The Georgia Gang Were Kings Of The Beach


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Tim Flock piloted this unique Chevy modified to victory in 1956. Photo courtesy Frances Flock.

When the 1956 season rolled around, it was more success for Tim Flock and the Georgia Gang on the sands of Daytona Beach.

Flock started by winning the pole for the Modified-Sportsman event with a speed of 137.405 mph in a 1946 Chevy Coupe powered by an engine out of a 1956 Oldsmobile.

The engine was set back a full 26 inches in the modified, putting the drivers’ seat where the back seat usually would be.

Tim was dubbed “America’s Number One Back Seat Driver”.

Flock took control of the Feb. 24 event early, and was challenged only by Speedy Thompson’s Ford.  Thompson’s day ended with a blown engine, and Flock moved away for the win.  Tim led every lap en route to the win, finishing just over seven miles ahead of second place Glenn Wood.

When the engines fired on the beach on Feb. 26 for the Grand National race, all eyes were again on Tim Flock.

Tim Flock recorded the win in the 1957 convertible series event on the beach. Photo courtesy Frances Flock

He put his Chrysler on the pole for the event with a speed of 135.747 mph, over six miles an hour faster than second place.

Flock controlled the race, giving the lead up only on pit stops.  He finished 57 seconds ahead of second place Billy Myers.  Flock commented afterward that it was easier this year due to having a manual transmission in the car.

Tim would give the Georgia Gang their last big hurrah on the sands of Daytona Beach.  Driving a factory supported Mercury convertible for Bill Stroppe, Flock dueled convertible series aces Joe Weatherly and Curtis Turner on Feb. 16, 1957 on the beach.

Mechanical failures and pit stop woes on the parts of Turner and Weatherly gave Flock the edge, as he finished 53 seconds ahead of Weatherly for the victory.

It would be the last win for Tim Flock in his career, and the final win on the beach for the Georgia Gang.

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