Bruce Allen qualified for his first NHRA Pro Stock national event at the 1985 Gatornationals with the ’81 Camaro, near
aking over for legendary four-time NHRA
Pro Stock world champion Lee Shepherd lane, that he purchased from Reher-Morrison. Just prior to the event, longtime Reher-Morrison driver Lee Shepherd
after his death could be viewed as both a had suffered fatal injuries in a testing accident, and Allen was announced a short time later as his replacement.
great opportunity and a daunting task fraught
with pressure and comparisons. Bruce Allen, in his early teens. “There were a lot of oval tracks In 1970, while owning and operating a gas
selected to fill that role following Shepherd’s within our area,” said Allen, “but I was never station, Allen hooked up with Jim Hanley of
testing accident in March 1985, acquitted himself interested in them. At the dragstrip, though, we Gratiot Auto Supply to field a ’64 Corvette in
in stellar fashion with a 21-year driving career saw a lot of muscle cars, which caught my .
D/MP and E/MP “That was my first real race
marked by skill, dedication, and grace. Behind attention.” car,” said Allen. “We later switched to the Gas
the wheel, he scored 16 national event victories in By 1967, Allen had his first street-strip car, a and Altered classes and eventually ended up in
39 final-round appearances along with two wins ’66 Oldsmobile 442. “It was a 12-second car Comp eliminator.” Allen’s racing highlight
and four runner-up finishes in the K&N with minimal modifications, such as headers and during that period was a Modified win at the
Horsepower Challenge bonus race, and his style lower rear-end gears,” he said. “We kept 1978 Summernationals.
and dignity made him a worthy successor to the breaking the Oldsmobile engine, so I switched to Allen closed his gas station in 1973 to become
much-admired Shepherd. a Chevy L-88 engine.” A ’67 Camaro followed an auto-mechanics teacher, then joined McLaren
Allen became acquainted with drag racing in that he ran in B/MP with a Booth-Arons big-block Racing Engines in 1975. He built engines for Al
1964 when he attended an event in Ubly, Mich., Chevy powerplant. Holbert’s International Motor Sports Association
championship GTP Monza, then moved to the
McLaren Buick V-6 Indy Development program,
through which he first worked with David Reher
and Buddy Morrison, who performed a lot of his
That association led to his purchase of the
Reher-Morrison 1981 Pro Stock Camaro in 1983.
“It was just a natural progression from having
raced in Modified and Comp,” said Allen, who