The following week, again according to what Smokey told me, he got a letter from France apologizing and in the envelope was a check for, I think he said, $1,500 to cover his "expenses." Smokey said he, "took the check into the bathroom, soiled it, and sent it back." Such was the nature of Smokey.

The car ended up being "sold" to a dirt racer in Georgia. About 1987, a racer whom I talk to a lot these days, Richard Brashear, called Smokey and said he wanted to buy the car. Smokey told him that it had already been sold, but upon reflection realized it had not been paid for. So, he went about finding it, taking it back, and restoring it. Poor Brashear never heard from him again about it.

The refurbished car was eventually sold for $100,000 and is now on the market again for $950,000 residing at Canepa Design in Scotts Valley, California, as of this writing. I noticed the ad for the car had photos and contacted Robert Jordan who agreed to let us use the photos to explain how the car was built and highlight some of the innovations. So, without further ado . . .

Before The Restore
When news that Smokey's legendary Chevelle had been restored to like-new condition hit our office, we naturally jumped on the story. But we also thought it would be fun to delve into the Circle Track archives and see if we could locate any period pictures of the car. As Bob mentioned at the top of the story, Smokey actually built more than one Chevelle. Here are some pictures of those cars. And for the story of this car in Smokey's own words pick up a copy of Best Damn Garage in Town and turn to page 319 in "All Right You Sons-a-Bitches, Let's Have a Race." It's available at

We wish to thank Canepa Design for the use of the photos. We're sure now that we know more about how technically advanced and innovative this car is that there will be more interest in it. I think if NASCAR would have allowed it to compete, it could have changed the face of stock car racing long before custom frames were allowed and innovation was suppressed. Imagine for a moment if stock car racers were as free to design and build creatively, similar to the Smokey car, like they do in Formula 1, where the sport would be today. One can only guess. Is it too late? Not in my opinion.