Locust Fork man rebuilds father’s race car from the 1930s

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LOCUST FORK, Ala. (WIAT) — Alabama has a rich history of racing like Talladega and the Motor Sports Hall of Fame. One part of the state where racing remains popular is Locust Fork.

The sport has been passed down in Mike Massey’s family from generation to generation. His father and uncles raced back in the 1940s and 1950s. The first vehicle they raced with was a 1934 2-door Ford Sedan. His father Sam Massey was known as the Duke of the Speedway.

“My dad. He was….he had real jet black hair and wore a little mustache. Little black mustache. So, he kind of looked like a duke,” Massey said.

As the sport evolved, so did Massey’s race cars. Sam moved the engine, transmission, and other parts of the original vehicle to a newer model. The original body was moved and went missing for decades until a couple of people in Pinson, Alabama found it in the woods in 2018.

“The frame was no good. It had been rusted in half and in two for sitting in the mud for 50 plus years,” Massey said.

Once he and his family got word of it, the car would soon return to the Massey’s.

“My wife gave it to me. She bought it and gave it to me for Christmas,” Massey said.

So, Mike, his neighbor, Tommy Robinette, and friend, Scott Lowery, started rebuilding the car.

“And spending money on it, as we got the money on it, ever since,” Massey said.

After years of work, they were able to get the car running. Most of the body is from the original make. The engine is new but is a 1934 model. The only parts from its glory days are the steering wheel, gas and brake pedal, and Mike’s father’s name on the body.

Both Robinette and Lowery convinced Massey to bring the car to World of Wheels a few weeks ago; however, he was hesitant to bring it.

“Cause I thought…well they got all of those pretty shiny, high dollar cars down there. And motorcycles. I say who’s gonna look at this?” Massey said.

To his surprise, kids were wanting to ride in it and families would stop and read the history of the Massey racing family.

“It means a lot that they really care about these old cars,” Massey said.

Massey says they are still working on some parts of the vehicle, but he is forever grateful to get his dad’s old car running again.


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