The son of former Alabama Governor George C. Wallace called it “one of the warmest receptions that my father ever got.”
George Wallace, Jr. fondly recalls the last ride that Governor Wallace ever took around the 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway more than 12 years ago. Sitting between his dad and NASCAR founder Bill France, Sr. in a specially built limousine, Wallace vividly remembers the “standing, waving ovation all the way around the track” that his father received on July 27, 1986.
“Those race fans had come from all over the country, not just Alabama, to see the Talladega 500, and that’s what made it really special to all of us,” said Wallace.
A re-creation of that ride will be a part of pre-race activities for the October 11th Winston 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. The very same limo, a black 1976 Lincoln Continental, will be used to carry the Wallace family around the track once again. The car was built to accommodate the handicapped governor, with extra large rear doors, bullet-proof materials and sirens.
Following the re-enactment of Wallace’s last ride at Talladega, the car will be donated to the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, adjacent to the speedway, where it will be displayed.
“That was indeed an historic ride, because the car contained the two men who were the most instrumental in bringing Talladega Superspeedway to Alabama,” said Don Naman, who was the Vice President of the speedway in 1986, and is now the Executive Director of IMHOF.
“It is ironic that all the times this car went back and forth to Montgomery, it will wind up in Talladega, which was always one of my father’s favorite places to go. He was a tremendous race fan, and would be pleased to know his car will be on permanent display in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame & Museum,” said Wallace.
Governor Wallace passed away last month at the age of 79.