PHOTOS FROM THE DAVE LAPE COLLECTION.
The "Troyer Destroyer" story is as follows (shamelessly plagued from Lew Boyd's book "Fonda").
In the early 80's the Troyer "Mud Bus" with its tubular chassis was the rage. That design rekindled Dave Lape's interest in building race cars, resulting in Dave drawing out a design in chalk on the concrete floor of Bruce Dostal's shop, and then turning on the welder. The car looked good from the start, and after one look Corky Stockham of the National Parts Peddler labeled the black, white and red flamed #22 "The Troyer Destroyer".
Exceptionaly fast, the car won so many features that Lape began to see a market for his design. Dave formed "Champ Car Fabrication", first partnered with Howard Conkey, and later with Jim Senzio would prove successful despite a shaky start. Shaky start would be described by Champ Car owner Mike VanDusen's wicked flip in Fonda's first turn that collapsed the roll cage in the VanDusen's mount. VanDusen wasn't seriously hurt, but seeing his creation turn into a convertible had a profound effect on Lape. Dave immediatley overhauled his roll cage design, and VanDusen's car would be the first and last Champ Car to suffer roll cage failure.
Champ Cars made Dave a favorite on the "Dirt Tour" where he won some of the circuits biggest races. The 84 Eastern States 200 at Middletown, The Rolling Wheels 200 in 85 and 89 to name a few. At one point the "Track of Champions" had 23 Champ Cars in the pits. Dave's brother-in-law Billy Gray, known as "the Wild Child", shocked the Montgomery Fairgrounds in 7/5/97 by winning both the modified and the 358 main in his Champ Car.
The Champ Car business would continue for 15 years, and Lape cars would win from New Hampshire to Florida. The company finally closed when the Lape's moved into their new home that didn't have a race shop.
(L-R) Ron Compani, track announcer Jim King, Dave, and the Grimm family (car owners) Bobby Grimm with the red hat, and far right is Cliff Montanye who works with Dave today.
The "Troyer Destroyer" at Syracuse. The #28 is Ty Scott.
Lew Boyd picking up his new Champ Car (he still has it).
"Jumpin" Jack and Dave at Utica-Rome Speedway.
Joe Bellomo, trophy girl, "Jumpin" Jack, Jackie Gray (later to be Jackie Lape) 1976 Montgomery County Bi-Centenial Queen, and Jo Jo DeSarbo.
Jessica Lape and Ronnie Johnson (1995). Jessica was celebrating her 3rd birthday.
Dave and trophy presenter Veronica Gray, Jackie's sister.
The Burrows #22 at Syracuse.
Same car as above.
(L-R) Bobby Varin, Matt Delorenzo, Dave, and Ryan Odasz.
Dave Lape's induction into the "Dirt Hall of Fame". (L-R) Lew Boyd, Jessica Lape, and Dave.
This is Dick Berggren's "Stock Car Magazine project car".
Dave's grandson Nigel with the Andy's Speed Shop car.
Dave in action off Fonda's turn four.
Thanks Dave and Jackie, your the best.
NEXT: Wait and see, it'll be good.