Bob “Bones” Balogh was another of the early sports competitors who has always been a “car nut”. His first car was a 1934 Buick Limited coupe he purchased as soon as he got his first California driver’s license at the ripe old age of 14. The Buick was replaced with a 1938 Chevy in 1955 that was to be his first race car which he introduced as such in 1955 at Lion’s drag strip. This car wasn’t quick or fast enough to be competitive so he didn’t waste much time replacing it with a 1949 Chevy fastback with a 283 CI Chevy V8 engine under the hood. Before long Bones bolted a supercharger on the small block engine and turned it into a real terror, posting over 250 wins at Lion’s drag strip with it.
In 1961 Bones installed the engine out of the ’49 Chevy into the Mallicoat brothers ‘41 Willys Coupe which he drove for over a year. When the brothers built their own engine and started racing on their own, Bones installed the engine in a B/Modified Corvette and started appearing in the winner’s circle again and even notching a class win at the 1962 NHRA U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, IN. His biggest competitor in this class was John Mazmanian and they soon became friends as well as competitors. In 1962 John bought the complete engine and transmission package and installed it in his 1961 Corvette and with Bones at the wheel, they continued their winning ways this time as partners.
Always wanting to go faster and be even more competitive, in 1963 the pair pulled the engine out of the Corvette and installed it in a ’41 Willys A/Gas coupe. The reliable Chevy engine was strong but the guys sporting Supercharged Chrysler engines were going quicker so in 1964 they dropped a blown Chrysler in the Willys and went back to their winning ways. In 1966 Bones moved from the driver’s seat for John into the driver’s seat of Gary Dubach’s blown Chevrolet small block powered ’33 Willys A/Gasser which was quick but not as competitive as the Chrysler A/Gassers so it wasn’t long before they teamed with Joe Pisano and installed his big Chrysler in the Willys but unfortunately a broken axel put the car into the wall as Lion’s drag strip and put a crimp into the team’s efforts. They managed to have the car rebuilt in time for the 1967 NHRA U.S. Nationals in Indy where they finished runner-up to Ohio George Montgomery.
In 1968 Bones teamed with Tim Woods to field a supercharged Chrysler powered 1968 Shelby Mustang A/Gasser for a national match race tour. The tour was quite successful but by 1969 the new Funny Cars were taking the spotlight away from the A/Gas class and he was about to become a father so Bones made the decision to end his racing career. Not being a good spectator and loving to compete as a racer, in 2002 Bones once again found a home in the driver’s seat of his supercharged small block Chevy powered 1969 Camaro and is enjoying the sport again.
In 1960 Bones went to work for Ed Iskendarian, not just grinding cams but building motors as well and developing a lifelong friendship with Ed. While he quit working for Isky in 1966 to go full-time racing, if you go looking for Bones today he could easily be at Isky’s just passing the time of day.