When S&S Automotive in Locust Fork held their annual cruise-in classic car show in March, there were around 75 unique and antique automobiles on display. Those gathered also enjoyed Dutton’s Seafood crawfish boil while they strolled through the rows of cars.
One of the cars at the event was a very special restoration, especially for Locust Fork’s Massey family. The car, an old 1934 race car, is now owned by Mike Massey who works at Massey’s Auto Parts in Locust Fork.
The car was discovered by a couple of rescue personnel during their search for a missing person. They noticed the car along with a few others abandoned in the woods. After the search concluded, they contacted the landowners to see if they could remove the car. When the car was finally moved, even though there was barely any lettering left, the name “Sam Massey” could still be seen written across the top and above the door frame.
The only “Masseys” the gentlemen knew lived in Locust Fork. That’s when Mike Massey received a call about the car.Massey then bought the family heirloom, and with the help of his friends and racing buddies Scott Lowery and Tommy Robinette, began the restoration.
“It’s taken three years to get it where it is now,” Massey said. “We want it to look like an old race car and that’s exactly what it looks like, bents, dents, and everything included. Road Rage Garage near Philadelphia Church did some of the metal work. The car has been sitting out in the woods and mud for almost 50 years.
“See, daddy (James “Sam” Massey) used to have a buddy that helped him race.When they got through racing this old car, they wanted to upgrade so they took it down to a guy’s garage in Crosston. He pulled out the motor, transmission, radiator, and rear end of the car. They pulled what was left into the woods behind his house and it’s stayed there more than 50 years.”
This is the only car left out of about 30 that his dad and uncles raced over a span of 25 years. The “J2” on the car stands for the start of the siblings’ first names: James “Sam,” Joe, Jack, John, and Jane Massey and it was the second race car. They originally had another one named J1.
Sam Massey raced in the 1940s and quit in the mid 1960s. Mike Massey followed in his dad’s footsteps. He has been racing cars since 1980. He said he is the “second wave” of racers in his family. He, Lowery, and Robinette all race together.They currently have a Mustang they race at Huntsville Speedway.
The pair convinced Massey to enter the restored race car at the World of Wheels this year. “I was a little hesitant at first thinking no one would be interested,” he said. “But I was wrong. The car got a lot of attention even appearing on Channel 42 news.”
This was not an easy restoration, but a very memorable one for Massey.When asked about this restoration a big smile comes across his face.