Our generation of stock car racing grew out of the many dirt tracks across America. They were half mile and quarter mile speedways built in farm fields and vacant parcels in urban areas. The best part of summer for me was going to the races every Wednesday night. The races at the Southern Iowa Fair Grounds in Oskaloosa, Iowa are still some of the most exciting I have every seen. My friends and I talked about the last race all week. We kept track of what the local hero was doing to his car and what he would do to our perceived villain the next week. I have been trying to find a good dirt track with that kind of racing for years. I don’t know that I ever will.
What does all the nostalgic talk have to do with cars? I have always dreamed of having a dirt track race car to drive on the street. Not a daily driver, just something to raise hell in. Most of all I just want to go out in the garage, climb into it and imagine I am Ernie Derr, or Ramo Stott, or even Dick Hutcherson tearing up the Southern Iowa Fair Grounds during the County Fair. Man that would be heaven.
I found someone who did my dream one better. Lance Smith built a vintage dirt track race car, vintage races it and has it set up to drive on the street.
Our Feature Cars are always something different, something you won’t see at your everyday cruise-in. This car fits that description to a “T”. It is a real race car out of the NE circuit where modifieds rule the tracks.
It now has a passenger seat, headlights, taillights including turn signals and a windshield. I didn’t see any windshield wipers and I am not sure about a horn. The pipes are so loud I am not sure you need one, just “burp” the throttle once and it is better than any horn.
Lance pulled this car out of the garage and ran it down the street and around the block for me. A local cop went by and no hassle. This is certainly not a daily driver nor is it something you want to take on an extended trip to a car show but man when you drive it you better be ready for some attention.
It now has a very streetable 454 big block and a M22 four speed. Considering what this little stripped down beast must weigh it has got to be a delightful handful on the street.