The Bruce Larson Open House was held on Saturday, April 15 2006 and all things considered I think it can be classified as being very successful. We had approximately 20 members and guests in attendance for this very unique opportunity. Not only was this a much smaller and more personal gathering than the fall open house that Bruce offers to the public, but we got to see things that most of those people will never get to see. This was the first time I've ever seen Bruce open the door to the basement and let people see his workshop. Basically, nothing was off limits to us!
We had the usual full tour of the main floor, which is loaded
with Bruce's entire racing history including pit passes, time slips, trophies,
photos, and other
memorabilia as well as several of the actual cars that he has raced throughout his career. No, it's not a Mopar museum but it doesn't matter - cool is cool!
It's hard to describe the barn and the experience of being there; it's something that you need to see and experience for yourself in order to fully understand and appreciate it.
Many people have been in the barn and seen the main floor,
but we were treated to a trip downstairs to the workshop. What's amazing
about the workshop is that
it's just as much of a trip back in time as the rest of the barn. There are no high tech tools or equipment down there. Well, maybe there are a few newer electric power tools, but everything else is far older than I am. The first thing that we saw when we went downstairs, besides a restored Lincoln, was a slingshot dragster dating back to about 1960. There was NOTHING modern on this car; from the chassis, wheels and body right down to the flathead V-8. I didn't look very closely at the tires, but I think even they were around 40 years old.
In the middle part of the shop was the Tommy Ivo dragster that was in the famous fiery crash in 1974. I'm pretty sure I even have a copy of a magazine that I've had since I was a kid with that picture on the cover. Bruce now owns that car and is in the process of restoring it using those vintage tools that I mentioned previously. Then, if you venture over to the far side of the basement you will see the two vintage street rods that Bruce is building - again, using those cool old tools! All of this, including the museum displays, is in a barn that has to be well over 50 years old.