Off the Beaten Path: From the rebuild to the ride; keeping it in the family

WTHI Photo, Mike Latta

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – When it comes to hobbies, racing rules the roost for longtime driver Tom Grover. It’s been a pastime, from the rebuild to the ride.

“It’s an adrenaline rush, it’s the feel, it’s the fun it’s the good time at the track,” Tom said.

But lately, there’s been a new spark – a project that’s got the wrenches doing double time in the Grover garage.

“I’m here 8 a.m. in the mornings, I leave about noon so for 20 hours Monday through Friday and then the weekends so at least 36-40 hours a week,” Thomas Grover told News 10.

Grover’s oldest son, Thomas, is new to the sport.

“I gave him the opportunity to go down the track a couple times in my truck and he was hooked, it’s pretty easy to get that way in this sport,” Tom continued.

Needing a second car for Thomas to drive, this father-son race team have bonded for hours on end.

Tweaking, turning, trying to restore a car with quite the history of its own.

“It’s been 30 years since this car has moved under its own power. It basically got pushed into a corner for a while and kind of forgot about and then it got saved but it’s been basically in a dusty corner for a long time.”

Not just any car: It’s a car that sped down Crossroads Dragway in its hayday with valley racing legend Bernie Mann at the wheel.

And this weekend, it will make its Terre Haute debut at the Bernie Mann Memorial, a tribute to its famous former owner.

“The last couple weeks, that’s all I’ve thought about is to be able to put it in drive and let go of the brake and it go forward without anything going wrong,” Thomas Grover said.

A passing of the torch in the local racing community.

“It’s kind of neat about the car and the history that the car has but it’s the fact that I get to spend this much time with my adult son, you know anytime that you get to spend time with your kids when they’re children, but once they become adults and move out – when they’ll come back and spend some time with you and work on a project…it’s a lot of fun,” Tom described.

Hours on end to put this racing relic back on the track.

A car passed from one family to another. With moments along the way that make this ride, irreplaceable.

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