Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
01/20/20, 12:28 AM

Author Topic: Got to meet Big Al Unser today  (Read 4194 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Chadley

  • Racin Grafix Painter
  • Veteran Driver
  • *
  • Posts: 2363
  • Coolness: 26
    • Dakotagraph
Got to meet Big Al Unser today
« on: 06/03/12, 12:22 AM »
Stopped by the Unser Racing Museum in Albuquerque, NM today. Great place with first class displays of all kinds of racing machines, trophies, helmets, etc. When I decided to purchase a helmet signed by both Al Unser Sr. and Jr. the lady said just a minute and grabbed the phone. In a few minutes I found myself talking to Big Al.

He was one of the nicest celebrities I've ever met and I've met a lot. Very friendly and genuine. And not only did he pose for a picture, but with one of my all time favorite cars, the Johnny Lightning Special. I also happened to shoot this potential render scene while I was there.

What a great day topped off by crusing Route 66 with a bunch of low riders, rat rods and restored classics.


[attachment deleted by admin]

Offline BNS Racing

  • Veteran Driver
  • *****
  • Posts: 802
  • Coolness: 11
Re: Got to meet Big Al Unser today
« Reply #1 on: 06/03/12, 03:49 PM »
Super Kool!!

Ya, the Unsers area really nice family!!  They used to come up her to Colorado Springs and run the Pikes Peak Hill Climb for many years.  "Ma Unser" used to host a Chili dinner Downtown during the PPHC festivities.  Man, she made GREAT bowl of chili!!

Offline Chadley

  • Racin Grafix Painter
  • Veteran Driver
  • *
  • Posts: 2363
  • Coolness: 26
    • Dakotagraph
Re: Got to meet Big Al Unser today
« Reply #2 on: 06/03/12, 07:17 PM »
Yep, saw a lot of video on the Pikes Peak race and several cars in the museum. I'll be headed up Pikes Peak on Thursday, but taking the Cog Railway. I don't have a clue how my PT Cruiser would handle the altitude and I'm too lazy to find out. Plus I'm chicken to drive that road at a normal speed, let alone race it.

Offline BNS Racing

  • Veteran Driver
  • *****
  • Posts: 802
  • Coolness: 11
Re: Got to meet Big Al Unser today
« Reply #3 on: 06/03/12, 08:56 PM »
Yep, saw a lot of video on the Pikes Peak race and several cars in the museum. I'll be headed up Pikes Peak on Thursday, but taking the Cog Railway. I don't have a clue how my PT Cruiser would handle the altitude and I'm too lazy to find out. Plus I'm chicken to drive that road at a normal speed, let alone race it.

Don't know how the road is now, I have not been up it since they paved it.  Although my aunt came out here in the 60's and burned the brakes out of her Chrysler coming down the mountain.  It is pretty rough on vehicles.....

Offline Robert Vining

  • Administrator
  • Veteran Driver
  • *
  • Posts: 8289
  • Coolness: 183
  • I'm All Jacked Up On Mountain Dew!
    • Roberts Web Design
Re: Got to meet Big Al Unser today
« Reply #4 on: 06/03/12, 10:53 PM »
Man that's a great story Chad, it's really nice that he took the time to come out and talk with you. Even cooler that you got the shot with him and your favorite car. Nice render BG too!
Robert Vining, Owner
Racin Grafix
Roberts Web Design

Offline Chadley

  • Racin Grafix Painter
  • Veteran Driver
  • *
  • Posts: 2363
  • Coolness: 26
    • Dakotagraph
Re: Got to meet Big Al Unser today
« Reply #5 on: 06/04/12, 08:48 AM »
Yeah, it was a lot of fun. We chatted for 15-20 minutes about his career, about the Johnny Lightning sponsorship that he hated at first but later loved it, and about his recovery from knee surgery and our road trip. What a great guy.

Even without Al, the museum was a highlight of the trip. Really cool racing history there and presented in beautiful displays unlike some car museums I've seen. You'll notice that the cars are not roped off. They ask you not to touch them, but you can get as close as you want.

Offline BNS Racing

  • Veteran Driver
  • *****
  • Posts: 802
  • Coolness: 11
Re: Got to meet Big Al Unser today
« Reply #6 on: 06/04/12, 06:54 PM »
Hey man, do they have Bobby's number 92 Sprint Car there??  That is what he ran up the mountain for many years. 

Offline Chadley

  • Racin Grafix Painter
  • Veteran Driver
  • *
  • Posts: 2363
  • Coolness: 26
    • Dakotagraph
Re: Got to meet Big Al Unser today
« Reply #7 on: 06/05/12, 08:40 AM »
To tell you the truth, I don't remember. This is the only Pikes Peak car I took a photo of, but there were 3-4 others on display.

[attachment deleted by admin]

Offline skot71

  • Racin Grafix Painter
  • Veteran Driver
  • *
  • Posts: 1329
  • Coolness: 74
Re: Got to meet Big Al Unser today
« Reply #8 on: 06/05/12, 01:15 PM »
Incredible!!  That Johnny Lightning car has always been one of my favorites too.  I have a car carrier modeled after it that you can put real Johnny Lightning cars in.  Probably made in '71 or so.

Offline swingeasy

  • Racin Grafix Painter
  • Veteran Driver
  • *
  • Posts: 731
  • Coolness: 13
  • I've had a bad day !!!!
Re: Got to meet Big Al Unser today
« Reply #9 on: 07/31/12, 07:37 PM »
Wow Chad, what an incredible story, that must have made your day.  I have a couple of stories I could tell but yours tops all of mine.  Thanks for sharing your story.
NASCAR 2003, DO I NEED TO SAY ANYTHING MORE!!!!!

ENJOY LIFE NOW - IT HAS AN EXPIRATION DATE!!