1960 Tennessee Bo-Weevil Restored

Beautiful isn't it? This is the just completed restoration of the 1960 Tennessee Bo-Weevil prior to embarking on a journey to Bowling Green KY for this weekend's 10th annual National Hot Rod Reunion.

I stopped by Godman Performance this past Saturday to get an eyeful of the infamous 1960 version of the Tennessee Bo-Weevil that Preston Davis has been restoring as a tribute to Raymond Godman. Preston found what was left of this car near Memphis in somewhat forlorn condition, and a restoration has been in the works for most of the year. I rightly assumed that the National Hot Rod Reunion was a target for completion, and since the event was rapidly approaching, it seemed like a good time to check-in on the progress.

I should have known better, but I wasn't really expecting such a time-capsule perfect restoration of this piece of drag racing history. Yet there it is, from the Halibrand quick-change rear end, to the flat track motorcycle wheels on the front axle. Preston has covered every minute detail of this car with precise accuracy. This was once one of the most feared competition cars in the country and it has been restored as it was when James "Red" Dyer drove it to the runner-up spot at the 1960 NHRA Nationals in Detroit. The final round of the most important race of the year came down to a classic barn-burner of a drag race with the Leonard Harris driven Albertson Olds dragster from California. Although the west coast car won (by a hair), the match-up cemented the Bo-Weevil's reputation as a threat everywhere it appeared. Raymond & Red were even invited by the NHRA to make the first-ever pass down the then new 1/4 mile drag strip in Indianapolis Indiana, which has been the home of the Nationals ever since.

The restoration is truly a visual treat wearing a stunning coat of candy apple red that contrasts beautifully with the white paint on the vintage Chassis Research frame rails. Like a good nitromethane hydrometer reading, this particular Bo-Weevil was right at 98%, only awaiting a fresh white tonneau cover, and a re-done seat to be cackle-ready. Just in case you needed any further reason to to attend the NHRA Father's Day weekend festivities in Kentucky, be advised that the upholstery is now complete, and all four of the restored Bo-Weevils are currently in tow and headed toward Beech Bend Raceway. It should be quite a sight for any drag racing fan, and especially to anyone with a connection to the Memphis Rodders.

So if you can possibly get yourself to Bowling Green Kentucky for the 2012 edition of the National Hot Rod Reunion (June 14th - 16th), take in some local Memphis Rodders history, and appreciate the effort that former Tennessee Bo-Weevil driver Preston Davis expended in bringing this historical race car back to life in honor of his old friend and drag racing pioneer Ray Godman.

This probably won't be the last words I have on this subject, as the car's history, it's restoration, and the people involved with it throughout the years are worthy of many future stories. Stay tuned...