July 7, 2012

Erfle and Sons Motorsports

When one meets Lyle Erfle at a race track they instinctively look for a bright yellow 1956 Chevy Shoebox. That SS/PA 1956 Chevy has been the Erfle family race car since 1986. However, not anymore, as the 1956 Chevy has been replaced with a Super Stock GT/FA 1996 Oldsmobile Achieva.

Erfle 1996 Oldsmobile Achieva 

The Achieva was one of several cars provided to racers under the GM body-in-white program. (Abe Loewens’ 1998 Pontiac Grand Am is another example). The Achieva was first acquired by Frank Grossi of California and converted to a rear-wheel drive SuperStock GT by F.J. Smith of Cayuga, Ontario (F.J. Smith designed the 1st front-wheel drive conversion in 1987 that became the model for the NHRA guidelines on front-wheel drive conversions). Frank Grossi raced the car successfully for a number of years (including a SuperStock win at the 1999 Springnationals in Columbus, Ohio at National Trail Raceway) before the car was sold to a racer in Texas. The car was subsequently acquired by Brian Zavala and returned to and raced in California. Sheldon Erfle spotted the Achieva for sale in Racing Junk.com, a deal was made and Lyle and Sheldon left January 1, 2012 to pick up the car in California.

Lyle and Sheldon Erfle 

The Achieva was first run by the Erfle’s in Saskatchewan at SIR on May 28, 2012 so that Sheldon Erfle could obtain his completion license for Super Stock GT. It was Lyle’s 67th birthday and the birthday boy was presented with a broken transmission (broken low-gear cog) that required a transmission swap. The swap was completed and Sheldon completed his licensing runs the following day with a 10.35 ET (index is 10.80) at 128 mph. 

Engine: 1964 Chevy 327 factory rated at 250 horse power and NHRA factored at 262 horsepower. The motor was built by Gary Hettler

Transmission: Rossler powerglide maintained by Super Stock racer Art Congdon of Calgary.

Rear end: Ford 9” with 6.00 gears (top end rpm of 8300).

Suspension: Lamb brakes, shocks and struts by Phil Mandella.

Wheels and tires: M&H tires carried by Weld Wheels.

Paint: original paint scheme applied in 1996. 


259 horsepower 327ci 

Gary Hettler built 1964 Chevy 327 factory rated 250 horsepower, NHRA factored 262 horsepower.


Erfle Achieva 

Sponsorship for the new race car and Erfle and Sons Motorsports comes from Nelson GM, Integra Tire, Great West Auto Electric and GTH Racing. GTH Racing are long term car enthusiasts and friends of the Erfle’s who came together to help support the car. The GTH logo represents the initials of these supporters and the colors of their cars.

The Achieva has, since its debut in Saskatoon seen action in Brainerd (LODRS), Spokane (LODRS), Edmonton (Summit Pro Am Series) and will continue on to Medicine Hat (National Open), Brainerd (Lucas Oil Nationals), Saskatoon (Stock/Super Stock Combo) and possibly the Las Vegas National and divisional event in the fall. Round wins have been hard to come by as Sheldon Erfle becomes accustomed to driving the quicker leaving Achieva but practice makes perfect and the wins will come.

This is one good-looking Super Stock and if you see Lyle or Sheldon at the track say hello, get a tour of the car, wish them luck and get used to not seeing that bright yellow 1956 Chevy Shoebox.

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