What was H-O Racing Specialties?

H-O Racing Specialties was formed as a racing partnership between Craig Hendrickson and Kern Osterstock in 1972 for income tax purposes. At that time, both Craig and Kern had regular "day jobs", but they enjoyed getting together a few times a week to race their Pontiacs at the local drag strips in the Southern California area (Lions, OCIR, Irwindale, Pomona, etc.).

In early 1973, Craig and Kern decided to convert Craig's 1965 GTO into a 1965 LeMans to compete in the E/MP (11 pound per engine CID) class of NHRA. This meant reducing weight, implementing a custom rear suspension, building a special 326 engine (suggested by Bruce Brayton), plus all the normal things one had to do at that time to pass an NHRA national event tech inspection such as at the Winternations held at Pomona, CA.

In July 1973, Craig and Kern had the special 326 engine out of the E/MP drag car to do routine maintenance. At that time, an employee of Edelbrock (located in Torrance, CA) who knew Kern came by his shop because he had heard about the H-O Racing 326 E/MP Pontiac. The Edelbrock employee asked if he could take the custom tunnel ram intake manifold (off the 326 engine at that time) and show it to Vic Edelbrock Jr. Craig and Kern said "sure", just so long as he brought it back!

Long story short: Vic Edelbrock was so impressed with the custom tunnel ram intake, that he called Jim McFarland who was Editor-in-Chief of Popular Hot Rodding magazine at that time. Vic suggested to Jim that he send a tech writer out to visit Craig and Kern with the idea of doing a story on them and Pontiac high performance. The following topics describe highlights of that story.


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