ENGINE & CYLINDER HEAD EXCHANGE
WINSTON LEO "BROWNIE" BROWN, JR.
MARGARET ANN DAVIS BROWN
Hall of Fame Inductees
story of Brownie and Margaret dates to so early in their lives that it
is appropriate that one biography be written. Their paths crossed when
Brownie was 13 and Margaret was 10 years old as Brownie’s father worked
with Margaret’s two uncles at the A-l Pilsner Beer Co. in Phoenix,
Arizona. Even though they later developed a teenage crush on each other,
Margaret was not allowed to date Brownie until after she graduated from
high school in 1962 because her mother felt that he ran with a rough
Brownie, a true Phoenix native, was born at St. Joseph’s Hospital on
July 24, 1941, to Winston Leo Brown, Sr. and Lora Snoddy Brown, both
natives of Texas. He grew up in what is now downtown Phoenix, graduating
from North High School in 1959. He developed a love of automobiles early
in life, and his prize possession in high school was a 1951 black Ford
coupe, in which he was part of the incredibly popular "Cruisin’ Central"
teenage activity of 1950-60’s Phoenix.
Although Margaret’s mother may have thought that Brownie was part of a
"rough crowd," in reality he was just a hardworking kid. Brownie always
liked having his own money and, as a result, he always had some sort of
job. As early as the eighth grade, he had 30 customers for his lawn
service business; later, as a teenager he worked in a gas station. He
also made money as a coin collector, a passion he pursues yet today.
After graduation from North High in 1959, Brownie attended Phoenix
College for two years after which he landed a job with General Electric
where he worked for 18 years.
Margaret was born in Yuma, Arizona to Mack Davis (not the singer) and
Lola Fern Edwards Davis. Mack was from Arkansas and Lola was from Hobert,
Oklahoma, both of whom came to Arizona in the 1930s. Margaret’s
childhood was spent in Somerton, a small town south of Yuma, moving to
Phoenix while in the seventh grade. Margaret grew up in south Phoenix,
graduating from South Mountain High School in 1962. Immediately after
high school, Margaret began working for the Arizona Motor Vehicle
Department where she stayed for four years, switching to the career of
motherhood. By the way, she married Brownie in 1963.
Brownie was always a natural entrepreneur as seen by his childhood
business ventures. While General Electric was good to him, he always had
a desire to own a "junk yard." Brownie’s exact words were, "I always
wanted to own a junk yard." He loved automobiles and he loved collecting
things; they sort of go together. Fortunately, he had a relative who had
made a lot of money in Ecuador who was willing to finance him, so
Brownie’s Auto Parts became a reality in 1976. Brownie ran the business,
Margaret kept the books and, while the business never made the money
that Brownie anticipated, it did well enough for him to pay back his
relative and provide a good living for his family.
Brownie’s Auto Parts was the entrée for Brownie and
Margaret’s participation in the Stock Car Racing Association. Although
Margaret has spoken of "too much togetherness," their love and
commitment to one another has been the underpinning for their commitment
to SCRA. When one thinks of 27 years of volunteer service to any
organization, it is hard to conceive of how even one of them could do
it, much less both of them, especially when they have done the
invisible, unnoticed work, without headlines or fanfare. Nevertheless,
year after year, Brownie and Margaret have been there, keeping the
books, raising funds for the stars of the show, holding the organization
together, doing the dirty work, many times without a thank you.
Consistency is the word that comes to mind when one thinks of Brownie
Sadly, the world lost Brownie on July 24th, 2016. He will be missed by all who had the pleasure of every meeting him. Rest in peace, my friend.