An Ontario-based Sportsman racing team charts a drag racing comeback…..

After making a name for himself racing a rear-engined dragster earlier in his career – there is a re-emergence for Milton Ontario’s Paul Shill after a lengthly absence.

Paul (with his wife Patti) were a pleasant and popular return addition to Ontario’s ever-thriving Can/Am Stock/Super Stock circuit last summer – running a truly stunning 1967 Camaro, Super Stocker.

Maintaining their team name stake “Very Cherry” — is a very valid description for their new entry – which features both meticulous prep and car show quality.  

Paul and Patti Shill have returned to the Canadian drag racing scene with a superbly reclaimed Super Stock Camaro.

“Our dragster was first built back in 1992 and we ran it up to until 2007,” Paul revealed.  “I actually bought this Camaro soon after that (from Maryland) it was already a racecar.  I then stripped it right down – and renewed everything you can think of.  Now it’s really literally a “brand new” 1967 Camaro.”

Paul revealed that he did in fact run the Camaro for the first time back in 2013. He was then however sidelined due to back surgery and for a time Chuck Nagy (Niagara Falls ON) was in the cockpit before Paul returned to driver’s seat towards the latter part of the 2019 season.  But then with the onset of COVID — plans to further develop it had to be deferred until last summer.   In 2021 he was able to get the car out a couple times to Cayuga Dragway where he coaxed it to a best time of 9.40 secs at 143 mph.

Paul does employ a rather unique motor program in his Camaro, taking forward a SBC equipped with Dart Buick cylinder heads – similar to what they were familiar with and ran in their previous Econo-dragster class car.


The original “Very Cherry” was this pretty rear-engined dragster campaigned for over a decade.

“This is a motor design (Buick) that Bob Mountjoy and Chuck Nagy perfected and used to race with too,” Paul continued.  “For us it’s a good fit for now — great for what we would like to do around here. We can run as a SS/BM or SS/CM.  But I would like to eventually step up to a newer “splay valve” engine set up.”

Paul and Patti once again did make the final finish for their new Camaro a top team priority.  The superb paint – which is very close to what was on the original “Very Cherry” dragster — was applied by renowned fellow Canadian Super Stock class racer Brian Clayton. Western New York-based artist extraordinaire Dan “The Sign Man” Delaney, did the design and lettering.

Race fans can expect to see the high-flying “Very Cherry” Camaro frequent a number of Can-Am Stock/SS events again in 2022 — but Paul has also set his sights on racing a couple of NHRA Lucas Oil Divisional points races and also a select NHRA national event.

Post and photos by Bruce Biegler