New Mexico Motorsports Legends: A Trip to David Malcolm’s Shop
By Spencer Hill
Seven decades ago, the excitement for auto racing in the Land of Enchantment was at an all-time high. A new track had just been built on Eubank Boulevard by the name of Speedway Park and soon became the only place in the area to catch the thrill of dirt track oval racing. Although many names were pivotal in the infant years that helped to create the motorsports foundation that Albuquerque stands on today, the Malcolm family was one of the first to tackle the sport’s local boom from a business perspective.
The first purpose-built racetrack in New Mexico was Navajo Speedway, which opened in 1926. It would later go through a name change to First American Speedway before closing its gates in 1940. Besides the old fairgrounds, the city of Albuquerque struggled to find a permanent home for racers until 1947 when Cormit Speedway, a high-banked quarter mile, was built. One year later, the Rio Grande Sports Bowl was also operational, giving fans and competitors a second choice to get their racing fix in the metro. These two tracks were relatively short-lived, however, with Rio Grande Sports Bowl shutting down just two years later and Cormit Speedway (later called Sandia Stadium) closing for good in 1954.
Racing in Albuquerque would change forever in 1950 with the birth of Speedway Park. The new facility was truly ahead of its time; brought to fruition thanks to volunteers from the newly formed driver’s group called the New Mexico Motor Racing Association. It was during this same year that NMMRA elected their first official president, Charles “Chick” Malcolm.
Chick Malcolm was best known in town for starting his successful towing business, Malcolm Wrecker and Garage Service. Malcolm Services Inc. was one of Albuquerque’s first towing operations. Chick was famous for naming each of his tow trucks, starting with “Sad Sack” and “Kilroy,” which were a pair of surplus military 4x4s. Every rig was beautifully dressed in red, white, and blue; finished off with their notorious catchphrase “Pulling for Malcolm!” Chick’s racing career only lasted a couple of seasons, but he supported racing like no other and will forever be acknowledged as a major pioneer of the sport.
It wasn’t too long before David Malcolm followed in his father’s footsteps both in racing and business. David began his own racing career in enduro go karts, picking up wins and championships across the nation notorious tracks like Michigan International Speedway, Indianapolis Raceway Park, and Daytona International Speedway. By 1973, David had moved up to the Sprint Car division and recorded even more success at tracks across the southwest. After a string of chilling wrecks in the late 70s, David made the decision to hang up the helmet in 1979 to focus on his family and the towing business.
In recent years, David has shifted his focus to a new chapter in life. Malcolm Services Inc. has since been transformed into a premium RV and vehicle storage facility, with indoor and covered parking available for RVs, boats, trailers and more. Furthermore, David has dedicated countless hours to restore several historic cars including his famous No. 8x House of Carpets Special and the “Brickyard Hauler,” a tribute to the pioneers of Indy.
The Malcolm family’s contribution to the success, growth, and preservation of sprint car racing in New Mexico is remarkable and it is our job to make sure that their hard work is recognized for many generations to come.
Photos Courtesy of Joe Sherwood and the Remembering Speedway Park Facebook Page