On Saturday, October 5th, the Griffith Historical Society unveiled its new Special Display at their Franklin Center Museum featuring Griffith residents and racing legends, Paul Goldsmith and Ray Nichels.
Nichels began building midget race cars in his father’s Highland garage when he was a teenager, and moved up from there. While working days delivering fuel oil, he spent his nights in his friend’s garage building an Indy race car. The inspiring story of this car, nicknamed ‘Basement Bessie’ is featured on the Nichels display board.
Goldsmith was born in West Virginia and moved to Detroit as a teen-ager, later finding employment in a Chrysler plant. Rightafter World War II, he bought his first motorcycle and discovered that he had the skills for competitive racing, winning several races, including the Daytona 200.
When he retired from motorcycle racing, Goldsmith teamed up with Nichels to drive the cars that Nichels engineered. Together, over the years, they raced both Pontiacs and Chrysler stock cars, as well as Indy cars, and found much success at tracks across the country. The two men also went into business together.
The Franklin Special Display features displays cases for both men, as well as display boards for each with photos and articles. A large display case holds photos and race car memorabilia from both men. Movies of several of the Goldsmith and Nichels races will also be playing while the museum is open.
The display will continue into spring, 2018, and the Franklin Center Museum is open the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month, from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Please enter through Door G.