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Drag racing pioneer series part deux

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Roothawg, Aug 4, 2005.

  1. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 18,511


    Drag Racing Pioneers , Part 2​

    Cody and Liz Parr are the owners of Parr Automotive. Parr Automotive caters to the street rod industry as a source for aftermarket and custom parts. Parr Automotive has become one of the industry leaders in the street rod market but they weren’t always this successful. They had meager beginnings.

    Cody was born in 1938 to Don and Sybil Parr. His birth place was a sharecropper’s shack in Hollis, Oklahoma. Don and Sybil struggled to make it as a sharecropper and decided to leave Hollis when Cody was one year old. Don loaded all their possesions in the car and drove out of Hollis. After approximately 50 miles they came to a crossroad and Don asked Sybil where she wanted to live. They couldn’t decide, so Don flipped a coin. Heads, they would go to Oklahoma City, tails they would move to Amarillo, Tx. Heads it was, so off to Oklahoma City they went.

    Don started working as a car mechanic and built a 2 bay cinder block garage on N.W. 10th street, where Parr Automotive now stands. It was out of this cinder block building that Cody started his racing career. Cody raced circle track cars on the dirt in 1952 at age 14 at a track in Northwest Oklahoma City. At the age of 16, Cody was introduced into drag racing. There was a dirt drag strip in Moore, OK where Cody ran his 1938 Chevy Coupe. He saw his first NHRA event at Great Bend, Kansas and was hooked after that.

    So how did Parr end up selling parts? Well, a guy stopped by his shop one day, trying to get Cody to stock his speed parts. His name, Vic Edelbrock, Jr. Cody agreed to start carrying a line of speed parts for the local racers. In 1956 Cody met a guy by the name of Dean Moon at the 1956 NHRA Nationals, he also was starting a line of aftermarket parts that he would like Cody to carry. The rest is history.

    When asked about the best part of drag racing in the early days, he talked of the days before sponsorship and corporate America. He told a story of a group of racers that were so broke they had to sleep on the floor of a local racers house in Arkansas. Among those racers, a guy by the name of Eddie Hill from Texas. Ever heard of him?

    Something happened one day, that would change his life forever. While skating at "The Rocket Rink," Cody found someone that caught his eye, it was Liz. He must have liked what he found because they dated for 4 years and have been married for 49 years. Liz says she should be awarded a "lifetime achievement" award for this effort. Although, Liz was quick to remind Cody that their wedding had to be postponed so that Cody could race in the 1956 NHRA Nationals. It sounded reasonable to us.

    Cody has had 3 roadsters thus far. He had the 1st roadster that is pictured above, which started life as a circle track dirt racer. This car had a blown Cadillac in it. Cody decided to run the supercharger after being eliminated in the 1956 NHRA semifinals. He lost to Reath automotive from California which ran a blown Chrysler. The next season the carb was gone. This car was restored by Chris and John LeGrange in the late 80’s and then sold to Wendell Jordan III of Fort Worth, TX where the car still remains. It has an injected 301 Chevrolet in it now.

    The second creation was a more streamlined version with an enclosed fiberglass top and ran a blown 310 CID small block Chevrolet. This car was sold and later stolen and never be seen again.

    Cody set the AA/Altered roadster national record and won the Division 4 trophy in Louisiana. He cut the record by .3 of a second . This record had stood for 4 years.

    Cody has been collecting parts for the last few years to complete his third roadster , which is a clone of this car.

    He even paired up with the original cam manufacturer and had the cam ground to the original specs. Cody even retained the aluminum sheetmetal scoop, that was built by one of the original Eliminators, Don Aday.

    Cody recently attended the NHRA event in Great Bend , KS. where he was having some handling problems. It seems that the car has some inherit bouncing problems. It bounced so violently that his neck brace came off and the parachute deployed. They think they have it narrowed down to the tires. Goodyear has recently came out with a vintage styled tire that he is hoping may alleviate his problem.

    This interview yielded a lot more information than I had space for. This was just the tip of the iceberg.

    I appreciate the Parr family taking the time out to share these great memories with me. Hopefully, this will preserve some of Oklahoma’s drag racing history for the young racers to come.


    Attached Files:

  2. hey man,

    thats awesome, thanks for posting!!!

  3. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 18,511


    Anyone know how to put the pics where they belong in the story. I have never figured that out.....
  4. FiddyFour
    Joined: Dec 31, 2004
    Posts: 9,013


    only way to do that that i know of is to host the images off Ryans server,,, photo bucket or some such, and then type your "story" in between the pics...

    much like this, i made this image hoping to have it blown up and printed so i can hang it on the wall of the garage.


    i think it pretty much sums up most of the makeup of my "creative juices".
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  5. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 18,511


  6. man-a-fre
    Joined: Apr 13, 2005
    Posts: 1,311


    really cool.bttt
  7. Radshit
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 1,420


    Very bitchin!
  8. igorw
    Joined: Jun 17, 2005
    Posts: 188


    Very nice, I can't get enough of old time drag racing history. Thanks !

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