The pride of Eastern Canadian Drag Racing – Nova Scotia’s John Armstrong – has a new racing experiment this season….

John Armstrong, without question one of the most revered competitors and engine builders for all of Super Stock racing — has been doing something a bit different for himself this season.

Armstrong, whose engines are utilized by many of NHRA’s top echelon Lucas Oil Sportsman drag racing teams out there, did turn some heads when he showed up with a 1969 Camaro earlier this season.   Fans will recall that since 2004, John had pretty much been exclusively behind the wheel racing a record-smashing SS/AA ’68 Corvette.

But for John Armstrong, this is in fact his second ’69 Camaro Super Stocker.  Prior to his Corvette campaign, he did race another ’69 Camaro for almost 30 seasons before selling that to fellow and former Maritime-based racer Brian Oakes — who campaigns that Camaro (classed SS/DA) still to this day.

“Actually — this Camaro too came from Brian Oakes,” John revealed.  “Back in 2003 we back halved it for him – but ended up buying it back in 2018.  Then over last winter we went through the car – made some changes to the suspension and changed the motor.”

“I still own the Corvette — but I guess I just needed a new toy,” he winked. 

John Armstrong’s “wheelhouse” classes within NHRA Super Stock has long been the SS/AA and SS/BA designations and we probably cannot count how many times he has set and reset records or qualified #1.   The new Camaro is intended for continuation of all that.

“This car (for SS/BA) actually factors a bit better than the Corvette does,” John elaborated.  “We are running it at 3260 lbs and we use a 427 CID motor that is rated at a bit less HP (430 HP).  We did think about making the Camaro another SS/AA — but we just couldn’t get it light enough — perhaps the driver has eaten just too many lobster rolls (he laughed).”

John did run the new Camaro for the first time in NHRA national event completion during the New England Nationals last July and has got the car into the 8.7 secs zone at 150+ mph.  Since then he has remained highly active with it. 

“We’ll keep playing with it,” he added.  “It also acts as rolling dyno of sorts – where we (with brother Allyn at A&J Automotive) can test motors for our customers in real time and actual track conditions.”

John Armstrong has raced this ’68 Corvette for almost 30 seasons!

Posted and photos by Bruce Biegler