Kimmy’s Garage would like to highlight Jeff Paulin on today’s blog:
Jeff Paulin’s drag racing career began in 1964 when he graduated high school and joined the Kingsmen Car Club of Solona Beach California. His first car was a 1964 red El Camino which ran low 14’s at about 100mph. He quickly fell in love with drag racing! He enjoyed being around his fellow club members and being able to work on cars and driving down a drag strip.
After seeing his friend’s brand new Chevelle SS, he decided it was time for an upgrade! Paulin then picked up a 1966 375HP SS396 Chevelle: M-22 four-speed, red with red interior, power steering and brakes, plus AM radio. Even after he upgraded gears, slicks, shifter, and clutch assembly; he still used it as his daily driver (even with those 4.88 gear sets!). It ran consistent low 12s at around 117mph — through home-made headers.
For three years, his 1966 Chevelle was the fastest street-driven car in San Diego. All the fastest sponsored muscle cars at the time were trailered to the track every weekend, and they never beat his Chevelle, in a heads-up race or handicap elimination.
As time went on, and during the gas shortages in the 1970’s, he pulled his 375HP 396 motor and stored it in the garage. Jeff replaced that motor with a slightly calmer, big-block equipped with a sleepy, street friendly 3.08 gear set. Not long after, he moved to Orange County California and traded his Chevelle for a 427 Corvette. “We all do dumb things once in a while” states Jeff. The Corvette eventually made way for a 1968 Z/28 Camaro, a car that mostly sat in the garage.
Two decades later, while having a conversation about his beloved Chevelle, he discovered there was a 1966 Chevelle in the area. This car had been “the fastest car from Ventura, CA” at the same time he was racing “the fastest car in San Diego, CA”. He bought this identical 1966 Chevelle and installed the original engine and trans he had been keeping in his garage over the years. They went to many car shows with it, and won a few awards including Best Original Chevelle at Super Chevy; but there was no thrill in it like drag racing.
After his grandfather passed away in 1972, his grandmother traded in her Oldsmobile for a new 1972 Chevelle; which was easier for her to drive and park. She passed the car down to Jeff once she couldn’t drive anymore. Jeff painted it Cadillac gold and put Cragar wheels on it. When she saw the car she got mad at me saying “Why didn’t you do that to the car when I was still driving it?” So we took her to church in the car once a month and she loved telling everyone I was her grandson and this gold Chevelle with Cragar wheels was her car.
Jeff and his daughter then began to show and drag race the 1972 Chevelle at Pomona and Fontana. But once she left for college it just sat in the garage.
In 2011, they planned a construction project turning the 1972 Chevelle into a 10 second drag race car. The car began to run 10.20’s right away with the addition of a 6 point roll bar, 9 inch rear end, rebuilt TH400 and new BB Chevy. Lemons Headers, MSD ignition, DRE diaper, Champion Cooling System radiator and an Aerospace Components Vacuum Pump (which adds 20HP) all helped to boost this project. They named this car the GGSGOLD which they still race today!
Jeff Paulin’s wife and best friend, Tracie Paulin has easily slipped into the crew chief roll. Jeff says, “Without her I would not be racing. We are a great team and work very well together.” Tracie also won a NMCA West Crew Member of the Year award in 2015, “for not only her help with GGSGOLD but all she does helping the racers pitted around us every time out” Jeff states.
Their first Wally win was at the first West Coast NMCA race, which was held at Famoso. They entered in Quick Street and Bracket II. Despite losing in the second round of Quick Street, Jeff went 6 rounds through 60 cars and won Bracket II!
Jeff and Tracie go on to say, “One of our fondest memories of racing and the friendships that are easily made at the track was when Al and Kim Kussy stopped by our pit a few years back and asked us if they could help with anything. What! A business owner/sponsor walking around the pits introducing themselves to the racers and offering to help? Who are these people and why do we like them so much right away?”
Jeff and Tracie revealed a problem tossing crank mandrels from another vacuum pump manufacturer. “I mentioned this to Al and Kim and they said they would see what they could do and took a picture of my motor. Two weeks later in the mail I received an Aerospace Components Vacuum Pump kit — custom made for my motor. Bolted right on and it has worked flawlessly for the last 4 years! Unbelievable to me that a major manufacturer owner/sponsor will walk the pits and look for ways to help the little guy racer” states Jeff Paulin.
The Paulin’s are still enjoying the NMCA West series and love to load up and race at Fontana and Famoso. A couple fluke runs of the GGSGOLD have even gone viral, with the wheelie at Pamona having over 2 million views and the GGSGOLD’s Wild Ride at Fontana having over 4 million views!!
“We love our racing family, the sport, and the friends we make along the way” — Jeff and Tracie Paulin