Florida City Speedway was designed and built primarily as a TQ track. Long before mini stocks, motorcycles, karts or anything else, TQs were THE show, and they lit up Saturday nights in warm and sleepy south Dade.
It must have been a dazzling time: methanol fumes filling the air, and local heroes standing tall. The newspaper reported on the races and the stands were full of interested fans.
This page features pictures from that era. The look of things changed after the Smith accident and the 1970 reopening. The wall went from wood to guardrail, and roll cages became mandatory for TQs because of a requirement from the insurance company. On this page, you will see some cars with cages and some without. They were optional in those years.
I don't have any first-hand knowledge of this time; it was a few years before I knew about the track, but I do have friends who were there that have provided background information, and there are plenty of newspaper clippings too.
Driver roster from the mid 1960's
Everyone pulls the brake as Gene Lanham (2) helps Ron Paquin (4) to get in the corner. Gil Turner (9), Rich Benn (6) and Lawrence Westberry (5) take the high lane.
Kenny Andrews (7) in one of the Ingram cars runs next to Earl Hatch in a car powered by a Mercury outboard engine.
Bud Kimbal (66) leads the way.
Check out the ambulance made from a Buick station wagon.
Doug Ingram owned the #95 TQs that were driven by Perry Jones, Don Heckman, Willie Ingram and others.
Gene Lanham mashes the gas in the Bob Lowe TQ.
111 J.W. Payne Leads Walt Sizemore and Dan Brown in the 25. 1967
Gene Lanham and Jack Colby (22)
A trip to Victory Circle for Gene Lanham. 7-3-67
"The Flying Eyeball" Stan Irwin. Visit his page by clicking HERE
Look at all those championships!
Al Brooks Sr. in the 52. Visit Al's page HERE.
Al pulls the brake as Brady Mason loses a wheel. You can see it flying near the "Y" in the speedway sign.
Gene Lanham loops the 2 in front of Stan Irwin, Al Brooks and others.
Track architect Brady Mason after one of his many wins. 7-3-65
Bill Hughes (3) runs outside Brady Mason (11). Earl Hatch (35) gives chase. 1966
This was taken along side US 1 in Key Largo. Was Brady on a promotional event?
Brady was one of the many racers who helped organize and build the track in 1964.
That is Homestead business owner Doc Tyre in the 21.
Jim Adams loops the 89 as Don Heckman reaches for the brake.
Wayne DeWald in the bright orange #16 gets another win. 4-22-67
Not all nights went as planned. The loose wheel can be seen flying toward the starter. 2-11-67
Front row: Jack Colby and Bill Hughes, then Warren Paquin and Bud Kimbal, Gene Lanham and Rich Benn, row four: Gil Turner and Ron Paquin, Al Brooks and Roger Hardin and two I can't ID.
One of the track builders, Warren Paquin lines up in his Harley powered TQ.
The speedway took part in the Homestead Rodeo parade in 1966.
In 1968, Dan Brown's Air Force orders sent him to Alaska, where he was involved in a car-pedestrian accident. His injuries led to the amputation of his left leg above the knee.
While back in Florida City on convelescent leave, Dan jumped in the Washburn #93 and won the trophy dash! The amazing picture above was taken less than two months after the amputation surgery.
That same night, the motor in the 93 blew up during the heat race, so Walt Sizemore put Dan in his #30 for the feature. Dan had no practice in the car, and had to start last, but he drove it across the line to a 4'th place finish.
After a race night like this, it was party time! Dan claims that the celebration that took place at Eddie Washburn and Billy Hughes's house, along with the great racing results, were the best medicine he could have possibly had!
Dan Brown bounces the 93 off the hay bales as his car owner, Eddie Washburn driving the 64, watches the destruction. 1967
A Crosley 750 CC engine. The engine of choice for many teams at the time.
These are Dellorto carburators shown on Doug Ingram's #95.
It was a different world indeed! Here is a TQ stripped down and ready to be put back together.
Lawrence Westberry and Rich Benn prepare in the staging lane.
Roger Brandenburg in Victory Circle 8-14-65
In the pits. Notice what is painted on the wall next to the #1 pit sign...."Heap O Iron".
A few years later...same team with different cars. 95 was the "Black Bandit" driven by Don Heckman, and the & was Kenny Andrews.
Brady Mason and Bill Hughes look for cover as Doc Tyre in the #13 takes a ride.
Gary Smith's career was brief but successful. He was a young charger by all accounts.
Roger Hardin ran a clean operation! 1967
Brady Mason carries the flag, Gil Trim drove the #89.
"Mr. Brandenburg" uses the gas welder on one of the Ingram cars.
Brady Mason and crew in 1967.
This was a father and son team from St. Petersburg who made a few trips to Florida City. Norm drove the #1 while his son John drove the #00. I am not sure where these pictures were taken.
Gil Trim was a car salesman at Hallet Pontiac in Perrine. 7-24-65
Ron Paquin tries to avoid a spinning Lawrence Westberry.
I love this picture! Walt Sizemore gets his game face on by the track line-up board.
Here was Walt with the win on 3-11-67.
He did it again the next week! 3-18-67.
Ron Paquin filled in as the starter for a few months.
Three heavy hitters: Perry Jones in the 95, J.W. Payne in 111 and Brady Mason. 4-29-67
Roger Hardin and Earl Hatch. 6-26-65
Suddenly Dick Burkle forgot all about racing! 6-26-65
Rich Benn drove this SAAB powered roadster.
WQAM radio sent over DJ to take part in a promotion. I don't have the drivers name. It looks like he was driving Ron Paquin's #4.
Green Flag! Ron Paquin leads the way over Bill Hughes, Gene Lanham and Rich Benn.
Visit Ron Paquin's page HERE.
Ron Paquin tested the brand new surface when the track was being built.
Bill Brown in Victory Circle, 1967.
Eddie Washburn owned the #64.
John Maltz leads Stan Irwin.
That is Perry Jones in the 95. He was a crop duster in Homestead who went on to become a well known car owner in Late Models.
George was a veteran of the SFRA from the Hollywood Speedway and the Homestead Rodeo Grounds. 4-22-67
Possibly Perry Jones driving, 3-25-67.
I think that is Frank Suits in the 9.
Stan "Eyeball" Irwin won the track championship in the tracks first two years. Here is his trophy from 1964, the first year that the track opened.