As much as the lakebeds of El Mirage or the salt flats of Bonneville pushed men to make faster cars out West in the 1930s, 40s and 50s, many fellow hot rodders in the South got their inspiration for speed from outrunning Johnny Law with a trunk full of hootch. I won’t bore you with the early history of NASCAR or oval track dirt racing, as many of you already know that the fastest cars south of the Mason Dixon were built to run flat out at a high rate of speed with an overloaded trunk. I stumbled up on this TV footage from a 1995 broadcast, which tells the bootlegging history first hand, and has some absolutely fantastic vintage footage and photos to boot. Really informative interviews with Humpy Wheeler, racer Louise Smith & Tim Flock (both now deceased), and the late great Gray Baskerville as well!
Side note: I feel a kindred spirit to moonshiners during the Depression especially, as my Great Uncle down in the bootheel of Missouri was shot dead in his own home by revenuers and local police for doing nothing more than operating a still and trying to get away. But that’s another story….