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Roy Clark, Mopar racer

by David Zatz on

Famed guitarist Roy Clark, who made numerous TV appearances including a stint as co-host of Hee Haw from 1969 to 1971 and numerous guest-host gigs for The Tonight Show, has died at the age of 85.  Generally less well-known than his hot guitar-picking was his record of racing Mopars.

roy clark car

Mecum Auctions sold this car in May.

One example was the “Super Picker” Plymouth Belvedere, powered by a worked-over, dual-four-barrel Wedge V8, which he started racing in 1965; the car had a best run of 10.48 seconds at 132 mph, according to Mecum.

Clark could also play guitar in the classical, country, Latin, bluegrass, and pop genres, and had several hits as a vocalist. Those particularly interested in his career can read his 1994 autobiography, My Life in Spite of Myself. He started out on television in 1954, as the lead guitarist for Jimmy Dean’s band, the Texas Wildcats; he made sporadic but fairly frequent television appearances afterwards, playing two recurring characters on The Beverly Hillbillies,  before joining Buck Owens for Hee Haw.

Clark was married in 1957, to Barbara Rupard, and had four children. He died in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a city which named an elementary school after him, of pneumonia on November 15, 2018.

Credit for this story goes to Roseville Moparts and David Lantz.

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