~ Paul Shirley 99 ~
Paul Shirley
Paul Shirley raced at Alex Bay, Canton and Watertown Speedway starting in 1954.
He and his brother Allen were both threats to win at anytime and each knocked down
their share of big races. Allen’s #23, a 1940 Ford Coupe, sported an engine built by
Willard Ryder with a Harmon-Collins camshaft that Paul related, “had this nice sound
like wooo woooooo wwoooo when he let off, we called it woo woo.” This 1939 Ford
coupe was Paul’s last #99 (of three) and he sold it to us just as it had come off
Watertown’s speedway surface in 1959. The car had been tucked away in Paul’s
barn for 49 years before it burned, he saved the car and it sat out for only one year
before we purchased it. There was no engine so Paul threw in Woo Woo which now
resides quite happily in the 43A. For the show car circuit we placed a flathead engine
purchased from George Taylor in the 99, and it runs great. The locked Banjo rear and
’39 toploader are original to the car, as is the seat, steering, and paint (to this point
anyway). We’ve debated painting it, but I like it as is – showing it’s heritage (first
driven by Squeeky Robinson, who’s name is still visible), scars and rock holes, which
have punched up the windshield. Next we’ll get the lights working.. Paul went on to
drive Ryders’ 10Pins at Watertown in which he knocked out a couple of big wins,
including the season ending 50 lapper in 1961. It was a pleasure to meet Paul and
we sure like his car.
Woo woo..
The car in the late 1950's.
Tow Bar to the track.
Winter 1957.
With Willard Ryder and the 10 Pins.
10 pins.
Running and Primed.
Paul hung onto this car for a long time.