It’s also a significant milestone in a developing enterprise that snowballed into what we now recognize as the street-performance market.
The term likely originated in the ‘50s as the burgeoning hot-rod industry was modifying Ford Flatheads to drag race on airport runways and attempt top-speed runs on dry lake beds.
The legendary Ed Winfield was one the early pioneers in grinding camshafts with more aggressive lobe profiles, and the cams were often labeled as full race for promotional purposes.
“And then some guys wanted a milder cam that could also be used on the street, so they called it a three-quarter race cam because it didn’t have as much duration and lift,” explains John Mac Kichan of the Speedway Motors Museum of American Speed in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Occasionally the term “¾ race cam” pops up in conversation, usually with veteran hot rodders or nostalgia groups.
Sometimes you’ll see it in print ads and online product listings.
It allows to change, in one click, the target machine, without any CAM reprogramming.
“Harvey Crane hated the three-quarter term,” says Godbold, who was very close to Crane before he passed away in 2013.
“I think the term three-quarter was around even before the real cam wars begun.
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