A very nice piece — written by Robin Miller of RACER.com, and a member of the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America Class of 2021, (https://www.jayski.com/…/motorsports-hall-of-fame-of…/) to be inducted later this year — about our 1,400-miletrip to Griffith, IN last week to display a tribute race car, a replica of the 1949 “Roarin’ Relic,” which is widely believed to be NASCAR’s oldest remaining original racer, to Mr. Paul Goldsmith — who last drove it 63 years ago.
Mr. Miller’s article:
He’s the oldest living Indianapolis 500 starter, the last driver to win when stock cars ran on the beach in Daytona, a motorcycle champion, a NASCAR winner and the highest-placing NASCAR regular ever at Indianapolis.
And Paul Goldsmith, the 95-year-old treasure who still flies his own airplanes, was reunited with some of his amazing history last week.
Thanks to the efforts of Gray Bostick, Griffin Motors Racing and Team GMR, Goldy got to drive a copy of the modified sportsman known as the Roarin’ Relic that he raced to fifth place on Feb. 21, 1958 — just a couple days before claiming the final Grand National race on the 4.2-mile beach course in Smokey Yunick’s Pontiac.
Goldy, who ran third in the 1960 Indy 500, took it up and down the runaway of his airport in Griffith, Ind. wearing a retro suit that was made for this occasion and then let family, friends and employees unwind the Olds Rocket 88.
“I can tell you that he loved it,” said Bostick, admitted Goldsmith groupie from way back. “And you could tell he was a real racer by how he scanned the dash gauges — and was the only one to drive who did a brake check.”
It was Bostick’s persistence that made this happen as the first meeting got snowed out and when they finally got to Florida, they discovered the original car was in the NASCAR Hall of Fame all painted up with Buck Baker’s name on the car.
“So we recreated the Relic as closely as possible and then we had the car hand-lettered and numbered and even had a couple of decals recreated to ensure an accurate representation.
“We were there all day and Paul never took off his uniform or his smile.”
Thank you, Mr. Miller for assisting us in our efforts to increase AWARENESS of the men and machines of the Historic early years of NASCAR, the drivers and cars that helped it gain traction as a legitimate sport. And THANK YOU, Paul Goldsmith for the many memories, and to the entire staff of GN Aviation for being our gracious hosts — even bringing in Southern-style fried chicken.
Let’s do it again next year!