nationals

  1. Bill Jenkins was one of my favorite drivers. I heard he was anything but grumpy. Wiki says , he got that nickname for his no-nonsense attitude at the track. I’m a HUGE fan of drag racing, mostly top fuel cars now, but back in the day, when these cars were king, he was the one to beat. I believe Dave Connolly attributes most of his early success to Bill Jenkins. He is truly missed. Thank-you MCG for this.

  2. Great stuff, I love to see and hear these guys on video; it adds so much more than what you normally get from reading text and looking at photos.

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