Art Pollard: Early Years and Personal Facts

Art in 1928

Birthdate – May 5, 1927

Full Name – Artle Lee Pollard, Jr.

Photo courtesy of Bob Pollard

Photo courtesy of Bob Pollard

Art’s Parents – Artle Lee Pollard Sr. (1903-1964) & Bobbie Marie (Jaynes) Pollard (1907-2000). Art’s dad was born in Anderson, Texas.

Place of Birth – Dragon, Utah which became a ghost town shortly after his birth.

Siblings – A sister, Christine, 3 years older and a brother Robert, 3 years younger (shown in a 1930 photo).

Grandfather on the Pollard Side – Andrew Jackson Pollard was born in 1876 in Guin, Alabama. He died in 1950 in Amherst, Texas. Art’s Great Grandfather on the Pollard Side was John Thomas Pollard born in 1853 in Georgia. The records for the Pollard lineage don’t go back much further than this (as of now).

Puritan Roots on Art’s mom’s side – The Jaynes lineage goes back to an English Puritan immigration in Connecticut in the 1630’s. This was also the time of a Massachusetts Colonists’ immigration to Connecticut.

Grew Up In – Art moved from Dragon, Utah while still an infant, to Delano, CA (shown above in a 1937 photo with sis Christine, his Mom, and little brother Robert), Shafter, CA., Bakersfield, CA., and Los Angeles, CA., prior moving to Roseburg, Oregon in 1944.

Photo courtesy of Bob Pollard

Art in 1944 where he completed High School in Roseburg, Oregon.

Nickname – Pachuko: When he lived in LA he combed and cut his hair in order to have the “duck tail” hair style in the back. The name originated from the Mexican’s of the day who wore the tight cuffed pants at the bottom. Anyhow the hair style and the fact he was from LA when the family moved to Roseburg resulted in the Roseburg High School kids giving him the nick-name.

Photo courtesy of Mike Pollard

Art as a teenager

Pollard Family Collection

Art Pollard Jr., Roseburg High School

Pollard Family Collection

Pollard Family Collection

1953 – Claudine, Art, Judy & Mike

Pollard Family Collection

Art in 1945 where he completed High School in Roseburg, Oregon.

School Activities – Art was outstanding in both basketball and football on the Roseburg High School Teams.

Photo courtesy of Bob Pollard

Spouse – Art married Claudine on April 10, 1946.

Photo courtesy of Mike Pollard

Military – Art served in the U.S. NAVY (shown above in 1946) and thoroughly enjoyed visiting U.S. troops during a USAC goodwill tour of Vietnam in 1971. He considered it a privilege to go over and talk with them and encourage them.

Photo courtesy of Bob Pollard

Children – Michael and Judy (shown above in 1966 with Mom & Dad).

Like similar occupations, the life of a professional race car driver can cause a great strain on marriages and personal relationships. The rigors of a season-long race shedule, combined with testing sessions, sponsorship obligations and public speaking, was a demanding schedule that kept Art on the road and away from home. Unfortunately, this affected Art and Claudine’s marriage. And after 24 years of marriage, Art and Claudine divorced in 1970.

For much of their marriage, Claudine (and Mike and Judy), traveled with Art to his racing events throughout the Pacific Northwest. Up until their time of divorce, Claudine supported Art’s racing aspirations, while they also enjoyed a good family life and created many fun memories. Claudine remained in Medford, OR, until she moved to Eugene, OR in 2010 to live nearer to daughter, Judy. Claudine passed away in March of 2015 from age-related causes at the age of 87.

1972 – Pat Pollard helping her husband recover after breaking his leg at Indy.

In 1970, Art married a second time, to Patricia McFall. She met Art while living in Lafayette, Indiana. She did not know much about racing until they were introduced by a pilot friend and his family, that Pat had worked with previously as a flight attendant. They had invited her to the race at Indy, and afterward they attended a party where she was introduced to Art. At the time, Pat had no idea if Art was a driver, crew member, or simply a fan. Art and Pat were in-tune from the time they met. She said, “In the back of your mind you realize racing is a dangerous sport, but it’s just like everything else in life, if something bad is going to happen, you think it will happen to someone else.”

A few years after Art’s death, Pat remarried. Her second husband, Dave Arslanian, spent his career as a football coach, begnning as head coach at Snow College, a junior college in Ephraim, Utah. From there, he spent 16 years on the coaching staff at Weber State University in Ogden. He was their assistant coach for seven years, then the Wildcat’s head coach for nine seasons. Dave became the head foortball coach at Utah State University for the next two years. Pat and Dave are now retired and live between their homes in Ogden, Utah and Goodyear, Arizona. Judy Pollard Dippel stays in contact with them.

First Car – 1940 Oldsmobile, blue (shown above in 1966 with little brother Bob), which he also removed all the chrome trim and leaded in all the holes.

Photo courtesy of Bob Pollard

1948 Chevrolet

Photo courtesy of Bob Pollard

First Race – 10’ Outboard Hydroplanes down the Umpqua River in north Roseburg.

First Auto Race – Micro Midgets indoors at the Roseburg Fairgrounds.

1954 Above – Art competes in Bob and Ollie’s Micro-Midget at the Roseburg Fairgrounds in Oregon. Art is shown holding his three year old daughter Judy.

Photo courtesy of Mike Pollard

Interests – Prior to racing cars Art also had an interest in remodeling cars such as the 1948 Chevrolet (shown above), which had all the chrome ornaments removed and the holes were leaded in to create a smooth looking finish on the car. The car was a medium to dark blue, which does not show up in the picture since color pictures taken in the late forties do not weather so well over time, they fade and change colors, usually yellowing. Most of the yellowing has been removed. Art also enjoyed family camp-outs and was an excellent water skiier.

Favorite Music – When he lived in LA (1941-1944) he liked “Boogie Woogie” and later was part of the 40’s and 50’s crowd. Later he also enjoyed Big Bands, Jazz and he also enjoyed The Carpenters.

Favorite Food – Mexican

Favorite Actor – Jack Lemmon

First Indy Car Race – August 22, 1965 – Art Pollard competes in his first USAC Champ car race at Milwaukee in a rear engined Vollstedt with Offenhauser power owned by Jim Robbins. Art started 25th but spun out and was credited with 22nd position.

Money Won in First Indy Car Race – $186.00

First Indy 500 – Art attempted in 1966 but was bumped from the lineup. Returned in 1967 to start the Thermo-King #16 Gerhardt-Offy in 13th and finished 8th.

Most Controversial Race Car – The STP Lotus Turbine #20 in 1968 for Andy Granatelli.

Superstitions – Unlike many drivers, Art was not superstitious. He was more of a “take one day at a time,” sort of person.

First Indy Car Victory – June 8, 1969 at Milwaukee driving in the #57 STP Gerhardt Offy.

Money Won for First Indy Car Victory – $17,362.00

Biggest Racing Payday – $73,500.00 for second place in the 1970 California 500 at Ontario Motor Speedway.

Height – 5 foot 11 and 1/2 inches tall

Weight – 195 lbs.

Number of Indy 500 Art Competed In – 5 (He qualified in the field for six, but broke his leg in a post qualifying accident in 1972 and was unable to race).

Best Indy 500 Starting Position – 6th starting spot in 1970.

Best Indy 500 Finish – 8th place in 1967.

Photo courtesy of Bob Pollard

Art Pollard and “Doc” Severinsen met during Art’s racing career, and interestingly, when Art’s son-in-law, Mark Dippel, played football for Oregon State University at University of Oklahoma in 1970, “Doc” Serverinsen was there, and he invited the whole team to come to the club where he was playing that night. They did! And the game score? Oregon State 23 – University of Oklahoma 14.

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Contact the webmaster, David Owen

Dave with his dad, Louis at the 2016 IMS Air Races.

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Contact Judy Pollard Dippel

Judy is an author, speaker and publishing consultant. She is the daughter of Art Pollard.

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Contact Bob Kehoe, author of Art Pollard:
The Life and Legacy of a Gentleman Racer.
Request an autographed copy.

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