It was the mid 1950's. We lived in a small house in a suburban neighborhood in Austin. I was about 6 years old. There came a knock at our door one Saturday afternoon. My dad answered it. I followed. It was our next-door neighbor and another man with him. They talked and my dad followed them outside. I tagged along.
They went to the curb at the neighbor's house. Parked there was a RACE CAR. Wow, I thought. There was something wrong. They lifted the hood and all gathered around it. The motor wasn't running properly. My dad who was a professional mechanic got tools from the garage and began working on the motor. He soon had it runnning smoothly for them.
As it turned out, the man I didn't know was the neighbor's younger brother. He was going to race the car at a nearby track. That night my dad took me and we watched him race. He won the races in that car.
He would return from time to time to visit his brother, so I became acquainted with him. As I reflect upon him now, I can best describe him as being one of those very likeable, larger-than-life, John Wayne type characters you meet very few of in a life time. He would go on to become quite a popular and famous driver in his time. His name was Jud Larson. Tragically, Jud would die in a sprint car crash in 1966.
Here are a couple of clips of his racing back in his day.