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Marvin Porter
Born: April 3, 1924      Died: November 4, 2002
Home: Lakewood (Redland), CA

Marvin Porter, born in Redland, Cal in 1924, was one of those racers truly ahead of his time. His personality and charisma could and did carry him far. He grew up in an era were the well known hero's in the racing game, especially in southern California were Stubby Stubblefeild, Al "Flash" Gordon and Rex Mays in the '30s and early '40s after a four year stint in the air force during WWII, Marvin, if you knew him today was…let me put it this way, the stereotypical notion of him being the neighborhood milk man would be hard to believe. Yes, that's right, going door-to-door, peddling cheese, milk and eggs, and collecting for it. Somehow it seams to put all those racy milkman stories we heard as kids in a little different perspective.Marvin was 25 before he started racing jalopies around southern California. There were race tracks galore in that area back then, most of which had their own association; Lincoln Park in Los Angeles, Culver City, Carrell Speedway in Gardena, San Diego, Bakersfield (Oildale), and orange show stadium in San Bernardino to name a few. His close friend during the jalopy days was Rufus Jones, later to be known in the racing world as Parnelli Jones.Parnelli started driving stock cars in 56 and thought it was so much fun that during a game of cards at Marvin's place one evening, he suggested that Marvin get a stock car ride and go racing with him. Marvin opted to do just that and got a ride in a Plymouth, owned by Jack Chataney. His first race was at Portland in May of 57 in July of that same year Marvin got a ride in Vel's Ford as a teammate to Parnelli they ran the Darlington 500, the first of 5 year he would do so. In September he finished second on the Sacramento mile to Danny Grays and then a week later, at the Santa Clara fairgrounds in San Jose won his first Pacific Coast Late Model Championship race. He would win 10 more in years to come along with the 1959 NASCAR National Short Track Title. And the 1960 NASCAR Pacific Coast Title. For many years and active partner with Parnelli Jones Firestone Stores and Enterprises and still a very close friend to Parnelli, Marvin spends most of his time down south of the boarder.

Our close friend Marvin Porter passed away in November 2002. Marvin was very proud and honored by his induction and we will all miss him very much. Rest in piece buddy.

Born in Redlands, California in 1924, Marvin Porter served four years in the Air Force during World War II. He returned to California and took a job as the door-to-door milk delivery man. At age 25, Porter began racing in the Jalopy events on the local tracks of southern California at places like Lincoln Park in Los Angeles, Culver City, Carrell Speedway in Gardena, San Diego, Bakersfield, and The Orange Show Stadium in San Bernardino.

Porter’s close friend Rufus “Parnelli” Jones suggested that he get himself a stock car and begin racing with the Pacific Coast Stock Cars and with NASCAR. Porter took Jones’s advice and drove Jack Chatenay’s No. 30 Plymouth in the NASCAR Grand National Division event at Portland Speedway starting 16th and finishing 9th. He drove Chatenay’s Plymouth in two more events before entering the Southern 500 at Darlington driving Oscar Maples’ No. 12 Ford finishing 26th after the engine expired.

Porter competed at the California State Fairgrounds driving the No. 12 Ford finishing second. At the Santa Clara Fairgrounds in San Jose, he qualified 12th and won on the ½-mile dirt track. The event was scheduled for 200 laps, but after a horrendous crash on lap 116 left only five cars in the event and only the cars of Porter and Eddie Pagan on the lead lap, NASCAR declared the event concluded.

In 1958, Porter competed in six NASCAR Grand National events. He recorded a 9th place finish on the 2.85-mile road course at Bridgehampton Raceway in Bridgehampton, New York driving Howard Phillippi’s No.17 Ford.

Porter campaigned his own No. 12 Ford in seven NASCAR Grand National events in 1959. He recorded a 3rd place finish in the 500-lap event on the 4/10-mile dirt track at Ascot Stadium in Los Angeles and a 4th in the 200-lap event on the ¼-mile dirt track at Heidelberg Raceway in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

In 1960, Porter drove Mel Miletich’s No. 98 Ford in three NASCAR Grand National events and scored a win in the California 250 on the 1.4-mile asphalt Marchbanks Speedway in Hanford, California after leading 50 laps. He led the first 11 laps of the Copper Cup 100 at Phoenix, but an oil line failure put him out of the event.

Porter made eight Grand National starts in 1961 with his best finish being a 13th in the Festival 250 at Atlanta International Raceway.

In 1963, Porter drove Miletich’s No. 77 Ford in the 2 NASCAR Grand National events at Riverside, California. A rearend failure in the first event dropped him from competition and relegated him to a 38th place finish. In the second event, Porter finished 15th. In 1964, He drove Miletich’s No. 77W at Riverside finishing 7th in the Motor Trend 500.

Porter’s final event in NASCAR Grand National Division competition came in the Motor Trend 500 at Riverside in 1967. He qualified 25th for the event, but broke a swaybar on the 15th lap and finished a disappointing 38th driving Carl Dane’s No. 1 Ford.

In his eight-year NASCAR Grand National Division career, Porter recorded 34 starts, 2 wins, 6 top-5s, and 12 top-10s. Marvin Porter passed away in November 2002.

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1960: Marvin Porter wins his second and final Cup race, leading the last 50 laps and beating Joe Weatherly by 46 seconds in the California 250 at Marchbanks Speedway in Hanford, Calif. Joe Rostek finishes third, four laps back. Porter, the 1960 NASCAR West champion, runs his last Cup race in 1967. He was inducted into the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame in 2002.

Marvin Porter Grand National Statistics

Year Age Races Win T5 T10 Pole Laps Led Earnings Rank AvSt AvFn
1957 33 6 of 53 1 2 3 0 771 1 1,770 44 16.8 11.2
1958 34 6 of 51 0 0 2 0 542 0 565   23.0 24.8
1959 35 7 of 44 0 2 4 0 1696 0 1,940 46 18.0 14.3
1960 36 3 of 44 1 1 1 0 223 61 2,100 69 6.7 12.7
1961 37 8 of 52 0 1 1 0 1096 0 2,070 49 20.5 22.2
1963 39 2 of 55 0 0 0 0 202 0 1,100 79 18.0 26.5
1964 40 1 of 62 0 0 1 0 179 0 1,150 56 31.0 7.0
1967 43 1 of 49 0 0 0 0 15 0 500 115 25.0 38.0
8 years 34 2 6 12 0 4724 62 11,195   18.7 18.5

 


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