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ACME 1:18 1965 Ford Mustang A/FX, Harvey Ford: Dyno Don

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ACME 1:18 1965 Ford Mustang A/FX, Harvey Ford: Dyno Don

ACME 1:18 1965 Ford Mustang A/FX, Harvey Ford: Dyno Don

Don Nicholson (May 28, 1927 – January 24, 2006) was an American drag racer from Missouri. He raced in the 1960s and 1970s when there were few national events. The National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) estimates he won 90 percent of his match races. As of 2002, he held the record for the most number of categories in which he reached a final round (won or took second at an event): Funny Car, Pro Stock, Super Stock, Competition Eliminator, Stock, and Street. He was nicknamed "Dyno Don" after he was one of the first drivers to use a chassis dynamometer on his cars in the late 1950s, a skill that he learned while working as a line mechanic at a Chevrolet car dealer.

Nicholson was born at Halltown, Missouri but was raised at Pasadena, California. While in high school, he joined the United States Navy which wiped out his many speeding tickets, earned at the wheel of a twin-97-equipped 235 cu in (3,850 cc) Stovebolt-powered 1934 Chevy coupé (run without front fenders), which he (illegally) street raced; almost everyone else raced Fords.

Nicholson began organized racing in jalopies on oval tracks in the late 1940s before quitting in 1949, because his friends were frequently killed. He moved to the dry lakes at the Bonneville and El Mirage. He was already an experienced driver when drag strips began opening in Southern California. In the 1940s, Nicholson did body work and engine building, but did not drive. During the 1950s, Nicholson was a manager at Service Chevrolet. He got a job with Mead Chevrolet in Pasadena in 1958. Nicholson got his nickname "Dyno Don" by being the first person to be trained on Service's dynamometer (dyno). In 1961, Nally Chevrolet lured Nicholson to move his family to Georgia by giving him his own dyno shop and race car.

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