My dad was heavy into the airplane business ... and sports car racing, so
I kinda got into those things too. Then suddenly It was 1957 and I was 16
... been reading Hot Rod for a couple of years and whenever they had
anything in there about Drag Racing I couldn't read it enough times. Me
and my buddy 'Lloyd' were messin' around with cars a lot and used to buy our
parts and stuff from a nearby Wrecking Yard, 'Hall's Auto Wrecking.'
The guy who owned the place (Don Hall) had a really ugly Buick straight-8
powered 'A' roadster that he'd built as a track roadster (like all
auto-wrecking guys he was a roundy-rounder). They didn't have track
roadster races anymore and I talked him into taking it to the Drags. We
raced every Sunday.
"Uncle Don" (as we liked to call him) may have been a 'Junk
Man,' but he sure liked to race ... and Win ... which we did a lot. We
even took Top Eliminator now and then (he loved to beat the Oldsmobiles, or
"Big Ohzs," as he called them). He painted the roadster with
silver (imitation chrome) spray cans (I think that's what drove me to
learn how to paint). The guys we raced against called it the
"Galvanized Garbage Can." You can imagine how they felt getting
beat by 'that' ... and they got beat ... a lot!
'Uncle Don' (being an old roundy-rounder) was pretty crafty ... used to
make a bunch of money on side bets with the guys when he raced 'em. I kinda
suspect that the look of the car was part of the deal he'd cooked up to get
them to put a little more up. That car sure was 'ugly' ... it had a 'bucket
seat' cut out of a 25 gallon oil barrel 'n' a roll bar made outta drive
shafts ... but it sure made a lot of money!
We raced at places like Ellensberg, Shelton, Arlington, Bayview, and
Bremerton. We went all the way over to Deer Park (Spokane). All Airports...
not too many real Drag Strips in those days. Racing was pretty much all for
trophies back then... but the side money (wagering) kept us eating at the
best 'Hamburger Joints.' Lotta fun for a 16 year old kid. Been hooked on
this deal ever since.