Many of us growing up in the southeastern U.S. in the 1960's had the exciting pleasure of watching Gene Cromer in his Willys gasser demolish much of his competition weekend after weekend. I was one of the lucky ones growing up in Anderson, SC and lived in a neighborhood not far from Gene's Speed Shop. Many afternoons, some of us would walk home from middle school (although we had bus service) so we could stop by Gene's and see the Moonlighter up close and to see Gene at work on it. That was a long time ago now. On one of my recent (and very infrequent) stops in Anderson last summer, I stopped and visited an old friend still in Anderson, Dennis Glenn. We were classmates in the 1960's and Dennis does fine auto restoration work in the area. During this visit, I asked Dennis about Gene and the Moonlighter. I was happy to learn that Gene was still in the neighborhood and still owned the car. Step forward a few months… Dennis called me one evening recently and told me a group of people were getting involved with Gene and resurrecting the Moonlighter. What a wonderful beginning to a wonderful story. While there are many generous people involved in this endeavor, one in particular stands out as the catalyst and leader of the charge. This would be Quain Stott from Mill Springs, NC. Quain has started a thread on the H.A.M.B. site (on JalopyJournal.com) and posted many photos and progress information on the project. Quain's original post from last August is now up to 53 pages, 1,059 replies, and has had 106,697 views (as of March 29, 1013). This is a true testament to Gene's popularity and longevity as an icon in drag racing.
This website is a tribute to Gene and the Moonlighter and to those involved in this fantastic endeavor. ...........Jack McAllister (formerly of Anderson, SC)
FAST FORWARD 40+ YEARS
So, if you were a drag racing fan and somehow missed Gene and the Willys in the hey day of gassers, well, you just might be lucky enough to experience the man and the machine this coming summer. Thanks to a dedicated group of Gene's fans, friends, and drag racing enthusiasts, the Moonlighter is on the way back to life. See the in-progress story by clicking on the MOONLIGHTER STORY button below and you can see the progress to date and through the anticipated completion early Summer 2013. We will post the date that Gene and the car will debut in Anderson this summer. Hope to see you there!