Collection: Mrs. Austin Smith and Sherry Smith Moore
Scanned by James Whitlow
The 3 D Racing Team
In the mid 1950’s, three young employees of the Snapp Motor Company in Walnut Ridge decided to build a race car. Austin Smith, Lloyd Ashlock and Mac McComb spent their spare time combing the country side looking for the right car and parts to build their dream racing car. It took a while working at night and on weekends to complete the task of transforming a regular car into a racing machine. Once the race car was completed, a driver was needed so Curly Downs was selected to be their driver. They raced in the Northeast Arkansas and Southern Missouri area for a couple of years, but most of their racing took place at Nettleton. As you notice, 3 D was the name of the car, which was suggested by Mrs Austin Smith. 3 D movies were popular at this time and she said that “the race car was so fast that it looked like it was coming from all directions”.
They were making a name in the racing circles, winning many races until an incident happened at a race in Missouri. Curly was driving hard one night and the gas line broke and gas sprayed on the track. Luckily, no one was injured and a big laugh came from it when the race officials noticed that the 3 D car was using airplane gas. For using illegal gas, the 3 D Racing Car team was banned from racing at that track. Yes, they got caught using the wrong type of gas, but before you point a finger, remember this in life, when you do point a finger, there are more fingers pointing back at you. I’m sure they learned from their mistake, by being so competitive and trying to get an edge on others, that they became better men from this incident. Mr. Smith was a mechanic for Snapp’s for several years and owned a service station on East Main and Mr. Ashlock started his business, Ashlock’s Tire Service, in Hoxie and later moved to Walnut Ridge. Mr. McComb was from up north and came to this area when he was stationed at the Air Base. He made this area his home after he got out of the service and became the parts man at Snapp’s Ford. Mrs. Smith is not sure where Curly Downs was from, but thinks he was from Missouri.