MASON CITY — Don “Bub” Anderson still recalls the last night he climbed — or had to be helped — out of a race car.
At 85 years old, Anderson stood and looked at a replica of his old No. 33 race car Saturday at Southbridge Mall.
The car was created to commemorate Anderson’s racing legacy.
It’s been four decades since Anderson flipped his car — about as high as a telephone pole as some remember — and broke his back.
It marked the end of his racing career. It didn’t mark the end of his contribution to the sport he loves.
“You know, I’d try it again,” Anderson said. “I loved all of it. The garage. The guys. You’ve got to have a whole lot of guys together if you are going to have fun. That’s what we did. If we made 20 bucks we thought it was great.”
He looked proudly at his red and white No. 33, a ’51 Chevy, Saturday.
Some of his nephews drew up the idea this winter.
Jim Anderson, a relative of Bub’s, is president of the North Iowa Vintage Car Club.
The club has 13 members and a number of their cars were on display Saturday at the car show at the mall.
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None meant more to many of the people inside Southbridge Mall than Bub’s ride.
“He was a pioneer of this sport,” Jim Anderson said.
Needing a walker to get around, Anderson jokes about getting behind the wheel.
His son, Denny, is one of the area’s most well-known Modified drivers.
His grandsons, Jamie and Scotty Anderson, have raced in the area for years. They’ll be around the track this year when I-35 Speedway kicks off its season April 8.
“He inspired a lot of people to go racing,” Jamie Anderson said.
Bub never did it for the money.
The most he won during a single race was $60 or $70.
He wasn’t in it to get rich. He was in because he had a love for cars and everything that came with driving a race car.
His career ended that day when his car flipped multiple times. The injury hurt for a while. The memories haven’t faded after four decades.
“I remember Larry Ringham trying to get me out,” he said. “I’m still holding the record for height (during a crash), though. I think I still got it.”