Register now to get rid of these ads!

Folks Of Interest Charlie Wiggins

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Ryan, Jan 18, 2021.

  1. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 19,695

    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

    Ryan submitted a new blog post:

    Charlie Wiggins


    Continue reading the Original Blog Post
    VF-1, kool 52, Nostrebor and 24 others like this.
  2. jetnow1
    Joined: Jan 30, 2008
    Posts: 1,803

    from CT
    1. A-D Truckers

    Just learned something, thank you.
  3. fegsta
    Joined: May 17, 2020
    Posts: 323


    Really good. It's grate that the automobile can brake boundary's. I've found that from all walks of life the car of choice can make perfect strangers start up a conversation. And people with the same interests in cars can become life long friends.

    Sent from my KOB-L09 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  4. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 19,695

    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

    I think automobiles and other forms of "like thinking" can go a long way to breaking down boundaries for white guys like you and me... So much so, that I think it's easy to forget that it isn't so easy for our black buddies.

    Here's an example:

    I don't remember the year, but Willy T. Ribbs was the first black guy to test an F1 car. Another F1 driver who's a friend of mine was reminded of this and his response was "I'll be damned... I kind of forgot Willy was black. He's just Willy to me."

    And that's awesome. We need more of that. BUT, I promise you that Willy has never been afforded the opportunity to forget that he was black. No matter the tools he has to break down those barriers, he's always had to work them.

    I'm trying not to preach here, but I'm pretty passionate about this stuff. The black people in my life have always instilled this in me... and it sort of gets amplified by the natural maverick/mamba mentality that my old man passed to me.

  5. KJSR
    Joined: Mar 7, 2008
    Posts: 2,405

    from Utah
    1. Utah HAMBers

    Great write up and video. Thanks for the learning!
    Stogy likes this.
  6. krylon32
    Joined: Jan 29, 2006
    Posts: 7,285

    Alliance Vendor
    from Nebraska

    Great story, so appropriate for today.
    Stogy and Jalopy Joker like this.
  7. Kinda on the opposite end of the racing spectrum my dad knew a lot of drivers in NASCAR he was good friends with David Pearson and I grew up around people involved with stock car racing.

    I met Wendell Scout in 65/66 and my day told me the man really loved racing because the cards were stacked against him, being black in the South he received more than his share of boo's and hisses but he fought the odds and raced what he had and was able to compete.

    As the story goes he was denied entry to many races until Bill France approached him and welcomed him into the nascar family. HRP
  8. Belle53
    Joined: Aug 13, 2019
    Posts: 39


    i met and talked to Willie T Ribbs several times when he was involved with the Trans-AM series... he was a character
  9. Healeykid
    Joined: Aug 30, 2013
    Posts: 26


    Ryan - this is a great story! Never knew that history of racing at the Indiana Fairgrounds, despite living in Indy for a couple of years, very cool. I just finished Don Pruhdomme's book and it is very eye opening as well as to what he went through with race during the 1960s and 1970s. A little bit outside of the HAMB, but Big Willie Robinson and the Terminal Island drag way is another great example of racing and cars bringing people of all walks of like together.
    Stogy, Jungle Jalopy and Jalopy Joker like this.
  10. Nacifan
    Joined: May 19, 2011
    Posts: 95


    There was also greats like Rajo Jack. Rajo Jack 1.jpg Rajo Jack 1a .jpg Rajo Jack trophy 1 .jpg
    I just love this era of open wheel racers...
  11. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 19,695

    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

    Rajo was a pure driver. A lot of people think he was the most talented wheel on the west coast in the late 1930's and through the 40's... Never raced at Indy, because he could never "pass" his physical. He won just about everywhere else though...
  12. brjnelson
    Joined: Oct 13, 2002
    Posts: 513


  13. Malcolm
    Joined: Feb 9, 2006
    Posts: 7,720

    from Nebraska

    Very fitting for Martin Luther King Day. Thank you for sharing this @Ryan !
  14. fegsta
    Joined: May 17, 2020
    Posts: 323


    Yes I agree with you

    Sent from my KOB-L09 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    Stogy and Jungle Jalopy like this.
  15. Michael Ottavi
    Joined: Dec 3, 2008
    Posts: 131

    Michael Ottavi

    Thank you for great post, something to think about today.
    Stogy and Jungle Jalopy like this.
  16. tractorguy
    Joined: Jan 5, 2008
    Posts: 691


    I was around Willy T. Ribbs both in the paddock areas of Road America Elkhart Lake Wisconsin during several races and in the pit area at Indianapolis during practice. Always seemed pretty intense and on the job at hand. Especially Trans Am was a great series during the time frame that Willy and many other legends were very aggressively competing .
    Several months ago I stumbled into the "Uppity" documentary on NetFlix and would highly recommend it.
    I see that Willy is scheduled to compete in the new SRX Series in 2021 . SRX was conceived by Tony Stewart and Ray Evernham to put a wide range of drivers into copycat cars like the old IROC series. They will be racing on everything from small ovals to road courses. Could be VERY interesting.
  17. Charlie Wigens, Rojo Jacks and Will T. Ribbs did a lot but are far from the only black race drivers who should be honored.

    Wendell Scott

    Benny Myers who raced in the North Country of N.Y.-

    Booker T. Jones from Springfield, MA who raced modifieds. One of the nicest guy in the world and would often give up his car to someone who needed a ride in a points race who's car was wrecked
    upload_2021-1-18_12-19-13.png upload_2021-1-18_12-19-42.png upload_2021-1-18_12-20-45.png upload_2021-1-18_12-25-56.png upload_2021-1-18_12-26-42.png

    Malcom Durham

    Stone Woods and Cook.
  18. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 26,626

    Jalopy Joker


    Sent from my SM-G930V using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  19. Great post for this day boss...

    It's a real shame that many of these guys have had to wait for the recognition they deserve but better late than never I guess. The one that brought it home for me was discovering fairly recently that the SWC team featured Doug 'Cookie' Cook for one reason (besides his driving skills) because being white, he didn't get any flack when entering or representing the team.

    Excellence doesn't recognize race (or gender).
    Jungle Jalopy likes this.
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,210


    I street raced in Detroit, for decades, 1, 2, 3 am. In Detroit. Joy road, Martin Luther King and 16th, Jefferson south of the bridge (in front of Yellow Freight for the locals), 7 mile, French Rd by Det City Airport. Now I'll admit French Rd made me nervous but not for the brotherhood among the racers. The crowd stood way too close to the cars and felony assault or vehicular manslaughter was the result of injury or fatality. No thanks. Color? Ethnicity? WTF was that? We were there to race regardless of race and unless you were there, in the thick of it, bustin balls or shuckin and jivin it's hard to put that bortherhood into words. The aroma of Turbo Blue, the burnt metal smell of a blue bottle tune up, burning rubber, the sounds, the catcalls, the thrill of victory, and yes the "muthafucka!" of defeat too. Money flyin around without a care in the world. And the whole world could pick just 1 lesson of all that. We know what it is, we know why today is a good spot to bring it up, and I will forever long for the day when we embrace our differences as kindly we embrace our commonalities. Nobody gave a shit, and the old timers we bump in to in the pits now and again, we still don't. Peace and harmony amongst the mechanical mayhem of street racing. Dichotomy? Oxymoron? I like to think humanity. Car people always seem to have just wee bit more, yes?
    VANDENPLAS, Jungle Jalopy, GZ and 6 others like this.
  21. Charlie Wiggins sounds like one of those guys you just wish you could sit around a dinner table or a garage or a pit with and listen to stories. Huge respect.

    There's a Willy T. Ribbs documentary. I haven't seen it but it looks good.

    It's shameful that even today black drivers still have to put up with the BS that they do.
    VANDENPLAS, Jungle Jalopy and Malcolm like this.
  22. BrerHair
    Joined: Jan 30, 2007
    Posts: 4,637


    Damn. Now that’s cool. Great tribute and all, but that’s pretty fucking cool.
    Jungle Jalopy likes this.
  23. Jive-Bomber
    Joined: Aug 21, 2001
    Posts: 3,421


    I can recommend "Uppity - The Willy T Ribbs Story", produced by Adam Carolla. It's well done.
    Jungle Jalopy and tractorguy like this.
  24. Jive-Bomber
    Joined: Aug 21, 2001
    Posts: 3,421


    By the way, we featured Wendell Scott as Piston Cup racing legend 'River Scott' in Cars 3...
  25. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 4,923


    I totally agree with this statement.

    It seems lately we're constantly reminded of our differences, whether they be cultural, political, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status.... whatever. It creates an "us vs. them" mentality and divides us. But when you have common ground with someone, it's much more difficult to see someone as as outsider.

    Being into cars, and especially this small niche of ours in the traditional genre, has it's own vernacular. It's immediately recognizable. And if someone speaks it and lives it, then that person is one of us. It's really that simple. It transcends race or some other status within a group.

    Great post for today. And every day.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2021
  26. Great post. A lot of people believe that the Country's opinion of segregation in the 1950's (which led to the Civil Rights Era) started to turn in churches. I believe that it was Rhythm and Blues and Rock and Roll that changed the heart of America.

    Ray Charles, James Brown, Little Richard (to name a few) blaring through the AM radio went a long way to make great steps in the right direction. Those tunes changed the right hearts at the right time.

    Today, we celebrate a great man with a great vision. Dr. King will always be very Rock and Roll to me, man. May you rest in peace, sir. I live my life to be like you.

    Last edited: Jan 18, 2021
    VANDENPLAS, Stogy and Jungle Jalopy like this.
  27. GZ
    Joined: Jan 2, 2007
    Posts: 1,080

    from Detroit

    A great story and an even better message. Thank you for sharing this with us.
    fegsta, Stogy and Jungle Jalopy like this.
  28. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 19,510


    Thanks for sharing part of the big picture...guts, glory and hell, for many it was a bigger struggle that's still being

    I appreciate that they stood up and took many a Checkered Flag...and that some saw through the injustice from so many directions...

    I have shared Rajo a number of times...this hobby has proven itself diverse despite hurdles...My thoughts go out to those who paved the rocky road...
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2021
    VANDENPLAS, fegsta and Jungle Jalopy like this.
  29. Jungle Jalopy
    Joined: Mar 31, 2010
    Posts: 263

    Jungle Jalopy

    Thanks for shining a light on this story, Ryan. upload_2021-1-18_20-55-35.jpeg
    lurker mick, VANDENPLAS and Stogy like this.

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!


Copyright © 1995-2021 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.