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black history month and early lakes racing

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Sweats, Feb 22, 2005.

  1. Sweats
    Joined: Oct 15, 2004
    Posts: 599


    Wow!!!! what a response, thanks to everyone who replied all the info has been fantastic, I have lots of leads for a whole lot of reading. Thanks again.

    Nads, next time Im in town I got a great book to pass on I think you will like
  2. monsterflake
    Joined: May 13, 2003
    Posts: 3,763


    yeah, this was really interesting. too bad we waited 'til almost the end of the month!

    is there anybody or anything automotive that Ryan doesn't know? :eek:
  3. KustomF100
    Joined: Dec 26, 2003
    Posts: 371

    from Joliet, IL

    Somone had mentioned a guy that races Craftsman trucks..his name is Bill Lester...happened to have led a few laps at Daytona in his factory backed Toyota truck.And for those of you that are fans of dirt late models or Nascar,there is a youngster named Chase Austin..a mere 14 years old,winning races in a car fielded by his father.He WILL be in Nascar someday.

    This post started naming national racers,but let's not forget the locals.Having grown up just south of Chicago,we of course didn't have dry lakes.We did have US 30 dragstrip and the occasional street race.Plenty of front runners and good friends were African American.With racing and hot rodding,thankfully race has no boundaries.IHRA also has a big contingent of African American racers as well.

    Excellent topic.By the way...concerning Richard Prior racing..he was in the documentary called "Greased Lightning" about the life of Wendell Scott.

    Joined: Feb 9, 2003
    Posts: 682


    Someone asked about any Car Clubs with the Hellbillies name and I posted this as an answer,kinda relates here also I think.:)

    The Hellbillys Car Club has been around upper east Tennessee/western North Carolina since the late 50s.
    Even allowed blacks (oh my god!:eek: ) in the club in the early 60s which was a really big deal back then and caused quite a stir in the area I have been told.

    The guys don't get together much anymore except for work on each others cars, Bristol drags and Nascar races.
    Small group of really nice guys who helped out this "newbie" a great deal.
    I'll try and post some old pics.
    Some of the old color Stone Woods and Cook pictures I posted before on the HAMB came from one of the (oh my god!:eek: ) first black members.(which is what he still calls himself.:D )
    (left to right)
    Lenord Woods, Doug Cook and Fred Stone.
  5. monsterflake
    Joined: May 13, 2003
    Posts: 3,763


    it's 8:29 CST, at 8:37, wendell scott on speedvision...
  6. k9racer
    Joined: Jan 20, 2003
    Posts: 3,091


    I left out another driver from the 40 to 50 s . He was from OK city OK his name was Ray Coleman.HE ran a riley head roadster and later a gmc 37 chevy. I talked to Wendal Scott many times. He said he was happy to race but a lot of people liked to screw with him. Ford motor co told John Holman of holman and moody fame to give Scott parts and he did so unwilling. Wendal also got Fred Lorsens cars after the model year changes also he was given all the hand me downs from H&M. They had a lot of good surplus parts. I purchased 3 complete FE 427 and a lot of parts from wendel over the span of 5 years. {no I dont have the engines but I still have some of the parts}If he shot you a price he would stick by it. W Scott was a very good family man and I enjoyed being around his children.
  7. attitudor
    Joined: Sep 28, 2004
    Posts: 2,975

    from Finland

    Not on dry lake era but such an early drag race action still: This picture is from Hot Rod Magazine Yearbook '63 from NHRA Nationals. Pretty nice picture and a cool car.


    Attached Files:

  8. DrJ
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 9,418


    Although he's more into customs and "profiling" than racing, Steve Stanford is one very talented artist, striper graphics designer and concept-style-trend setter, and a really nice guy to know too.
    I've seen him frequenting most of the "cruise" spots in So. Cal. in either his '58 Bel Air (Biscayne?) 2dr sedan or his Cadillac.
    And he's a black man.
    If you aren't familiar with his work you can find a small amount of it here;
  9. krooser
    Joined: Jul 25, 2004
    Posts: 4,584


    Back in the '60's there was a local dirt track racer named Charlie Weddel...his '56 Chevy kicked our sorry asses more times than we could count....
  10. mbrunges
    Joined: Nov 21, 2007
    Posts: 2


    Check n.h.r.a.records.a all black club won best dressed club at the nationals.They ran a lynnwood dragster.
  11. McKee
    Joined: Jul 22, 2005
    Posts: 1,193


    Bill Cosby sponsored Willy, he did TV commercials for a company (a funeral home chain, ServiceCorp I think) in exchange for them backing him in Champ cars in 1990.
  12. Junkyard Jan
    Joined: Jan 7, 2005
    Posts: 739

    Junkyard Jan
    Member Emeritus

    Willy T. Ribbs wasn't the most sensible man at least in his early years. In about '75, Humpy Wheeler arranged for him to drive a NASCAR GN (now 'Cup") Ford at the World 600 for Bud Moore. Willy didn't show up for practice because he was in the Charlotte hooscow for speeding the wrong way down a one way street the night before. I may be wrong on a detail or two, but the whole deal fell apart. Will Cronkrite, an independent builder and owner from SC later tried to get sponsorship for Willy to run his 'Cup car but was unsucessful.

    If you want to read about a very successful man of color in early oval track racing, check out this link: Here was a driver from Louisvillle, Ky who was a true pioneer.

    Jan..good drivers are good drivers
  13. The Wrong-Un
    Joined: Oct 8, 2004
    Posts: 410

    The Wrong-Un

    The book "Driving Me Wild: Nitro-powered Outlaw Culture" by Leah M Kerr discusses all types of minorities in racing and is well worth looking out for.

  14. Artiki
    Joined: Feb 17, 2004
    Posts: 2,008

    from Brum...

    In fact, I think Leah M Kerr is a lady of colour herself! A good book, that one. I'd forgotten all about it.
  15. -Brent-
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 6,303


    And his trophy was stolen from him while he disputed the win after the race.
  16. sawbuck
    Joined: Oct 14, 2006
    Posts: 1,891

    from 06492 ct

    as a kid i remember a stock car driver in the north east named Booker T Washington Jones Jr.anyone remember him?
  17. bcfordman
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 53

    from cortez co

  18. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,792

    Member Emeritus

    This is a very interesting thread and really touches home. I'm black and have been into hot rods and things that go fast since my early teens. While black hot rodder numbers are small, we are out there and have always been. My friends of color are into fast cars and while we know we are a small number, we never really think about it. One thing that I have learned, since building my T Bucket, is that hot rodders, regardless of color are bound by our love of cars. It seems to transcend the color barrier. EVERY person I have met and talked to has been what I would consider a friend.

    I was raised not to be prejudice and I truly belive that education will further break down the race barriers.
  19. Lee Martin
    Joined: Jun 17, 2005
    Posts: 740

    Lee Martin

    Here's Malcolm Durham at Aquasco Speedway running his Strip Blazer Corvair:


  20. racer5c
    Joined: Nov 30, 2002
    Posts: 2,218


    Mel Leighton was a friend of my dad, not dry lakes related but you might google a couple of these guys if your interested Charlie Wiggans, who was the A.J. Foyt of the gold and glory sweepstakes, Red Oliver who also ran with Gold and Glory and eventualy worked for Patrick racing, Lincoln Bolt who ran Midgets and Sprint Cars in Ca. As far as hispanic racers Alex Morales is about as famed as it gets in open wheel racing, he did make some kind of overhead conversion for a B engine way back in the day and was an incredible engine man, his cars won MANY California Racing Association championships, and he owned Indy Cars driven by Mike Mosley, Bobby Olivero, Jimmy Caruthers, Bill Vukovich jr., Johnny Ruthorford, just to name a few.
    Google gold and glory sweepstakes to find quite a bit about early african american oval track drivers, also I believe the website is called african americans in motorsports, or AAIM it is run by a guy I went to high school with.
  21. OLLIN
    Joined: Aug 25, 2006
    Posts: 3,076


    what about the guy that got the $1000 deuce roadster? did anyone find out more on the history of the car and the guy who built it?
  22. Bdamfino
    Joined: Jan 27, 2006
    Posts: 363

    from Hamlet, NC

    I remember Tom Medley talking about how sad it was that pioneer Japanese-American lakes drivers Danny Sakai and Yam Oka were placed in interment camps during WWII, and they were Americans!! This is a very important post, the love for the automobile crosses all barriers!
  23. Stone
    Joined: Nov 24, 2003
    Posts: 2,279


    Great post. What about hispanics in the midwest and western area? Did they have it easier than black folks or was it just as hard? I'm sincere in my questions. I have grown up with black friends and white friends and later in life as they moed into the area hispanics friends. My wife is from Mexico. I know that here in the my area of NC whites blacks and indians are into drag racing and motor sports.
  24. crook
    Joined: Oct 10, 2007
    Posts: 375

    from Winder,Ga

    allright now, since ya'll brought it up, the movie "Greased Lightning" was shot, at least in part, right here in Winder,Ga. Some of the dirt track scenes were and I still see the man who played the announcer out and about sometimes. By the way, didn't Pam Grier(Jackie Brown) play Richard's wife....damn ooooh...that chick is fine. I know I split from the original thread some but I couldn't help myself.
  25. Geat thread!Were all just gearheads,no matter what skin colour.:rolleyes:
  26. racer5c
    Joined: Nov 30, 2002
    Posts: 2,218


    Oh I forgot to mention Bill Cosby kind of sponsored my Dads race cars in 1971 through a movie he was in called Man and Boy. My dads cars finished first and second in the USAC National points that year with my brothers driving.
  27. Appleseed
    Joined: Feb 21, 2005
    Posts: 1,053


    Speed knows no color.

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