There is a year or sometimes years in someone’s life that is or are so special or so extraordinary; the year: you get married, your children are born, your first love, your first car. Other than the year I married and the birth years of my children.
1969! was the year for me – it was unbelievable!
I was 24 years old; my performance shop (East Providence Welding Company) was building race cars. I built several national record holders; involved with an Exhibition wheel stander. The Super Hemi-Bug, funny cars (Tasca Ford, King and Marshall), Frank Federici’s The Shark (built the chassis).
I was campaigning a sports car in Region I and had two drag cars running the drag circuit on the east coast: a 1968 Mustang B stock & a 1969 Pontiac Firebird B stock automatic. One of our builds that year was Jay Leno’s first car, 1967 Oldsmobile 442 red convertible.
It was a fun year! A great year! The Apollo 11 astronauts: Neil A. Armstrong and Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr., take their first walk on the Moon! Woodstock was two days in the mud! Indy 500 was on the backup team for Mario Andretti! Street racing during the week, track racing on the weekends!
The muscle car industry was at its peak: 427 in Mustangs, Hemis in Cudas, 454 in Corvettes. After 1969, the car industry took a downward slant with bigger bodies, smaller horsepower motors, and having to deal with a lot of the emission junk!
Overall, 1969 was a great year for me! I hope everyone can look back and say they had a special year. too! Maybe this year will be yours!
Keep them Rolling!
Note: Our industry just lost Tom “The Mongoose” McEwen – one of the great names in racing, R.I.P. Tom, Passed on June 10, 2018. A great write up in Wikipedia about Tom’s life: wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_McEwen_(drag_racer)