Class of 2008
Bill “Grumpy” Jenkins’ innovative use of mechanical engineering skills in the mid-1950’s produced many of drag racing’s most successful vehicles. Jenkins earned the nickname “Grumpy” through his no-nonsense attitude at races, where his continual search for improved performance left little time for idle chatter with his racing colleagues. Considered the “Father of Pro Stock”, Jenkins, a Malvern, Pennsylvania native built engines for 61 NHRA Eliminators producing five championships and three ARHA championships. Jenkins also earned a considerable reputation as a driver, winning a combined total of 13 NHRA national Pro Stock events from 1965 to 1975 with one championship as a driver. This distinction, combined with his technical contributions, earned him eighth place on the NHRA’s Top-50 Driver’s list. Jenkins’ career also briefly expanded into NASCAR, where he worked on Donnie Allison’s 1975 Daytona 500 pole winning entry, as well as Mike Swaim’s 1987 Busch Series Daytona pole winner. Still working today, Jenkins has received numerous awards throughout his storied career. He is a 21-time Car Craft all-star drag racing team honoree including “Man of the Year” and “Ollie Award” winner. Additional honors include: A 1972 election to the American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association All-America Team, being named one of Chevrolet’s Legends of Performance in 1984, a 1993 induction to the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame, a 1996 induction to the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America and a 2000 induction to the Hot Rod Magazine Hall of Fame.