This USAC Dirt Car Championship-winning racer was built in the winter of 1974-75 by USAC car owner and builder Dave LeFevre of Lafayette, Indiana, and endured a successful campaign highlighted by the 1977 USAC National Championship with driver Larry Rice behind the wheel.
LeFevre campaigned the car with considerable success from August 1975 to September 1983, a long run in the grueling arena of USAC Dirt Car racing. During that period, LeFevre employed four drivers: Larry Rice, George Snider, Ricky Hood and Jerry Weeks. The four combined for a total of one pole and four wins, including Springfield, Illinois, in 1977 and 1981, Lakewood Speedway in Atlanta, Georgia in 1977, and the Milwaukee Mile in 1979.
Larry Rice made his first splash in the car by winning Rookie of the Race at the Hoosier Hundred at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in 1975, but the car’s crowning achievement came in 1977 when Rice drove it to win that year’s USAC Dirt Car Championship.
In 1981, the car was an important part of George Snider’s road to the Gold Crown Championship which combined the Silver Crown Championship races along with the Indy 500.
The car sat dormant in LeFevre’s shop from late 1983 until the spring of 1987 when it was purchased by Bill O’Connor of Chicago, Illinois, who ran the car from 1987 to 1989 with Jim Mahoney, winning the Hoosier Hundred Rookie of the Race honors in 1988.
In December of 2005, ownership changed hands to Paul Martens of Fairview, Oklahoma, who immediately commenced a comprehensive restoration using original components, including the frame, front end, steering wheel and steering gear, driveline and clutch assembly, Halibrand rear end, pedals, brakes and bird cages.
The historically significant number-4 car was completed in June 2006 and is impeccably authentic, from its Hilborn-injected 331 CI Chevrolet small block to its hand-lettered Grant King fiberglass body with aluminum side panels crafted by Paul Martens.
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