Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

'79 Chevy Car of Choice for Veteran Indy Racer Zink

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

'79 Chevy Car of Choice for Veteran Indy Racer Zink

Article excerpt

TULSA (AP) _ The 1979 Chevrolet station wagon has 253,833 miles on the odometer, hardly the sort of car Jack Zink of racing fame would be expected to drive.

Fourteen years ago, Zink, a Tulsa industrialist, bought the car for $3,500 at a salvage yard after it had been wrecked. Now, the station wagon seems as plain vanilla as its white paint, the sort of car Mom might use to drive the kids to school.

It wouldn't rate a second glance on the expressway, and that's the way Zink, whose cars have twice won the Indianapolis 500, likes it.

He's proud of the Chevy's record, and chuckles when acquaintances express surprise about his first choice for everyday driving, whether in town or for distant trips, such as the one he and the Chevy made to Canada.

Zink has a fortune invested in cars. If his private collection is not the most expensive in Oklahoma, there's little doubt it's the most unusual.

Although he declined to estimate the cost, he acknowledged it would have seven figures.

Zink has three Indy 500 race cars stored at his ranch north of Sand Springs. He also has five off-road racers like the type he drove to win the Baja 500, the Big River 500, Parker 400 and Cobra 300.

His wife drives a Mercedes, and a Porsche spends most of its time parked under an eave of his house.

Zink even has a midget racer dating back to the mid-1940s. Although he was owner and sole mechanic, professionals drove it to the AAA Southwest Region championship in 1948.

Two other Indy racers bearing Zink's name are in the Indianapolis 500 Museum, both engineered and built by Zink. The first raced in 1955 with an average speed of 128.209 mph and the second in 1956 at an average 128.49 mph.

As a driver, Zink has gone at speeds above 200 miles per hour. He was in a car that flipped while traveling 120 mph on his track at the ranch. He also sailed off a 150-foot embankment at Las Vegas while driving 100 mph in an off-road race.

Both of his legs have been broken in racing accidents. He also has raced motorcycles and boats and he won the Oklahoma state championship in stock car races.

With his background as a race driver and an engineer who designs and builds racers, people expect to see daring feats whenever Zink's behind a steering wheel. …

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