Uncle Sam was originally built by Ray Lumbert in 1970, with paint cloned from a popular west coast car named, “Vintage 37,” and raced primarily at Oswego Dragstrip and Rockford Dragstrip, now known as Byron Dragway, throughout the early 1970’s. The car was sponsored by The Performance Shop in Aurora, IL, where Ray had worked as a mechanic. Ray would later sell the car while building a similarly schemed red, white and blue Vega with carburetor guru Chuck Newton which was dubbed, “Uncle Sam, Jr.” before eventually moving on to nitro dragboat racing, where he set many records.
After restoring and racing a 58 Chevy gasser named, “Daddy’s Thing,” another original midwest race car from the 70’s, with the Midwest Gassers for several years, we decided to recreate the Uncle Sam 37 Chevy in 2008, and have raced it with the Midwest Gassers since then. With The Performance Shop long out of business, we changed the lettering to Ted’s Performance Shop, to represent the performance and restoration side our collision repair shop, Ted’s Body & Paint As well as being a racecar, we wanted it to be show car quality and restored the car with full interior as well as creature features like a tilt wheel and power windows. With long burnouts and nice wheelies, the car has been popular with the fans in the stands.