SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – A pair of radically different modifieds wheeled by star drivers who grew up together in the tiny Adirondack mountain village of Saranac Lake, N.Y. are now on display at the Saratoga Automobile Museum.
“Sometimes things come together perfectly,” offered Racing in New York curator Ron Hedger. “I invited Wes Moody to speak at last fall’s ‘Lost Speedways’ program and he was excited about his recently rebuilt #63 coupe, which he immediately offered for display once he saw our racing gallery.
“At the same time, Brian Ross, who grew up with Wes in Saranac Lake before moving to the Saratoga area, had just found his famed No.73 asphalt modified, which had been converted to a dirt late model, and was in the process of restoring it to original condition.
The completed car was first shown at our Spring Invitational in May, where it was named Best Race Car. Putting them together in our racing gallery seemed to be ordained by the racing gods.”
As good on asphalt as he was on dirt, Moody’s Chevrolet coupes were always fast, but he still shocked the racing world when he was the first to qualify over the magic 100 mph mark at the New York State Fairgrounds mile, an oval that is still known decades later as the “Moody Mile.” And Ross’ homebuilt NASCAR modified was equally significant, winning races and track titles on asphalt speedways throughout New York and New England against fields full of factory-built cars.
“The cars come from different eras and are great examples of how technology, fabrication techniques and safety considerations changed markedly in a relatively short time,” summed up Hedger. “That Wes and Brian are lifelong friends and competitors makes the mini-exhibit even more relevant.”
“The Boys from Saranac Lake” display joins an all-star lineup that includes the legendary Judkins 2x modified parked in countless Victory Lanes by Eddie Flemke, Mark Kinser’s Knoxville Nationals winning sprint car, the Bardahl Ferrari Indy car, the “Rand Special” big car, the famed Maserati road race car affectionately christened “Poison Lil” and a cutaway Miller Lite NASCAR Sprint Cup car donated to SAM by Penske Racing.