Mud Bog Time Machine: 1980s Action From Arkansas City, Kansas – The Trucks Rule!

Mud Bog Time Machine: 1980s Action From Arkansas City, Kansas – The Trucks Rule!

(Words and photos by Doug Gregory) – Last stop in our mud bog time machine is Arkansas (pronounced as you see it – not like the state) City, KS.  Gearheads will note that Ark City (best way to say it) is also the former home to Mid-America Dragway situation on the old WWII Strother field South.  The track closed some years ago and it seems there is little chance of it reopening.  For folks in North-central Oklahoma – it’s where everyone went to buy higher-alcohol content beer which legally constituted bootlegging.  I’m innocent, but it was commonplace when I lived there.  Enough of that.

Not a lot of pictures in here, but I found all I could.  First up is ‘The Grinder Man Subs’ special Ford that was also seen at the Perry, OK pit more than once.  Its seen here busting through where no one else (up to that time) has gone and was still dragging the diffs further down track.  ‘It’s Only Money’, ‘Earthworm’, and the ‘River Bottom Express’ were all vying for the two-wheel-drive win and I believe IOM took home the win.  The other two put on a really good show which is astounding when you consider they’re really just big, straight-axle trucks with tractor tires.  These mud races were a lot of fun back in the day and I hope they are still going on now.  Generally the action only lasted 4-5 hours and you’d be on your way.  Gate admission for most of them was around $8 (I found a ticket stub from one among my pictures).  I can remember taking my film to the local drug store for processing.  There wasn’t a photo-mat (anyone remember those) in my hometown.  Usually it’d take a week to get the pictures back and I almost always ordered double-prints so I could save one copy and put the other in a photo album.  I lost part of them in a military move and I am still finding some in boxes.

Thanks for coming along my journey to my teen years and the early days of my gearhead photographic record.

Here’s our last great installment of Mud Bog Time Machine photos!

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