Crew Chief: Al Petrulis
Crew Members: Al Petrulis
Car Owner: Al Petrulis
CAR NAME: Lightning Colt
VEHICLE: 1972 Dodge Colt
CAR NUMBER: 3566
ENGINE: 493 cu.inch stroked Chrysler 440
TRANSMISSION: GM Powerglide
CHASSIS: Original chassis by Ron Butler in California, upgraded in early 80’s by Chapman Engineering in Chicago
TEAM NAME: Petrulis Brothers Racing
SPONSORS: We get assistance on our engines from Koffel’s Place in Walled Lake Michigan
ABOUT AL PETRULIS
This is an original Ron Butler/Dan Knapp built Hemi Colt, one of 7 commissioned by Chrysler. This particular Colt went along with the ones to Gil Kirk’s Rod Shop in Columbus Ohio but was never completed and raced by the Rod Shop. Instead, this Colt was sent over to Butch Leal’s shop in California.
Butch was racing successfully with his Plymouth Duster in Pro Stock at the time. Since the colt was a Dodge, Butch didn’t want to switch sponsorships from Plymouth to Dodge so this Colt sat in his shop for a while. Besides, Butch said that he wasn’t crazy enough to drive one of these short wheelbase Hemi Colts. Eventually he shipped it back to the Rod Shop in Ohio but by then they were running newer ‘74/’75 Colts so again the Colt sat in the shop for a while.
Eventually it was sold to someone in Wisconsin then soon after sold to another person in Cicero, Illinois who had Chapman Engineering out of Chicago update the chassis and finally completed the car although with a 426 wedge, not a 426 Hemi.
The Petrulis Brothers took ownership of it in 1985 and set it up with a 440 and 2 speed powerglide for NHRA Super Gas and IHRA Super Rod 9.90 index racing, winning many events with the Colt for over 30 years. The biggest event win was the 1990 IHRA World Nationals in Super Rod at Norwalk (Summit Raceway Park). In recent years, the Colt has been participating in Nostalgia Drag Racing events all over the Midwest.
Hometown: Howell, MI
Occupation: Retired: Oakland County Sheriff’s Department
Years in Drag Racing: 38+
Other Interests: n/a