- Written by webmin
Nobody will ever know, exactly, just how much wild and creative stuff went on inside Smokey Yunick’s garage, mechanical and otherwise. Yunick can’t tell us, other than through his outrageous autobiography, because he died in 2001. Now, the original Smokey’s Garage is gone, reduced to rubble on Monday night after a fire of undetermined origin.
The metal-roofed block building was the first edifice of Smokey’s “Best Damn Garage in Town” complex in Daytona Beach, Florida, and the last part of it still standing. A very partial list of what took place on Smokey’s property was the first race development of Chevrolet’s big-block Mystery Engine, the prepping of factory Hudson Hornets, the creation of variable-ratio power steering, the first winged Indy car, and on and on. Recently, the abandoned garage was being ringed by condo towers. It should have been a NASCAR holy place, maybe even the NASCAR Hall of Fame site, even though Yunick had irascibly insisted on no posthumous memorial, and his longstanding animosity toward Bill France Sr. (read the profanely worded three-volume autobiography) would have precluded it anyway. Still, unquestionably the end of an era.