Bob Atchison

Inducted 2006 – Competitor – Motorsport Builder – Drag Racing


Bob Atchison is one of the true pioneers of Canadian drag racing. Born in 1941, Bob started competing in the mid-1950s with an Oldsmobile-powered 1955 Ford and an Oldsmobile powered 1951 Henry J. In the early 1960s, Bob began racing in the dragster classes, first with a B dragster and then a nitro-fuelled Top Fuel dragster. He became a frequent winner at Grand Bend Dragway, Motor City Dragway, Detroit Dragway and at the St. Thomas Dragway. The reputation Bob established was enhanced when he opened his machine shop, Atchison Machine, in 1967. He became well-known for building chassis, engines and custom components not only for himself but for other racers. The list includes previous Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame inductees Scott Wilson, Frank Hawley and Bill Kydd. In the 1990s, his son Robbie went racing and father and son took on the task of creating an alcohol burning Funny Car. During record-setting and dominating 2003, 2004 and 2005 seasons, Bob choreographed his son Robbie to three straight IHRA Hooters Drag Racing Series Alcohol Funny Car World Championships. Bob was IHRA Crew Chief of the Year in 2004 and Crew Chief of the Year in a Drag Race Canada poll. The team currently holds 10 speed records. Bob is responsible for the current success of the AJ481X, an engine considered to be obsolete in today’s highly competitive world. He has developed camshafts that have increased the horsepower in these engines to staggering numbers. In addition, many top engine builders now use the supercharger technology that Bob pioneered. Bob’ s achievements in the last five years are world-class. Even more remarkable is that he accomplished them using an eight-year-old chassis in the midst of constant engine evolution.