of the capture of a carload of moonshine, Franklin News Post, February
For their liquor-hauling customers, mechanics enhanced engines for high
performance and modified suspensions so that the cars or trucks rode
level even under a heavy load.
legend says that moonshiners were the forefathers of stock car racing,
but in truth few bootleggers are known to have become oval track drivers.
The real connection between the trade in untaxed alcohol and racing
was made in the mechanic’s garage. Drivers who hauled illegal
liquor wanted their vehicles to look normal to avoid attention, but
they also needed powerful engines that could outrun police and revenue
In building “liquor cars,” mechanics altered suspensions
so that the automobile would ride level even under a heavy load. The
preferred motor for many years was a Cadillac engine. The talents
of the “liquor car” builder were much the same as those
needed to build an oval track racer, and not surprisingly some of
the region’s most successful racing garages had customers in
the bootlegging business.
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O. Stanley: Southwest Virginia’s Genius Engine Builder
| Ferrum College and the Blue Ridge Institute & Museum