Texas Drag Racer Robert Rallis

dads t roadster

My dad raced this pickup at Vernon, Wichita Falls, Quanah and raced the T mainly at Frederick, OK. and around the Wichita Falls areas…Wish I knew where the ’40 pick up is now. Back then it had been painted all black that was 4 ft deep.

He attended the 1st Nationals at Oklahoma City, OK. and the 1st trophy we have is from 1956 racing in a B/stock 56 Ford. He raced Fords from the very beginning and had a 58 Ford PI that was unbeaten for many years. The 40 pick up was next, was eventually painted black, and as I mentioned before was said to have had a perfect paint job. It also sported the 1st set of slicks (Bruce White Dots) in the area. There were over two hundred class trophies in the house at one time.

The next few race cars, the flat head Altered and then in the year 1966 he moved on to a 65 Mustang 2+2 that he still has along with 2 more early 2+2’s. Just recently sold his black 63 1/2 427-425hp Galaxie -he is 81 years old, and still has his passion for cars, and fortunately, I inherited that from him. He was also president of the Cavaliers Auto Club in Vernon in the late 50’s and helped run the the Vernon track at the Old Victory Field air strip up through the mid 60’s. Quote: Never race until you are ready, that way you have no excuses and even fewer problems” -he always said that and he followed it.

dad's 40

The car club was mainly a bunch of friends that all liked cars, partied and hung out together, and put on great races.They had club rules, and a charter…Dad was club president and the tech guy was always making sure everyone was legal (or close to it) in the right classes…of course. There were rumors back then that his brother’s Olds may have had some “minor” changes to it. Of course, there was always some so called street racing going on back then too. His 58 Ford was fast in the 1/4 and would run top end too because of the 3 speed w/overdrive trans, and 352 police interceptor engine. They would run top end on a highway for about 2-3 miles. I remember in one of those races, a guy drove from Abilene in a 348 tri power Impala to race and dad sent him back home beaten.The guy was really upset cause all his buddies gave him hell the whole way back home for being out run by a Ford.

Our local track was in Quanah, TX. and one of the first to use a stoplight instead of a flagmen. During the races one day, my dad noticed the guy flipping the light switch plain in sight, and so from then on he just watched his thumb instead of the light…and thus creating great hole shots. We didn’t have many pics taken back then but I am constantly looking for what we have. I do have a pic of his 40 at Wichita falls pictured in the background behind the Tuscon Speed Sport Special. I wish there were more. His name is Robert Rallis, some of the old timers still ask him about the 40 pickup, and of course he just grimaces, cause he sold it in 1963 and regrets it still.