Troy Byrd’s Epic Collection of Drag-Racing Relics

Troy Byrd’s Garage Is a Nursing Home for Retired Drag Cars

If you’re looking for organization, Troy Byrd’s garage isn’t the place to find it. However, you will find an epic collection of historic drag cars and a tremendous hoard of vintage speed parts. Troy is 64 years old and has spent the last 45 years wrenching, sanding, and beating on old cars, motorcycles, and just about anything with wheels. He’s painted thousands of cars through the years, and he’s been buying, selling, and trading car junk as well. Lately, though, he has been buying cars and parts that he doesn’t want to sell. His stash of vintage drag cars and parts grows with each passing year, and he’s starting to run out of room. His solution is to find a bigger building.

One of the cars in Troy’s collection is the Hemi-powered dragster featured in the April 2017 issue of HOT ROD. As we were documenting the reconstruction of Jim Smith’s dragster, we realized just how much stuff has accumulated in Troy’s garage. A portion of the garage is still a place he uses to make a living doing paint and bodywork with his partner, Wally Smith, but it’s mostly a gathering place for old hot rodders who want to share memories about the good ol’ days of drag racing.

Many of the cars and parts in Troy’s garage have a rich history. But given enough time, the congregation of car guys can make up a pretty believable story for the random stuff that comes along. Guys like Bill Sims, Tommy Dillard, Denny George, and Mike Walters are “regulars” and they’ve been hanging out together for years.

Among the old drag cars are dozens of vintage racing wheels, scoured from swap meets. Other parts and pieces have been accumulated naturally, but the old drag-racing equipment has really piled on in the last 10 years or so. What one man considers “used-up junk” might be Troy’s latest treasure, and that mindset has led to a garage full of history.

Looking through the 8-foot garage door offers a view that most gearheads can only dream about. Troy Byrd’s garage is packed to the gills with vintage drag cars and rare speed equipment. Highlights include two front-engine dragsters, a Kellison Funny Car, a Simplex motorcycle, a twin-engine go-kart, and a stack of magnesium wheels.
Looking through the 8-foot garage door offers a view that most gearheads can only dream about. Troy Byrd’s garage is packed to the gills with vintage drag cars and rare speed equipment. Highlights include two front-engine dragsters, a Kellison Funny Car, a Simplex motorcycle, a twin-engine go-kart, and a stack of magnesium wheels.
The go-kart is rusty (but complete) and features twin McCulloch two-stroke engines. Nearby are a few of the magnesium wheels: the five-spokes are 15x4-inch American Racing Torq Thrust, while the rears are “pre-American” Romeo Palamides mags wrapped in dusty M&H Racemaster 7.60-15 piecrust slicks.
The go-kart is rusty (but complete) and features twin McCulloch two-stroke engines. Nearby are a few of the magnesium wheels: the five-spokes are 15×4-inch American Racing Torq Thrust, while the rears are “pre-American” Romeo Palamides mags wrapped in dusty M&H Racemaster 7.60-15 piecrust slicks.
There are countless Chevy engine parts sitting around the shop, but this particular engine is special: It’s the original 365hp (L76) that came out of the 1964 Corvette coupe he gave to his son. Sitting on the shelf behind it is the Corvette’s original M-21 Muncie four-speed transmission.
There are countless Chevy engine parts sitting around the shop, but this particular engine is special: It’s the original 365hp (L76) that came out of the 1964 Corvette coupe he gave to his son. Sitting on the shelf behind it is the Corvette’s original M-21 Muncie four-speed transmission.
The first vintage drag car that caught Troy’s eye was this Lyndwood dragster. It has yet to be fully identified and documented, but it was built in 1964 and was one of the final Lyndwood Welding frames offered to the public. The Pete Jackson fuel injection atop the small-block Chevy is also a rare piece.
The first vintage drag car that caught Troy’s eye was this Lyndwood dragster. It has yet to be fully identified and documented, but it was built in 1964 and was one of the final Lyndwood Welding frames offered to the public. The Pete Jackson fuel injection atop the small-block Chevy is also a rare piece.
This 409 engine ran in Don Roberts’ B/Gas-prepared 1955 Chevy in the 1960s. It features an over-the-counter block, filled with the best GM equipment, and it was reportedly built by “Dyno” Don Nicholson. It now features Edelbrock heads and a Comp Cams hydraulic roller and the plan is to recreate Don’s gasser with the hopped-up 409 under the hood.
This 409 engine ran in Don Roberts’ B/Gas-prepared 1955 Chevy in the 1960s. It features an over-the-counter block, filled with the best GM equipment, and it was reportedly built by “Dyno” Don Nicholson. It now features Edelbrock heads and a Comp Cams hydraulic roller and the plan is to recreate Don’s gasser with the hopped-up 409 under the hood.
Even though Troy still has to make a few bucks out of his shop, it’s mostly consumed with old drag cars. He admits that reconstructing Jim Smith’s Hemi-powered dragster is one of the most fun projects to enter the shop.
Even though Troy still has to make a few bucks out of his shop, it’s mostly consumed with old drag cars. He admits that reconstructing Jim Smith’s Hemi-powered dragster is one of the most fun projects to enter the shop.
While he isn’t really one to jump in front of the camera, we caught Troy testdriving Jim Smith’s dragster after pulling it out of the woods. He certainly knows how to have a good time with old cars.
While he isn’t really one to jump in front of the camera, we caught Troy test driving Jim Smith’s dragster after pulling it out of the woods. He certainly knows how to have a good time with old cars.

Source: hotrod.com

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