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SATURDAY NIGHT RACER
Saturday Night RacerTracksMERCED SPEEDWAY › Hall of Fame    MERCED


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Hall of Fame    MERCED (Read 22985 times)
wildman
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Re: Hall of Fame    MERCED
Reply #44 - 04/27/13 at 10:44am
 
Jim Rich 45m past winston west champ and Ray Campbell 44m past midget champ and championship car builder both have left there mark in central ca. racing
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Re: Hall of Fame    MERCED
Reply #45 - 05/03/13 at 9:55pm
 
Rest In Peace Vern.

He was a real genuine person that treated me (a punk kid that lived down the street) with more respect than I deserved. When I was in the 7th grade, he let me me come into his home and check out his trophy room. Of course,I was in awe. As I got older, when ever we had somethin we couldnt figure out, or Chuck couldnt figure out, we always went to E and H because he treated us so well...would always stop what he was doing, give us his personal attention and come have a look.
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Re: Hall of Fame    MERCED
Reply #46 - 05/07/13 at 12:56pm
 
Here are some more drivers from my days in the grand stand! Ted Fritz, Don Peepers ,Manuel Victor, Vern Soares , Paul Campbell , Scoop Davis , Bob Reed, Jack Catoe ( in Stanfort Med with blood clots in his leg,dad to take part of his leg,pray he comes out this aright! U.Jack) ,Jim Baldridge and my Dad Dan Baldridge Sr.   Mind went blank! I'll think of others LOL
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Re: Hall of Fame    MERCED
Reply #47 - 05/07/13 at 1:22pm
 
I went to school with Lori Baldridge from 5th grade all threw high school. Nice family. I used to always check out the cars when driving by her house and seeing her dad work on the racecar out front.
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Re: Hall of Fame    MERCED
Reply #48 - 02/28/16 at 3:19am
 
Hey Darrell, surprise from the past, this is Dennis hicklin, Jim hicklins son, you do remember atwater auto wrecking/the car clinic from the 60s and 70s? I can see you grinning! You and I are members of the few on here that truly do remember the old days of when the best flagman ever was Eldon Minor at the races at merced fairgrounds, back when wilhoite, holzher, moomjean, vic irvan, rod poor, jerry cecil, the list is long, put on some of the best shows ever had back in the day!

Talk about a walk back through time, when i saw this site and the list of all of the track racers from that time period, it really put a warm grin on my face, it was a pleasure to see you here as well.

Once the the hot-rod and car racing bug bites, it never gets out of your system indeed!

Be well, Keep in touch.
Sincerely,
Dennis Hicklin
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Re: Hall of Fame    MERCED
Reply #49 - 02/28/16 at 4:48am
 
Hello to you Sally. My name is Dennis Hicklin, I was born and raised there in atwater. My father owned atwater auto wrecking/the car clinic back in the 60s and 70s. I started high school there in 68, graduated in 71

We were a shop right down the street from E&H garage that was owned by your uncle, Vern Wilhoite. I worked there after school for Vern, and he was a very important part of my life as well. I also worked for Luds auto parts, the one right across the alley from E&H garage. I even knew Verns dad, Ed willhoite, for a while he was working in the parts counter with bobby holzher, jerrys brother.

Some of the best memories of my youth were from the time I worked for Vern, and some of the other best memories were from when I would be in the pits with the crew from E&H garage on Saturday nights at the races. My dad would bring his wrecker to the pits as we had a race car as well, 90M, but we never won, it was more fun for my dad to be in his wrecker parked to mr. Stietz's wrecker, and the two of them would drink beer and watch the races.

Vern wilhoite, as well you know, was a wonderful man that was truly dynamic and very talented. He was one of the best drivers there at the merced speedway, he was a fierce competitor and in essence, during his time, that track was pretty much his. Vern was, in his youth,  a very good motorcycle rider as well, I am sure you saw some of his trophy's in his case that he had won.

I have been in Seattle since 79, but I have fond memories of back in the day when E&H garage was going full blast and was very busy because of Castle AFB that was a major source of income for a lot of garages in those days. I was in atwater back in about 1990, and i stopped by to see vern at the garage, things were winding down, he had moved up top cathy's valley and only came down to atwater sporadically. So much had changed in the town, the base closed down a few years later, so much of what I grew up with there, just doesn't exist anymore, there isn't a trace of my dads old wrecking yard where it used to be. Somebody else now owns the building that used to be E&H garage. Even the little cafe next to the garage, Pete and Raes, all gone now.

I remember I would see Verns beautiful 59 ford pick up truck just about nightly parked at the blue room a local bar there in town, back in those days, everybody knew everybody.

Vern gave me the tasks at his shop that my dad didn't really let me do at our own shop, it was my dads way of discouraging me from working at our family business, no regrets there. I ran the hot tank, the grease rack, steam cleaned the heads that came out of the hot tank, kept the floors clean, ran errands for him, and just about all of the jobs a young kid could handle in those days, he also paid more money than my dad....( grin ).

The crew that were the bus mechanics, verns son steve was one of them, and the rest of the crew were an amazing bunch to say the least. I had a lot of fun working there.

One of my favorite memories was when my dad drove his wrecker down to E&H garage and parked it right in the front drive way, that blocked the #1 tune up bay that was where Jerry Holzher worked, Vern told me, hey get that okie rig moved out of our driveway, he knew it was my dads, I just grinned as I hopped in it and moved it way out back where he couldn't see it. When my dad came back and he said, where is my wrecker, I said, my boss Vern Wilhoite told me to move it, so I did, my dad just grinned and said, " see, its more fun to work for somebody else than your old man"...........he was very wise that day !

So purely out of respect to a great man, " Vern " I chose to have E&H garage as my screen name on this site, in hopes that it would bring a smile and possibly a few forgotten memories to this great web site and the elements of the merced speedway hall of fame.

It was a great privilege and grand experience to work for Vern.

Sincerely,
Dennis Hicklin  e mail, fyrtruc@aol.com
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Hanging at the Car Clinic in the 70's Atwater
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Re: Hall of Fame    MERCED
Reply #50 - 10/29/16 at 6:48pm
 
IM not sure if anyone was aware but Ted was inducted into the Merced County Hall of fame in 19 892 or around that time in the sports part of it
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