U.F.R.A. – Dedicated to Fun!
This week, one of my best friends is in town from Chicago. The last time he was here was in 2019, and I’ve enjoyed showing him everything I’ve been up to. Even though some things have changed, a whole lot has stayed the same.
Yesterday we took the roadster for a spin, buzzing down side streets and cruising through different neighborhoods. I pointed out neon signs, dive bars and noteworthy restaurants along the route. The local paper said it was the hottest day of the year, and I couldn’t think of a better way to spend it than in a Model A roadster.
After lunch today, we popped into “Held Over,” one of my favorite San Francisco vintage stores. I have had a great track record of finding fascinating items there, ranging from chain-stitched racing jackets and 1950s Hawaiian shirts to the coveralls I wear during the cooler months in the garage.
First, I checked the jackets. Nothing caught my eye. Then the flannels. Not much. For my final push, I started sifting through the T-shirts. “Hey, look at that one!” There, on a black plastic hanger, hung a tattered blue shirt. In big letters, it said, “U.F.R.A. United Flathead Racers Association. Dedicated to Fun.” The logo featured a flathead-powered slingshot launching off the line. It was perfect.
“That looks like your kind of shirt,” my friend said. He was right. As I carried it to the dressing room to try it on, I racked my brain to come up with anything U.F.R.A. related. I knew there was a tie to the Antique Nationals and I could visualize a light blue, Chassis Research car on the strip. That was enough to make me really want the shirt.
I tried it on and, unfortunately, it didn’t fit. It was a medium that had shrunk substantially through the years. I snapped a picture of it and was on my way.
Once I got home, I dove into U.F.R.A. research mode. Here’s a little bit of background from their Facebook page.
The UFRA was an association of Flathead racers that was started by Wayne Talley and Larry Lee in ’69-’70 and grew to racing monthly with a show of at least 24 cars racing at such tracks as Lions, Fremont, Irwindale, OCIR, Holtville, Tucson, and many others. Many of the cars sported early vintage chassis, even vintage for 1970. Other cars were as modern as you can get but still sporting the legendary Ford Flathead V8. Some of the racers were already well known in the racing community John Bradley, Larry Edwards from his days of the Pontiac Tempest engine, Greg Jordon and others. Flathead Cars still race at Eagle Field and compete in the spirit of the UFRA.
Not surprisingly, there’s a detailed thread about it on the H.A.M.B. On top of that, there’s the entire history of the aforementioned Chassis Research car, which is owned by H.A.M.B.er D_Lazaris.
Even though I didn’t buy the shirt, I was happy to uncover a little bit of hot rod history. That said, does anyone have a size Large that they’re willing to part with? Let me know!