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Real Un-real Mustang Story
Topic Started: Dec 8 2015, 07:47 PM (252 Views)
Lefturns75
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Terry Beckham Sr. of Joplin Mo. was pretty salty behind the wheel of a race car and pretty good at making something from nothing too. 1970 I think it was, he built and raced the Mustang in the photo for about 3 years, won lots of features and was track champ at my local track a couple of times. I had an chance a number of years ago to sit with Terry and ask some questions about the Mustang and to the best of my memory, this is the way Terry told it to me.
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When the Modifieds died out and the Late Models started taking over in 1970, Terry needed to switch to keep racing. At some point, someone gave him a 1934 ford chassis and along about the same time he was told of a burned mustang and could have the body free. In his words, "While taking a load to the dump one day, I spotted a 1961 Valiant front suspension with torsion bars. I bought it for $2 from the old man that ran the dump". Terry found a 302 and went to work. Yes, a Valiant front suspension grafted to a 1934 ford frame and a mustang body. What gets more bizarre, is the driver sat in the middle, and used a tractor steering box from a 2n or 9n ford tractor. For those that know those, they have a steering arm on BOTH sides and they steer pretty quick. The roll cage was constructed of Drive Shaft Tubing and the interior tin work was corrugated tin like on your barn. Now Terry told me he did buy some tires but lots of times he was allowed to go through the pile of used tires a Marsh Racing Tires in Siloam Springs Ark. Lyle Marsh let Terry do this so many times Terry put Marsh Racing Tires on the hood. Terry raced this ugly little pieced together racer against some big names with some high $ equipment and at times won. Hard to believe but he did it, I watched lots of it happen. I sure do miss the good old days--and Terry too.
Ordinarily I am insane, but I do have lucid moments where I am merely stupid.
I never TRY to hit another car. But when I do I make sure its a Prius.


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Another Rick
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:))) Neat story and a just as neat Mustang racer. Oh yes, the days of salvage yard racers were some wild and woolly times. Thanks for sharing.
I build models because GOD allows me to and because I can't afford the real thing!!
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Bob P.
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Great story, thanks for sharing. You need to build a model of this one.

Bob
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Brian Conn
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2 Corinthians 5:17
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QUOTE (Bob P. @ Dec 9 2015, 05:54 PM)
Great story, thanks for sharing. You need to build a model of this one.

Bob

Yea that MOPAR torsion bar suspension was hard to beat on the dirt tracks.....hey George if your interested the LHS has a complete '60's MOPAR torsion bar set up front stub in the salvage bin(frame stub,K-frame, lower control arms w/ torsion bars etc. etc.)....I can dig it out and send it your direction if you want to build that car.
ON THE WORK BENCH....
Starsky & Hutch Ford Gran Torino (Season 2)
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FOR THE 2018 RACING SEASON
1978 Mustang II Hatchback dirt Late Model

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dirttrackdave
dirttrackdave
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Wow, great story,here in N.Y.mods are king of hill and killed our late mods.
was cheaper to move up to the 358 c.i. mods and better pay out.Loved to
see little guy beat big$$$ teams.Can't believe tech inspect let that cage
pass.Only thing not done to ours was x rays and take it to lunch!
Great car,make a great model subject.Miss that time, could tell make
and model.hope you have more stories to share!




:)))
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Lefturns75
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Almost 30 years ago, Terry told me two racing stories that go with the little mustang. I will do my best to re-tell those here to the best of my old memory.

At the beginning of the 1972 or 73 season, Terry had a 351 he had been collecting parts for to use as his no.1 engine. He was late getting it together and stuffed it in the Stang on a Sat. Morning and fired it up. It tuned ok but he noticed the distributor didn't seat well with the intake and leaked oil. Now I don't know my Ford parts that well but he had the wrong distributor for THAT 351. It would mesh with the cam gear and drive the oil pump but would not go far enough into the intake to seat. He and the crew figured to fix it at the track when they arrived and made the 100 mi. trip to Crawford County Speedway in Ark. While fooling with the car in the pits, he used a punch to try and seat the distributor in the intake, still unaware it was the wrong part. The punch slipped and he punched a hole in the water jacket of the manifold. After some quick thinking, he cut a length of wire from the fence between the pits and pit road. He and the crew stuffed a shop rag around the base of the distributor and WIRED the distributor in position for timing. He then took a small branch from a near by oak tree, whittled a plug and drove it in the intake water port. After adjusting the wired up distributor again to adjust the timing, he rolled out on the track and won the 20 lap A feature. Terry always said, "Nothing can beat dumb luck".

Another time at the same track, Terry was mid-season point leader on mid season champ night and had a little room in points lead. During the first heat, he tangled with two other cars and bent an A frame and tie rod. Without a good finish in the heat, he would have to finish no lower than 2nd in the A main to keep his points lead. While pulling the right front apart to repair the bent pieces, the upper ball joint fell apart in about 4 pieces. They looked everywhere but no spare was to be had. They repaired the bent parts and put the ball joint back together the way it fell out and hoped for the best. Terry finished 2nd and took the mid-season champ money that night. A cool $1000. He told me he did buy a new ball joint.
Ordinarily I am insane, but I do have lucid moments where I am merely stupid.
I never TRY to hit another car. But when I do I make sure its a Prius.


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