Page 69 - NM Spring 2018
P. 69

quintessential, long-established,      As far as how and why I selected   annual Grand Prix Christmas party
        true local speed shop and find out   this particular place as the subject   on Saturday, December 23.  More
        the secret to its longevity among    for this article on “speed shop      about that later, but first here is
        its fast diminishing brethren in the   survival,” I will have to provide   some background…..
        world of high-performance.           a disclaimer.  I met Jon 50 years      In 1968, Jon was racing an
                                             ago right after he opened Grand
          Bingo!  An hour-and-a-half away    Prix’ doors and he became my first   injected Chrysler-powered A/
        and less than a block off Tulsa’s    sponsor when I was racing my Top     Fuel Dragster at area drag strips,
        busy I-244 is the old, original      Gas dragster, with John “Goat”       including the new, purpose-built
        dividing line between the north      Osborn behind the wheel.  With       Southwest Raceway (now Tulsa
                                                                                  Raceway Park).  When Kansas
        and south sides of the city, Admiral   a family, a less-than-great income   City drag racers Ray Motes and
        Place.  It goes for miles, lined     from my job in radio and a busy      Dwane Smith approached Jon with
        with industrial businesses and       racing schedule with the Midwest     a plan to sell him a “Grand Prix
        warehouses, car lots, garages and    All-Stars Top Gas Circuit, breaks    Speed Shop” franchise, the Tulsan’s
        numerous old retail shops and        on parts and occasional lodging      response was, “You bet!”  It was
        restaurants that have declined to    of my car at his shop were really    a quick and simple deal with Jon
        move from that venerable old strip   appreciated and never forgotten.     arranging to trade his race car
        of concrete.  On a corner that closes   I’ve seen and talked with Jon     to the pair in lieu of cash.  Of the
        in on the downtown area is Grand     over the phone and at the races      original twelve franchises at the
        Prix Auto Sports Center, a 50-year   a few times, but had not been in     time, Brook’s business acumen and
        survivor in the speed shop attrition   his business for years.  At his    hard work over the decades has
        wars.                                invitation, I was there for the                     Continued on next page

        Stripped for freshening over the winter, the A/FD shares space with guests at the Christmas party.
        Spring 2018                               Nitro Madness Magazine                                          69
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