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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

Super Camaro and Son

1974, 1975: Memories of Detroit Dragway and Indy

By Perry S. Wyatt, Jr.

Perry Wyatt, Sr., and the Super Camaro. Photo thanks to Perry Wyatt, Jr.
Perry Wyatt, Sr., and the Super Camaro. Photo thanks to Perry Wyatt, Jr.

Perry S. Wyatt, Jr., has put together a great story for his dad, Perry Wyatt, Sr., who owned and tuned the Super Camaro funny car. He kindly consented to share his story with Draglist.com readers. As it spans 40 years, we are running it in installments. Check out the links at the bottom to navigate the entire story. Perry is looking for any info on his dad's old funny car, the Super Camaro. If you know of any info or photos, please drop him a line. bp

1974. Going to Detroit Dragway was very different this year! Gone were the "Ramchargers," "Trader Ray" and the "Vega" had taken over! The "Motown Shaker," "Machine Gun Kelly," "Doug's Headers," and the "Fireball Vega" to name a few!

However, this year for the first time ever, my dad took us to "Indy"! I was 13 years old. We left late on Sunday night. Drove to some "seedy" little motel a buddy of my dad had told him about. When we went inside to sleep, I remember turning on the TV and watching the Jerry Lewis telethon.

Anyway, we got up early and headed for the track. As we approached, my heart started racing and my stomach was upset! Then there it was!

Indianapolis Raceway Park! The Mecca, the "Woodstock," the biggest and baddest of them all and Home of the "US NATIONALS"!

We pulled in and parked, we were on the right lane side, way pass the finish line behind the circle track. We got tickets and sat on that same side and never left them all day!

I remember that Billy Meyer was running well and made it to the final to race the "Snake" in the "Army" Cuda. Then it rained and postponed the final until Tuesday. My dad did not want to spend another night, so after 3 hours to get out of the parking lot we headed back home.

Next day we get a call and find out "Snake" had beat Billy in the final after it looked like had they raced the day before, Billy may have won!

I got to talk to "Snake" about this at "Indy" last year. He said that if they had run that same day, Billy probably would have beaten him. With the rain, however, he got a chance to go to the hotel and in the parking lot they worked all night to correct the problems that they were having, while Billy and his crew went out drinking all night! Next day "Snake" was ready for him and won "Indy"!

I was very impressed that "Snake" took the time to discuss that with me, something that happened when I was 13 and now at 40(27 years later, oh my god), I'm talking to him about it like it was yesterday!

Hey, I just realized, I was 13 the first time I went to "Indy" and last year I took my son, for his first time to "Indy" and he was 13, WOW, what's up with that?

1974. Returned from "Indy" to start the eighth grade at a new school, because we had moved during the summer. We now lived in Taylor and it was a little too far to ride the bike to the Trans. shop. So, because I spent allot of time at home, I got into slot car track racing and very heavy back into model car building (two things that have been lost on our youth).

Life had changed!

1975. Don't remember going to Detroit Dragway, but a friend of my dad's took us out to Milan Dragway for a funny car show. Also, my dad planned to take us to "Indy" again, but his lunged collapsed and he was recovering from that. Fortunately for my brother and me, another friend of my dad's was going to "Indy" and volunteered to take us.

We left on Saturday, this time, so we were there for Sunday and Monday. It was great, spent Sunday roaming the pits, getting handouts and taking pictures of cars, only going to the stands when the funnies or top fuelers were running.

"Snake" had the new Monza and had won most every race that year. Raymond Beadle was driving the "Blue Max."

Monday, we sat in our seats all day to watch every pass. When Beadle beat the "Snake" in the final, they crowd roared!

Then Garlits beat Shirley. It was a Classic! I wish my dad could have been there, it was a fabulous experience!

I returned home to start the ninth grade. I had plenty of pictures to show my new friends. I'll never forget it and I have the pictures to remember it by!

Up Next: 1976-1977
Previous: 1972-1973

Perry S. Wyatt, Jr.
perryswyattjr@aol.com

 

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