Hi again everyone! I was sitting around today and thought of an interesting idea. My dad loved dirt track racing and he was involved with it for several years. I don’t really know if he ever actually drove a car but he loved to build them and see how well they would compete against the others. He had several drivers throughout the years. I will begin with what I know about the early years and then perhaps carry this on in several other posts.
As I said, I am not really sure when my dad got interested in racing. All I know is that from as far back as I can remember he was doing it. When I was younger Dad would travel from Dallas to Paris to race on Saturday nights. I always enjoyed going but I don’t remember a lot of the races because I was always playing under the bleachers with the other kids. There were several drivers involved with Dad. I think I remember his nephews, Larry Spangler and Jerry Spangler driving for him at one time. If I am mistaken then perhaps a family member reading this can correct me. I also remember a man named Wyman Bates driving for Dad. I hadn’t thought about him for a while but then I saw him at my cousin’s funeral and it all came back to me.
Some of Dad’s early cars are not anything to brag about. There was one that everyone nicknamed “The Tin Can” because it had about 1/2 of the back end of a ’57 Chevy and the rest was Sunbeam Bread signs. There weren’t any rules saying you couldn’t do that and it made the car so light that it was very fast but, if I remember right, hard to control. Needless to say the rules were altered the following year and “The Tin Can” was retired.
I found an old photo recently of another car that I just don’t remember. Looking at the picture I can understand why. I’m not sure who drove this car but it is obviously one of Dad’s because he is posing with it and the number 38 is what he loved using. I’m not totally sure but the picture looks like it was taken on North 1st Street in Paris, Texas. It could be that it was also one of Jerry Spangler’s cars and Dad was just posing with it. I just thought I would include it in this story. It helps to further see how much Dad loved racing.
Last but not least in this portion of this story is one of Dad’s favorites. When I mention the name of the car you will know it was about 1972 when the picture was taken. That is my mother in the picture. This one was one where Dad went all out. He had shirts made up with pictures of the car and Mom had a shirt also. It was pretty awesome. I don’t really remember if he took this one to Paris or if this is the one where he made the transition to Crandall. Either way, it was one of his better cars and I do remember it very well.
This has been short and sweet but it is something I wanted to do. I just had my Dad on my mind today and I remembered how much he loved racing. I thought this would be a great little series to put on my blog. I’ll continue with more in the near future.
I really do miss him!
Take care everyone!