Smokey Yunick--Binder Guy

Discussion in 'Old Dominion Binders Association' started by Foy, Jun 1, 2004.


  1. Foy

    Foy High Wheeler

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    Somewhere or another, most likely in Tech Talk, I read that legendary mechanical genius and all-around character Smokey Yunick was a Binder guy somewhere in his past.

    A couple of weeks back, I picked up the '66 800 from Charles Loyd and my Baltimore friend helpine me (who I failed to convince of the need of a '66 800 in his life) gave me Smokey's autobiography for some favor I'd done him a while back.

    Turns out Smokey was a completely self-taught mechanic who taught himself enough chemistry and physics to pass the academic portions of early WWII pilot training, and he went on to become a B-17 pilot who had many combat missions over the likes of Ploesti (the Romanian oil fields and refinery complex where literally thousands of Allied fliers died), Italy, and deep into Germany. He also flew rescue missions in a specially modified B-17 that carried a Higgins boat beneath. They'd drop the boat under cargo chutes to fliers who'd ditched in the Mediterranean.

    But I digress.

    After the war, Yunick moved from his native PA to Daytona Beach, FL, where he opened a garage and truck dealership. Last night, I turned a page and there was a picture of his sign--a big IH "man on the tractor" emblem, along with Smokey's logo "The Best Damn Garage In Town". Smokey writes that he, at various times, was a dealership for several different makes of medium and heavy trucks, including IH.

    My favorite Smokey story, probably to be seen later in this book, is that NASCAR completely dismantled his fuel system following a race in which he appeared to go much too far on a tank of fuel. They cut the tank open, etc, and never found anything illegal. They left him there at the track at Daytona to get his car home whatever way he could. He confounded them by calmly picking up his fuel system parts, stowing them in the race car, and cranking it up and driving it to his shop several miles away. He later said "I could have driven that car all the way to Jacksonville".

    Foy
     
  2. Mike Price

    Mike Price Binder Driver

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    Hey that's cool Foy-can you give us the name of that book,I would like to read that myself :D ?
     
  3. Dave Nutter

    Dave Nutter Farmall Cub

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    Nice story Foy,I remember reading about Smokey in Hot Rod magazine waaaay waaaay back when I was in High School. That's when men were men,and Scouts were 800s! I'd be interested in title and author too. Thanks!
     
  4. Foy

    Foy High Wheeler

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    Mike and Dave-
    I read a couple more chapters last night, and it's a scream. I won't ruin it for you, but you're sure to enjoy the part when he switched from being a GMC truck dealer and picks up the IH line in 1970.

    The book is part of a boxed set of 3, and to the best of my knowledge, the overall title is "Best Damn Garage in Town--The World According to Smokey Yunick". As I read last night, a card dropped out citing his website where all sorts of Smokey Yunick stuff is available, including, I presume, the book. The site is www.SmokeyYunick.com.

    Enjoy!

    Foy
     
  5. Dana Strong

    Dana Strong Dreams of Cub Cadets

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    In a quick search, this old interesting thread appeared, all because a 'new' old picture of a B-17 appeared online today, reproduced below:

    upload_2018-3-31_20-0-54.jpeg

    December 1942. "Production. B-17 heavy bomber. A skilled team of men and women workers at the Boeing plant in Seattle complete assembly and fitting operations on the interior of a fuselage section for a new B-17F (Flying Fortress) bomber. About half of the workers at the Boeing plant are women. The Flying Fortress has performed with great credit in the South Pacific, over Germany and elsewhere. It is a four-engine heavy bomber capable of flying high altitudes." Photo by Andreas Feininger for the Office of War Information.

    From: http://www.shorpy.com/node/23217?size=_original#caption
     
  6. gpa

    gpa Binder Driver

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    Amazing guy, Smokey. Love the story about burning his bridge with GMC division!.
     

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