While you may know that NASCAR has its roots in bootlegging, the true history of whiskey cars weaves together strands from history, economics, culture and technology. It's a lot more than just souped up motors and mason jars of moonshine. Test your knowledge of how whiskey cars worked.
Unlike a whiskey car, we're going to start slowly. What region of the country is most associated with whiskey cars?
The Detroit area
What historical and economic factors led to the rise of bootlegging across the south?
Prohibition, dry towns and counties, the Great Depression
The federal income tax and low gas prices
Prohibition and World War II
Even when prohibition ended and alcohol sales were legal, what crime were many bootleggers guilty of?
Selling alcohol to minors
What did many whiskey car drivers and bootleggers call federal agents?
Many whiskey car drivers were as young as 14. How did kids that young know how to handle a car?
Farm work prepared them for driving
The driving age wasn't raised to 16 until 1965
From watching movies
What was one of the favored models for whiskey cars?
A Cadillac ambulance
A Ford Coupe
What kind of engine did bootleggers like to put in their cars?
A Cadillac ambulance engine
A Chevrolet 350 engine
A Dodge HEMI engine
How did whiskey car owners and drivers get more power from their cars?
Superchargers, boring and stroking
How did whiskey car drivers modify their cars so cops they passed wouldn't know they were carrying a load of moonshine?
Extra brake lights
What whiskey car modification could trick a revenuer chasing a bootlegger into taking a turn too fast and losing control?
A supercharged engine
Disconnected brake lights
What was one of the main advantages whiskey car drivers had over the revenuers who chased them?
They knew the local roads
They didn't have to obey the speed limit
They were carrying heavy loads
What's a bootlegger's turn?
When it's that driver's week to make deliveries
A tight turn that heads the car in the opposite direction
Turning into the bushes and hiding
If a bootlegger got pulled over, how did he hide his cargo if the police searched his car?
By dumping it while being chased
Hidden compartments and fake panels
By carrying it in Coke bottles
How did Junior Johnson deal with road blocks?
He used lights and sirens
He avoided them by cutting across farms and fields
He'd jump them, like in "The Dukes of Hazzard"
What global event contributed to the end of the golden age of whiskey cars?
The end of prohibition
The sinking of the Lusitania
World War II
Why were small southern towns the first hotbeds of car racing?
They had few other entertainment options, plenty of space, lots of fast cars and drivers
That's how NSACAR planned it
Because people enjoyed seeing the same cars they drove being raced
Where and when was NASCAR formally organized?
Daytona Beach, Fla., in 1948
Atlanta, Ga., in 1946
Montgomery, Ala., in 1952
What didn't many whiskey car drivers like about NASCAR racing?
Race cars could be slower than whiskey cars
Drinking was not allowed
Racing on an oval track instead of the road
Why did NASCAR organizers want their race cars to be close to stock?
It was cheaper
The car companies like it that way
To build a fan base on brand loyalty
What other popular sport developed largely from a criminal activity?