Looks can be deceiving but for this Western Canadian drag car — well — that’s the whole point…..

Cool and creative are the first words that come to mind when checking out detail for a ’57 Chevy Pro Mod car owned and operated by Dean Bettenson.  

Based from right smack in the heart of Alberta (Red Deer), Dean is a relative new comer to the class.  He first came on the scene with his unique looking and highly crafted car in late 2017 when he raced it for the first time during Mel Roth’s marquee annual SCSN event out at Las Vegas.

Most certainly striking is that this 57 Chevy has certainly achieved it’s desired “scrap yard look” objective, featuring a highly effective rust and dirt wrap done by the experts at Palmer Signs (Sacramento CA).  

“I’m really happy with that look,” Bettenson winked.  “The fans fell in love with it fast and (Bunker’s Junker) gets a lot of attention.”

But in very stark contrast to that rough outer look — is some impressive high tech that includes a motor program that falls well outside the norm for the PM class category.  The race car itself was built by highly reputed Bob Bunker (Bunker Motorsports – also from Sacramento). 

Dean Betteson’s ’57 Chevy is a rather outside the box Pro Mod car.

“Bob Bunker built this car from scratch,” Dean revealed.  “He started with an old ’57 Chevy body I had and the project progressed from there.  It’s not any converted car it’s a purpose built Pro Mod all the way through.”

Bettenson elected to install a billet block 526 CID PSI (C rotor) supercharged alcohol burner within those frame rails and most uniquely, that motor program uses EFI individual coils (instead of a magneto). 

“As far as I know there is not another screw blower car with individual coils like this — out there,” Dean continued.  “In the Pro Mod class often there is a lot of the same — but I personally like to do things a bit different.   There is some trial and error involved — but that challenge is a big part of the attraction for me.  The reality is that EFI is very nice to work with and we’re pretty happy with our progression so far.”

The Bunker’s Junker supercharged engine program uniquely features EFI individual coils

During the just past 2018 season Dean and his team, which includes his supporting wife Sarah, Bob Bunker, Rick Worthington, Michael Barnett and Ryan and Darryn O’Conner participated at 7 events.  The car did run a best of 5.84 secs at 245 mph (scaled at 2715 lbs).  At season’s end Dean’s also had a very nice feather in his cap by prevailing to be the 2018 Pro Boost class season points champion for Western Canada’s WDRL circuit.

Race car builder – Bob Bunker

Dean does fund his innovative racing effort as a 100% independent — and he is the founder and owner of Belair Power & Production which is deeply involved in the province of Alberta’s oil patch industry. Belair Power (an appropriate company name given his ’57 Belair race car!) specializes in fabrication and packaging for natural gas generators.  

Mechanically for 2019, Bettenson plans to carry forward with his existing set up — however he is sniffing at possibly converting from the current TH400 transmission to a Lenco.  He also revealed that most of his racing will occur mostly in the spring and the fall, due to business demands in the summer. 

For more information on Belair Power & Production – click: HERE

Post and photos by Bruce Biegler