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Two men and a Malibu
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Roy Lance, left, and G.L. Wilcher stand with the classic 1981 Malibu which they have shared in restoration and ownership.

Cars, friendship, and the love of the checkered flag stand the test of time, and George “G.L.” Wilcher and Roy Lance are two prime examples.

Wilcher’s passion for drag cars and racing reaches as far back as the late 1950s. He has raced models that date as far back as 1955 and 1957, worked pit crews for Don Hobbs and Doug Sopha at what was McMinnville Speedway owned by Peanut Cantrell, and his own first drag race reaches back to 1964 at Buffalo Valley. 

Roy Lance said of Wilcher, “He would drag a car on Saturday night, drive it back home, change the rear end on Sunday and then drive it to work on Monday.”

Drag racing was his hobby until 1971 when Wilcher said, “My boys were small, and I just decided not to do it anymore. My last race was at Buffalo Valley. I stayed out until the 1980s. That’s when me and my boys got into go-carts, and that go me back into it.”

The 1980s also saw the birth of the 1981 Malibu for which Wilcher and Lance share a common bond. In the early 1990s, Wilcher traded a lawnmower for the 1981 Malibu which at the time had no motor, transmission, or windows. 

Over the years, they attended swap meets and collected parts in order to piece the car back to working order. Wilcher said, “I have had every piece of that car in my hand.” 

Lance added saying, “This is the last of the old school. This man right here, G.L., can take any engine and make it sing.”

In 2016, Wilcher sold the car to Lance. “We made a deal. I told him that we were going to take it back and race it again one more time.” said Lance.  

A few short weeks ago, the pair did exactly that. Lance, Wilcher and the 1981 Malibu made their way back to the drag races at Buffalo Valley and where Wilcher ran 108 mph on a 1/8-mile track. 

The race took on a new meaning for Wilcher as his competition was now his son, Blaine.

Buffalo Valley saw G.L. Wilcher win the race that night which had been 50 years in the making.