Subject: Mike, can you help me?
From: "Dan Stoner" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, June 28, 2005 9:22 am
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I just came across your site and I love it! My name is Dan Stoner,
Chief at GARAGE magazine in San Francisco. I'm doing a story right now
on a '51 Henry J gasser that ran in the San Francisco Bay Area back in
the late 60s-early 70s. It was owned by a guy named Jim Savoy (who also
owned an auto parts store).
I'm having real trouble finding pictures of the Savoy Auto Parts '51
Henry J gasser. I've tracked down Jim Savoy, it's first owner, as well
as his son and brother-in-law (who both used to crew on the car). The
stories they've told me are absolutely amazing--nothing short of what
you'd expect from probably the only black-owned and driven drag racing
team in the late 60s-early 70s. They were based in SF and raced at
Fremont, Champion, Half Moon Bay and probably even Sacramento.
You may have heard of the car: a guy named Toby Maciel in Oakdale, CA
now owns it and it's in all it's original faded glory paint. Speaking
of which, it started out as a white car with black dots, then wore a
bright green paint job and was called "The Green Dragon" or the "Green
Monster" or some such thing. Then, it was painted purple and a shrunken
head with a bone through its nose on the door and was called "Soul To
Jim lost the car when the warehouse it was stored in (in San Francisco)
was sold and emptied out in the early 80s. It floated around for a few
years and was apparently raced at Sacramento in the 80's. Also, at some
point, the "Soul To The Bone" graphics became offensive to folks at Sac
and the owner was convinced to paint over the doors with picnic
table-red paint (which is still on the car). Toby saw it at the Sac
swapmeet and bought it 3-4 years ago.
Jim doesn't have any pictures of it after his house burned down back in
the late 70s-early 80s, his son and Brother-In-Law can't find any since
they haven't even thought of that car in over 20 years. He thinks a guy
named Willy Stafford (I think that's his name) in Tennessee may have
pictures of the car--I guess this Willy guy took lots of pictures at
the digs back in the day. Maybe you've heard of him or someone whose
name is close to that?
Anyway, I'm pulling my hair out--I have no old pics of this car and I
just know some have to be out there somewhere. The old guys in this
area remember the car as a lethal street racer and everyone's eyes pop
when I mention that car "Oh, that thing was scary fast!" is usually
what I hear.
Is there any way you can shed some light on this thing or point me in
the right direction? I'm running up on my deadline in a few weeks and
I've sent emails to the guys at nitrogeezers.com, standard1320.com and
dragracingphotographs.com. No word from any of them yet, but I just
sent the emails yesterday.
Thanks in advance for all your help, Mike and it sure would be great if
you could help me on this thing!!
1072 Folsom Street
San Francisco, CA 94103