After moving from Kansas to Bakersfield, California, Bill Mears decided to put his racing days behind him—that is, until his sons’ racing interests pushed him back into the sport, opening a new chapter of Mears family racing adventures. Initially working out of their home garage, Roger and Rick started racing motorcycles, but Bill and Roger built a 1957 Chevrolet convertible to NASCAR stock car regulations and ran it at local tracks, and attempted to qualify in 1972 at NASCAR’s nationally-sanctioned Permatex 200 at Riverside International Raceway. At the same time, the Mears brothers began racing off-road buggies at Ascot Stadium in Gardena, California, and longer off-road courses across the western United States.
This Chenowth Wedge is an example of the Volkswagon-powered "buggies" the Mears brothers drove early in their racing career. It is the first "long wheelbase" buggy built by Lynn Chenowth, which he gave to the Mears family. Bill ran the car for a year before Roger competed with it for another year. The Mears family eventually sold the Chenowth to Rick Galles—a longtime Indy car owner and “500” winner with Al Unser Jr. in 1992— who entered Roger and Rick in an off-road race in Denver, Colorado, using this car.