Holley Pro Dominator Manifold Powers Glidden to Championship

In an interview with Dave Emanuel in the February 1980 Super Stock & Drag Illustrated (SS&DI) magazine, Bob Glidden shared some of his performance secrets about his W2-equipped small-block Mopar. Glidden had high praise for the Holley Pro Dominator intake manifold and his Holley Dominator carburetors.

In 1970, the introduction of Pro Stock eliminator provided drivers, engine builders, and auto manufacturers the ultimate heads-up, door-slammer class. Before Pro Stock, the teams were forced to race in the Stock and Super Stock eliminators with handicap starts based upon indexes. These classes often required dragging the brakes at the finish line to limit putting a hit on the class index. Just like the Stock and Super Stock classes, the Mopars dominated Pro Stock.

Ronnie Sox won over half of the events (9 of 15) in the first two years of the class in his Sox and Martin prepared ‘Cuda and was crowned the 1970 champion. In 1971, Mike Fons, in a Challenger, earned a second championship for Chrysler. Sadly, to limit the success of the Hemis, for 1972, the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) constituted weight breaks (pounds/cubic inch displacement) based on engine/cylinder heads (and eventually including wheelbase); the Mopars were nearly shoutout at NHRA Pro Stock races between 1972 to 1979.

For 1979, Chrysler provided Glidden with corporate sponsorship money to run the Plymouth Arrow. Glidden hit the track with a win. He was able to earn his fourth NHRA Pro Stock Championship in the Arrow. In this photo from Columbus, Ohio, Glidden had updated the Arrow with the 1980 sheet metal.

During the 1978 mid-season, Chrysler reps approached Ford Pro Stock driver, Bob Glidden, with an offer of corporate sponsorship if he switched to a Plymouth for 1979. Although Glidden was destroying the competition with his refrigerator-shaped Fairmont, he elected to retire the undefeated Ford at the end of the season, after earning his 3rd Pro Stock Championship. Unknown to the competition, Glidden began working on his Mopar project soon after his mid-season meeting with the Chrysler brass.

Even though Glidden did not get to test his Plymouth Arrow on a drag strip until one week before the 1979 NHRA Winternationals, the Direct Connection 355 cubic inch displacement (CID) engine ran a best of an 8.50 elapsed time (ET) at 157.50 mph. A week later, Glidden qualified number one, and in the final, he ran an 8.49 ET at 159.35 mph to defeat a fading Joe Satmary’s Camaro with an 8.71 ET.

Above left: The Pro Dominator intake manifold was a success right off the shelf. Glidden stated, “I use the new Holley® Pro Dominator manifold. I want to tell you, that’s one hell of a manifold. I use it right out of the box.” Glidden did nothing to the manifold other than port match the runners to the modified W2 heads. Above right: The Pro Dominator intake manifold was a component of “The Dominator System, which was part of “The System ‘79” advertisement campaign.The System ‘79 promotion was focused on fuel economy and emissions compliance while, in contrast, the Dominator System concentrated on competition and performance.

In an interview with Dave Emanuel in the February 1980 Super Stock & Drag Illustrated (SS&DI) magazine, Glidden stated, “I use the new Holley® Pro Dominator manifold. I want to tell you, that’s one hell of a manifold. I use it right out of the box. All I do is match the manifold runners to the cylinder heads.” Glidden continued, “Holley built it right, so it works. If our ports weren’t so much larger than the standard W-2, I would not even have to port match.” When it comes to carburetors, Glidden prefers his trusty pair of Holley 6464 Dominators.

Throughout the 1979 season, Glidden used a couple of 335 CID engines and one 330 CID engine to propel him to a fourth NHRA Pro Stock Championship. If Chrysler had not filed for bankruptcy in 1980, Glidden might have continued his dominance with the Plymouth, but as it turned out, he returned to Ford (now with some sponsorship help) and accumulated an additional six NHRA Pro Stock Championships for a total of ten championships before retiring in 1997. Chrysler would not win another Pro Stock Championship for over a decade when Darrell Alderman claimed his first of three in 1990.

A pair of Holley Dominator carburetors were the mainstay of the Pro Stock class. Bob Glidden’s highly modified Dominators (list no. 6464) worked great with his Fords, and when he switched to Mopar, the carbs worked just as well sitting atop of a Holley Pro Dominator intake manifold attached to a pair of W2 heads.

Holley has been involved with all fifty years of Pro Stock. What started with dual 4bbl carbs has progressed to a technologically advanced port fuel injection. As mentioned in the SS&DI article, Glidden had great success with the Pro Dominator tunnel ram, one part of “The Dominator System,” which was part of “The System ‘79” advertisement campaign. While the campaign focused on mpg and emissions for streetcars, Holley promoted their 4500 series Dominator carbs, the tunnel ram, and the 110 gallons per hour fuel pump with a matching regulator for sanctioned competition.

For over 100 years, Holley has been the acknowledged leader of fuel systems. For nearly half a century, Holley carburetors and fuel injection systems have powered all NASCAR® teams and virtually every Pro Stocker to race wins and season championships. Holley components may be all you need to increase the power and reliability of your ride. Still, if parts outside of the fuel system are required, Holley’s vast array of companies will cover all your automotive needs.

Glidden won seven of nine national NHRA events in 1979. The two finals he lost were a result of pushing the Christmas tree a bit too hard and earning a big red bulb. Glidden felt the Arrow was a more successful car than the undefeated Fairmont because he had to start from scratch with very little time to develop a successful combination.

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Chris Holley

Technical Contributor Chris has been a college professor for 25 years; at Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport, PA. for the last 20 years. Chris instructs automotive classes in HVAC, electrical/electronics, and high-performance, including using a chassis dyno, flow benches, and various machining equipment. Recently, he added a vintage vehicle upholstery class to his teaching assignments. Chris owns a '67 Dart, a '75 Dart, a '06 Charger, and a '12 Cummins turbo diesel Ram, and he is a multi-time track champion (drag racing) with his '69 340 Dart, which he has owned for 34 years.

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