Lilburn Lamar Obituary (1935 – 2021) – West Sacramento, CA

Lilburn “Clyde” Lamar
November 14, 1935 – December 22, 2021
West Sacramento, California – November 14 1935. I was born in a car somewhere in San Angelo Texas. We were on our way to Shasta County just outside Redding Ca.
I was 12 when I lost my Father Clyde in a mining accident. I was the oldest of 2 brothers Marion and David and 2 sisters Bettie and Linda.
We caught salmon from the river, raised rabbits and drew water from the well in order to survive. To pass the time I learned to play piano, guitar and sing with my cousins.
A few years out of the Marines, I married my first wife, Marjorie Conway the mother of my 3 boys Frank, Burney and Izzie. After work I’d find old cars that I could junk for additional money. One day I came across this old Ford and I realized that, with some work, I could enter it in a Saturday night race at the Anderson fairgrounds. After the first race, ideas came to mind of how I could make my car more competitive. So I made several trips to the junk yards and pulled whatever parts I needed to bring my ideas to life.
Not long after that I left California and followed the job to Medford Oregon. I had Frank and Burney with me when I met and married my second wife Marion Schroeder. She had a one year old son named Herman who I raised as my own.
In 1964 we moved to West Sacramento. I continued to junk cars and any metals I could find. The want for constantly innovating became my biggest asset for what was to come.
I went to work for Capital Machine. They loved my ability to visualize and solve problems. Then Sacramento Engineering saw my value and upped the ante. I worked there until the end of 1968.
In 1969 with 2 other partners: Charlie Booth and Charlie Stout, Tri-C Machine was born. Soon after, I purchased all shares from both partners.
From day one Marion handled the front office and I was out back. The hours were long but we were receiving calls to design, engineer and build several types of machines that would make other businesses prosper. I’d work around the clock to repair break-downs, and for 10 years I had the maintenance contract for the Port of Sacramento. I was even machining parts needed for aerospace and over the years I was awarded several patents.
From our home I could hear the cars roaring around the track at West Capital raceway, it was like a calling to me. It was 1971 when I put our first car on the track. Over time it’d come to be known as the “3c Tri-C Machine.” Over the next 50 years Marion and I would get everything in order so when Friday rolled around we could load up and spend the weekend racing. Marion always had a pep talk for our drivers; it went like this” drive it like you stole it”. The rest of the time if the family wasn’t having a BBQ, fishing, or boating, you could find us at the baseball park. The boys just loved their baseball.
In 1980 I built my first tire shredder and when completed it could remove the metal from the sidewall and turn the rest of the tire into 2 inch chunks. With this done, the metals could be recycled and the rubber could be used as a mix for fuel at the Bio Mass generation plants or as a base at the landfills. I was able to turn the larger truck tires into pure rubber which looked like black sand and could be made into all types of useful products. I built mobile tire shredders that were used to clean up toxic tire dumps all across the nation. I’d like to think I had a small part in cleaning up our earth’s environment.
By now Burney and Herman were handling Tri-C Machine Sacramento, Frank was Tri-C Machine Auburn and Izzie and Cheryl had Izzie’s Body and Frame.
It was right about this time that I set up a recording studio at the house. My cousin Dean and his wife Phyllis would come over and we’d jam for hours. We were always the opening act at all the family gatherings.
Years would fly by but every Christmas Eve we’d invite our entire family and friends over for an evening of food, drinks, song and Santa Claus. For Easter all the grandkids would come over for the egg hunt and a trip to 15th street market to choose their kites for the annual kite flying challenge. It was a Lamar tradition. We never needed a reason to gather and did so whenever we could.
Marion and I got to see parts of the world few get to see. I’ve caught fish you wouldn’t believe and when asked “Clyde how are you doing?” I always replied with a smile “Life is good!”
Then in 2018 I lost my dear wife of 58 years. We grew up together and I remember that she somehow managed the office at Tri-C Machine, and fulfilled all the duties of a full time Mom. She was the one who kept me grounded and encouraged me to prosper. I always kept a red rose on the shop and on the race car for her. When she left this world, a part of me went with her.
By now I’d raced every year for over 50 years. One of my favorite stories is how we won the Race of Champions at Chili Bowl 2020, we beat the best drivers in the world that night and boy did it feel good.
But the thing I treasured most was the friends and relationships I’d made here and all across the nation. Among them were car owners, track owners, drivers, crew chiefs, race fans and the track workers. They were truly my second family and I will miss them all immensely.
Then, one sunny day I crossed paths with Marjorie again. Both our spouses were gone so we spent the next few years catching up on each other’s lives. We spent each day together like it was our last. Who would’ve known I’d take my last breath in this woman’s arms.

Published by The Sacramento Bee on Jan. 23, 2022.

34465541-95D0-45B0-BEEB-B9E0361A315ATo plant trees in memory, please visit the Sympathy Store.

Comments are closed.