Way Back When, March 24, 2014
Nothing says spring like the sight and sounds of classic cars and hot rods emerging from Grand Valley garages. Gary Taylor sent me this poster and I got all revved up at the prospect of sharing it. I called Tom Logue, the possessor of the treasure, and he brought me down an entire scrapbook that his mother, Vivian, had put together for her husband, James Thomas Logue.
The scrapbook’s full of original family photographs and Daily Sentinel newspaper clippings featuring Robert Grant photos.
In the late ‘40s, Tommy Logue Sr. worked for Power Petroleum, located at Fourth and White where the Alpine Bank parking lot is now. In 1952, he went to work for the police department and because the chief didn’t feel that drag racing was conduct becoming of an officer, Logue gave up driving the cars and became the official flagger for the weekly races at the Flies brothers’ Grand Speedway. The department had one Harley-Davidson in the fleet, and Logue was the only officer lucky enough to ride it. He was called upon regularly to escort funeral processions. Logue retired from the department in the 1980s and passed away just a few years ago.
In his racing days, he excelled at driving the “Midgets” — racecars built from the ground up with higher performance than the stock cars. He consistently won, but most of those winnings went right back into the car. Santy’s Café & Lounge was the premier place to dine, and having them as a sponsor meant that your entry fees were paid and they helped where they could with building the car and making repairs. Bill’s Body Shop, Rainbow Grill, Laycock Motors, Jack’s Radiator, Fairmount Sheet Metal, the Blue Crane and the Coffee Cup Cafe sponsored some of the cars and the trophies.
Competitors came from California, Salt Lake and Denver to race at the Grand Raceway and in Delta at the Riverside Speedway. The owner of the car was not necessarily the driver. Dewey Miracle, Roscoe Brown, Wayne Sankey and Darrell Cheatham owned Midgets, and Boyce Southall owned the racer that Logue drove. Some of the local Midget drivers were: Vernon Meek, Tom Cavanaugh, Glenn “Red” Ray, Alf Giles, Sam Lucas, Tom Thurman, Ted Kruh, Fred Onan, Gene Martin and Midge McMahan.
And ladies, oh yes, there were ladies, not only in the stands, where Vivian Logue developed a friendship that lasted another 60 years, but there were Trophy Girls. Ready with a trophy and often a kiss, these beauties were given a corsage and probably more than one proposal. Nancy Speck from De Beque was one of those girls, as were Darlene Guerrie, Allison Vanderpool and Laura Whitingham.
Stock car racing is another story and another set of owners and drivers. I’ll write about that another time. According to Logue, the Grand Speedway closed in the 1970s when they found mill tailings amid the alkali and the races moved to Western Colorado Dragway on 32 Road. Thanks to the Logue family for sharing.