Museum showings may come and go, but history is forever. It's unfortunate the recent display of historic '40s- and '50s-era track roadsters at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum (www.nhra.com/museum) in Pomona, California, couldn't stick around as long as some of the restored vehicles have. The display was a fascinating glimpse into a rarely seen or talked about facet of auto racing.
Racing in circles was different back then-way different. But from these dangerous dirt ovals was born a racing sport that today's organizers, with their super speedways and $7 hot dogs, owe everything to. Not a lot of the original race cars still exist (they had been hammered on for years), but luckily, a few have managed to survive (and some are still with their original owners!).
You can't go forward without first understanding your past, and the names of the drivers associated with dirt oval racing read like a who's who of the automotive aftermarket. Many racers, because they had to figure it out themselves, went on to supply the burgeoning racing industry with engine and suspension parts they'd developed at the track.
In conjunction with some of the other articles in this issue of Kit Car about how prolific the Model T roadster was (and continues to be), we present a little history lesson for those folks who may want to build a dirt oval-inspired T roadster for the street.