A Homecoming for a Family Treasure
by Roger Lee
March 1963, Famoso Drag Strip at the Smokers Inc. Car Club United States Fuel and Gas Championships, Masters and Richter Special Top Fuel Dragster set Top Speed of the Meet at 194.88 miles per hour with “Big” Bob Haines driving. On February 17, 1963 the Masters & Richter Special ran 196.92 at Fremont Drag Strip.
M&R Special; photo by Martin Libhart
The Masters & Richter Team members earned their way into the Smokers Inc. 190 Mile Per Hour Club and were awarded Club Jackets to be worn proudly. During 1963 , Masters and Richter Special would set track records up and down the west coast running as fast as 197.96 mile per hour track speed record at Deer Park Drag Strip near Spokane , Washington. The Jackets kept piling up.
Yesterday I received a private message from Martin Libhart of Nostalgia Drag World magazine:
“Roger, I received this message at Nostalgia Drag World: "I am trying to contact Roger Lee. I think he may be interested in this jacket we have, as it belonged to Sid Masters. Thanks." It came from Lynda Dxxxxx - her email address is: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, I told her I would have you contact her. Cool !!”
The world had stop turning at that point. I emailed her, found her on Facebook, PM her and went on a People Search. Then my phone rang a few minutes later. It was Lynda. OMG !
Lynda came across this Jacket at a Goodwill distribution location and thought it was special. She grew up in the 1960s and the car seen that was going. Then, when she got home, she spent 2 days looking for the origin. Smokers Inc. Car Club history, learned about the 1963 race and who was “ Masters” that was sewn on the Red Club Jacket.
Roger Lee is now the caretaker of this Sid Masters jacket, a piece of drag racing history. Photos courtesy of "Riceman"
Lynda kept finding out information and called the NHRA Museum and talked with Gregg Sharp, Museum Curator. Gregg told her about Sid Masters and Richter and their Dragster. As she kept finding out about Masters & Richter, my name showed up, Roger “Riceman” Lee.
Lynda kept finding out information and had to get in contact with me. She knew that this jacket was Special and belonged in its rightful place. I SPEAK FOR THE Masters and Richter Families & Team, THANK YOU Lynda!
Who had it all these years is unknown. Found in Sacramento area, which was the last location the Masters & Richter Top Fuel Dragster was based with Russ Lewis driving before getting sold.
Today this Trophied Jacket, another part of the history now rests with the other Trophied Jackets I have and the recreated M & R Special. I am just the caretaker.
Thank you Lynda for rescuing a piece of history that means so much to so many.
Roger "Riceman" Lee
Nostalgia Drag World - by Roger Lee; M&R Special photo by Martin Libhart, Martin Libhart Photographey
<<<PREVIOUS PAGE NEXT PAGE>>>