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Car #71




Bob Matson is a life long racer.  I talk with him often.  He raced on Playland when it was dirt!  He raced Playland from time to time throughout it's history, from the early 50's until it closed. He began with a yellow, flatty powered 37 Ford coupe, #71.  It was owned by Larry Robinson.   I got his scrapbook  and created this Bob Matson web page.   Bob mainly raced dirt tracks like Harlan and Corning. To say that he was a good racer is an under-statement!  He was also involved in one of the best Playland stories.

There is an article that Ron Hoden provided about a 14 car motor inspection at Playland in 1958.  They pulled a head off each car and checked for bore and high compression pistons.  Six cars were disqualified as a result.  One was Bob Matson, a friend of mine profiled here.  I called Bob and asked him about the story. Ten cars submitted to inspection, two were found illegal.  One was the owner of Bob's racer.  It was a flatty with a 3 3/8" bore, twice the .060 allowable overbore. Four others refused inspection and were suspended.  Bob remembered the event well, John Ernest, Ernie Bonney, Joe Dragon, Ed Zimmerman, Lynn Grabill, Dutch Munsinger.  


Bob also 'fessed to a  story that I heard from Don Ronk  that involved Ron Hoden.  So I called Ron for verification.  Ron verified the story of a man winning a powder-puff race at Playland in 1957 or 58.  It seems Ron goaded Bob Matson into racing in a powder puff.  It was in 1957 or 58.  Bob hopped into a 55 merc owned by Norm Robinson.  Bob putted around the track and although he wasn't working too hard at it, ended up winning!  He pulled up to the starter stand and freaked the flagman out when he saw it was Bob.  The joke wasn't so funny! Bob said the flagman told him to "get out quick" and sure enough there was a mob in the pits.  A police escort through the entrance under the roller coaster was required to get out of there in one piece.  Bob "didn't go back for about a month".  So the rumors about Bob winning a powder puff were true.  Ron Hoden and Don Ronk remember a dress involved, Don thought maybe a wig too!  Bob said, no dress, no wig, it was a last minute dare from Ron that wasn't such a good joke after all!






Bob owns an IMCA modified right now. You see him at every swap meet within 150 miles of Omaha.


This is a (mostly) chronological history of Bob's racecars in pictures with a little Matson history thrown in.


Bob winning a B feature at Corning, Ia    The little piece of metal was clogging the fuel line for most of the season.  Nice looking car and hauler.   

  Bob collecting a $50 bounty for beating Bill Banker (who won 7 features in a row!). rolled this in '71.   It was nice!!  Too bad he rolled it.



Another nice coupe that he rolled, then sold to Jack Zadina who died in it several years later.   yeah, Bob kissed her.  bob09.jpg (38539 bytes)  


bob10.jpg (40016 bytes)  bob11.jpg (38677 bytes)



Bob and his son Dan.  bob13.jpg (31990 bytes)