Grandma Was a Drag Racer

Seventy-two year old grandma Anne Armstrong used to be a drag racer. You wouldn’t know it by looking at her, but back in the day she was a hardcore Mopar girl, with a hankerin’ for kicking ass and smokin’ Chevys. Along with her husband Jack, they were regulars at Detroit area drag strips and street duels back in the late ’50’s early 60’s.  Anne even won races while she was pregnant! A Detroit area newspaper brings us the story.

Married in 1958, the Armstrong’s first car was a green 1959 Plymouth with a 305HP Commando V-8 and they wasted no time laying rubber around town. Anne piloted the car on it’s maiden run at Detroit’s “Dirty D,” drag strip and when she dusted a ’55 Chevy, the loudspeaker boomed, “Will you look at that — the man sends his wife out for a loaf of bread and look where she ends up..”  Needless to say Anne was hooked.

They raced the Plymouth for a bit longer, but ultimately they wanted something more. They spotted a new Bermuda turquoise ’62 Chrysler 300 in a showroom, and after some careful planning, ordered a stripper 300 and called it the “Beautiful Brute.” They raced and tinkered with the car, swapping engines until a 600HP HEMI was thumping under the hood. The 300 had morphed into such a beast that Anne said “you didn’t steer it, you kind of aimed it…”

They retired the car in ’65 and the 300 sat until 1998 when Jack and Anne decided to restore the car.  Sadly, Jack passed suddenly before it was completed, handing the torch off Anne to finish the project.



About the author

Dave Cruikshank

Dave Cruikshank is a lifelong car enthusiast and the Editor of Rod Authority. A zealous car geek since birth, he digs lead sleds, curvy fiberglass, kustoms and street rods.
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