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A TALE OF TWO INDIANS

In some forty-three years of Figure-eight racing, lots of nicknames have been applied to drivers, as well as cars. in the late sixties, "The Wild Indian" was synonymous for Dave Dean, and all of his cars. The indian was in Dave's bloodline, his father having been part Blackfoot. The "wild" certainly described his driving style. Fellow competitor, friend and co-worker John Beeson remembers him as mild mannered off the track, yet on the ragged edge once behind the wheel of a race car.

The son of a career Navy man, Dave was born at long Beach California, in 1937, and came to the Seattle in the late fifties. In 1965 Dave was a father of three children, and working as a mechanic and detail man for Car Town in Lake City. A neighboring business just happened to be Lake City Transmission, run by Don and John Beeson, who were building a Figure -eight car for the newly created class at Evergreen Speedway. Somehow, a conversation ensued between the the two shops regarding racing, and Dave was told that he was probably too "chicken" to drive a Figure-Eight car- that was All the incentive he needed to build his own car, which he did in a matter of days!

Dave drove Flat-head powered Fords competitively through 1967, sitting out the 1968 season. Wayne Crum took over Dean's last ford and won the 1968 modified championship with it, and Bob Moore drove it through mid-season 1969, when the well used car was destroyed at the intersection. That brings us to 1969, and the other Indian in our story, a 1951 Chevrolet Belair two door hardtop, painted competition orange, complete with a roof-mounted feather head dress. Owned and built by longtime speedway participant Grant Clothier, the Chev was powered by a Jim Green built 283 bored to 301 cubic inches, with a 4-speed transmission and a posi rear-end. the photo shown here was taken in Mountlake Terrace on or shortly before opening weekend, and doesn't show the slotted chrome wheels the car wore the balance of the season. Aftermarket wheels were rarely seen on a amateur stock-car in those days, and the Indian was one of the first F.E.A.R. cars to have them. Running open headers, the Chev must have sounded pretty impressive touring the Eight-longtime driver/club officer Terry Guisinger described it as a "real testosterone rush", a car even tool time Tim could grunt about! The Indian's roll cage was constructed of square tubing, common place at the time, but with an unusual third hoop right at the rear firewall. I believe this cage found it's way into Carl Zaretzke's first '57 Chev, along with the 301/4-speed combo.

1969 was a rough year for Figure-eight cars at Monroe, the Indian was actually re-bodied during the season,after having been rolled at the intersection. Dave ended a very successful season, finishing second to the very potent combination of the John Beeson driven/Walt Day prepared '52 Olds 88, with at least 3 main event wins, seven second place finishes, 8 heat race victories, and 4 trophy dash wins. I'll have to stress the word at least, as my records for 1969 aren't complete. Dave retired from racing following the 1969 season, and unfortunately passed away at the young age of 61 in 1999. Thankfully I had the pleasure to meet and talk with Dave in 1974, and it was hard to imagine such a soft spoken, laid back guy being the terror of the track. Thanks for the memories Dave! Also many thanks to Dave Dean Jr., for his help in providing additional information, as well as loaning a very nice photo collection for me to copy. F.E.A.R. historian, Tom Claibourn


Dave Dean & sponsor Pat Patterson
with gutted Bel-Air hardtop


Roll cage taking shape


301 small block ready
for The Indian


Dave with trophy girl
at Spanaway Speedway


Modified heat line-up at Evergreen,
Dave is on second row towards
grandstand, flagman is Don Perry


The Indian re-bodied and masked for
painting, only salvaged piece was a trunk lid
 

 

 
     

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