Saturday, May 14, 2011

This olelongrooffan Is Seriously Bummed Out

This olelongrooffan has lived in the Birthplace of Speed for dang near three years and have enjoyed exploring my new home and discovering the historic areas located around these here parts.

For years, I have driven by a construction mesh privacy fenced in lot over on Beach Street next to those two newly completed, yet still vacant, condo towers facing the Intracoastal Waterway. Little did this olelongrooffan realize the abandoned structure behind that fence was Smokey Yunick's Best Damn Garage in town!

That was until a couple weekends ago when it mysteriously caught on fire.

This olelongrooffan can only wonder the variety of vehicles that went through this garage door during the life of this building.

Smokey died in 2001 and in 2004 this parcel was sold to a consortium of developers with the plan to build condo towers on it as they did on the parcel to the north.

For whatever reason, there were stacks NASCAR slicks stacked up out front and out back with threaded bolts securing them in place. It appears there was plywood on top of these tires to keep out the weather. Sadly, they are nearly all ruined now.

Ironically enough, I found this fire extinguisher laying out behind his shop near that overhead door.

And this olelongrooffan can only guess at what design secrets were hidden in that file cabinet back in the day.

But actually, it's okay. Smokey always stated he never wanted a shrine in his honor and now, with his garage pretty much destroyed, those hard up real estate developers won't be tempted into turning their investment in to a museum.

And that really let's this olelongrooffan

Celebrate Life.


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Jeremy said...

Smokey was trying to develop a "safety wall" to help cushion crashes. This is what the racing tires that were bolted together were a prototype of. He had seen a good number of drivers injured or killed due to crashes into the wall. Dale Earnhardt comes to mind just before Smokey died. I think energy absorbing walls are now common. If you really want to appreciate this garage site, pick up a copy of Best Damn Garage in Town and get lost in it. If you are a car guy it'll change your life.