Selected for the 27th Racemaster award, here is a little background from the speech given at the 2013 Award’s Banquet on this year’s honoree Mike Montgomery.
“We would like to honor a person that has dedicated a big part of his life towards the Firebird racing scene and all things under the motorsport’s umbrella. Tracing back in time, he originally went to school at Borah, but switched to Boise to take advantage of the automotive shop classes they offered. This goes all the way back to the 1960’s. His first car was a shoebox Chevy at the age of 16 and it didn’t take long for a six-cylinder to be replaced by a modified V-8. He followed this car up with a `57 Chevy, which had a Muncie 4-speed and plenty of power to push it down the road. He not only raced at some of the events staged out on Gowen Field behind the airport, but also BTA races organized under the approval of the city fathers on Glenwood, yes, the same Glenwood out in front of today’s Fairgrounds, not long before the opening of Firebird in July of 1968.
He was always working on engines starting at his home up on Vista, a little place where he did complete motors in the basement of his house and then asked his brother and about 5, 6 other guys to help him manhandle complete big block motors up the staircase. Just imagine what they weighed, as several buddies hauled an engine up a steep set of stairs to daylight. Now that had to be a sight.
Both he and his brother followed in the footsteps of their dad (and grandfather), working a bread route between Town & Country and Eddy’s for an amazing 45 years. You could find him working around the clock hauling bread throughout the region, then get home, go right to work on engines, followed by a couple hours of sleep and start the whole process over again. Many times you’d see him show up at the track in his Bread truck and uniform either to race his car or just to pitch in on a combination he’d been working on.
Old timers will certainly remember his colorful ragtop Camaro he originally drag raced at Firebird, Seattle and elsewhere. He also built, tinkered and raced a very sweet black late 50’s Corvette roadster that was set up for A/Gas. In more recent years he bought the final Pro Stock car for the Yuill bros. and set it up for Top Sportsman that he still has to this day with future plans for it to return to the dragstrip.
He has been involved with Firebird off `n on in a variety of capacities since it first opened forty six years ago. An engine builder at heart, he also set out to help others in wide variety of areas. He built combinations for of all things: an entry, a motor to power a Chrysler Airflow in the Great American cross country race; he owned and supported an oval track race car at Meridian Speedway; he was very involved a number of show rods and customs many of which have won major awards at our Boise Roadster Show and even a variety of boat motors that have both been in competition and just to go have fun on the lake.”