Rompin Redskin – Joe Zajac

NOTE: This car is now FOR SALE. Contact Joe Zajac For Details.

by Bob Wilkiewicz
Nostalgia Super Stock Inc. Staff

Certainly more than an ‘average Joe’, Zajac has managed the club since 1994. A major event Included during that tenure was the 1997 ‘rebellion’ and subsequent reorganization.

At the time, of course, no one knew how the decisions would eventually play out. But history has now proven that Zajac’s leadership has guided the club to longevity and continued success.

Click for larger photo

Click for larger photo

Photo by Peter Ores Ores Action Photography

An overview on Zajac from the club’s media guide entry:

Car No. 3


The ‘Rompin’ Redskin’’ Super Duty 1963 Catalina is an outstanding reproduction of the very rare factory-built Pontiac Super Stock drag race only cars. These vehicles were built from September 1962 to January 1963 and came with aluminum front fenders, hood, and bumpers, radiator and core support. Some also had plexiglas windows and holes drilled into the frame to reduce weight. They were often called ‘Swiss Cheese’ Catalinas.
They were the last factory race cars built by General Motors before its infamous self-imposed racing ban in January 1963.

Owners(s) and Sponsor(s):

The ‘Rompin’ Redskin’ is owned by Joe and Cheryl Zajac of Burns Harbor, Indiana / Sponsored by Strange Engineering and The Car Store of Evanston, Illinois.


Joe Zajac, married to Cheryl, is retired from Master Lock after a many year career. A former machinist and industrial maintenance supervisor, Zajac takes great pride in performing all the work and modifications on the car. After many years, Cheryl Zajac continues to serve as treasurer to the club.

Purchased in 1985 for $150, the ‘Rompin’ Redskin’ was a two-barrel automatic transmission grocery-getter sitting in Trinity, Alabama. Finding the elusive Super Duty parts took five years of following leads that turned out to be both fact and fiction but finally Zajac acquired enough material to start the restoration. The car was completely disassembled and then purpose-rebuilt for NSS.


Indian Adventures iron block, 4.310 bore / Crower billet crankshaft, 4.375 stroke / Venolia pistons and rods, 15.5:1 compression and 6.700 length/ All Pontiac Tiger heads, 2.25 intake and 1.80 exhaust valves / Wentzler tunnel ram intake with two 800-cfm Carter AFB 4-barrel carburetors / G Force 5-speed manual transmission hooked up to a Browell aluminum bellhousing, Boninfante 10-inch flywheel and clutch / Strange Engineering 9-inch rear end assembly / 5.14 ratio / 10.5Wx33 Mickey Thompson slicks/ Malloy ignition system / race-ready, car and driver weigh 3640 pounds with Lexan glass, carbon fiber hood and deck lid and the very rare aluminum front fenders, inner fenders and front bumper.


In May of 1991, the ‘Rompin’ Redskin’ posted a first-time 12.14, 112 mph pass down the dragstrip at Gateway International Raceway. With support from Larry Kaufman, the late Randy Williams and Rick Johnson, the group has posted a best run of 9.01 at 149 mph so far.


Recalling the day, “It was sitting in a back-yard with four flat tires; it wouldn’t start and the brakes didn’t work,” Zajac said. “It was exactly what I was looking for. I started the restoration that summer.”

The process has been a labor of love Zajac said. “I was starting from scratch and could build this car just the way I wanted to,” he explained. “The body was removed from the frame, all other parts were removed and inspected. If they were salvageable, they were cleaned and painted; if not, they were replaced.”

Zajac has been president of Nostalgia Super Stocks Inc. since 1994. “More than the speed, I enjoy the friendships I have earned as a member of the group,” he said. “I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of such a great group of people.”

Click for larger photo

Click for larger photo

Click for larger photo

Click for larger photo

Photo by Peter Ores Ores Action Photography

One thought on “Rompin Redskin – Joe Zajac

  1. dale

    Joe, I Googled the Rompin Redskin cuz I love this car….have seen it @ Norwalk many times….you did a great job with it, gotta love old Pontiacs !

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *