HoF Nominee - Larry Oswald

Posted by John Gartner 8/11/2017 9:23:48 AM
Larry Oswald — Bismarck, ND
Category: Legacy Category
Photo by: Layn Mudder of LPT Images

In the early 1970's, Larry Oswald was perfectly happy entering demolition derbies and often times winning them. That all changed in 1974 when his brother, Clifford, attended a race at the old Central States race track in Bismarck. Clifford came home and said, "We have to build a race car."  Clifford worked at Davis Chevrolet and Larry was a mechanic at Corwin Churchill Motors so they both went to lots and the cheapest thing they could find was a 1963 Ford. The "hook" was then set on the three Oswald brothers. The 1963 model was shortened to just 63 and that became Larry's number. But where did the 63 "C" come from?

The Ford project went to the wayside when Clifford found a Chevy with the popular 327 engine, so the "C" meant Chevy... or did it mean Cliff? Larry took over driving and the brothers helped maintain the cars over the years. That meant building a new race motor from scratch, not a crate motor built in Mexico, but a big block 427 and eventually a 454, built in the Oswald's small home garage by hand. They built the motor in the fall, put it in their daily driver for the winter to break it in by driving it and then they pulled that engine and put it in the race car the following spring. 

Larry was a terror on the race track with that well broke-in big block, winning the Central States Street Class season championship in 1974. His competition was stout with drivers like Darrell Erickson, Lynn Christianson and Wayne Martineson racing him touch every week. Oswald was "pretty sure' he won he championship in 1976 but he couldn't check for sure as his wife regelated all racing trophies to the attic except that first championship trophy he confirmed was in the basement. 

Larry raced until 1982 when he raced a Nova Super Stock. The track would love to get him out to the current facility for an interview as he confessed he had only been to Dacotah Speedway once. He said, "he didn't want to go as he might get that same racing itch," that got him started over 40 years ago. Who knows, Marlyn Seidler is about Larry's age and he is still winning races?

Larry Oswald has been nominated for the Bismarck-Mandan Racing Hall of Fame in recognition of his outstanding talent as a driver and true sportsman to racing. 
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