Legendary Owner, Iconic Car Documented In The Soul Of A Modified

When it comes to the history of Modified racing, certain cars have taken on a life of their own. 

And one of the most historic of those iconic rides still shows up in competition in all of the biggest Modified events. 

Matt Swanson pilots Ole Blue, the car that stands today as one of the most historic and recognized rides in the history of Modified racing. 

Recently Lew Boyd – author and owner of Coastal 181 books – tackled the project of putting the history of Ole Blue and legendary team owner Len Boehler into book form. The end result was Boyd’s latest book The Soul of a Modified. 

“I really wanted to get back to the Modifieds, but I wanted to do something that would both encompass sort of the history of the east coast Modifieds, but also be focused on a person or people somehow,” Boyd said. “Because the humanity and the interesting anthropology of racing and the crazy things that all of us do are what people want to read about.” 

A partial synopsis of the book reads: “When Lenny died, he never left. His presence still envelopes the garage and chicken coop where Ole Blue has been housed for the last 65 seasons. Now a senior citizen itself, Ole Blue, still run by Lenny’s family and crew, is one of the most enduring and beloved sights in all of motorsports. “ 

Boyd details in the book how the car itself came to take on its own life. 

“The car did take on a life of its own,” Boyd said. “To be honest, one of the things that I have tried to point out in this book with these cars that last over a stunning 65 years – 65 years year for Ole Blue – was that somehow that car actually became alive. And that Lenny never really died. You can feel that.” 

To here more from Boyd on The Soul of a Modified listen to his interview on Unmuffled Episode 78


  1. Ball joint coolers.

  2. Suitcase Jake says

    The book is a must read for any Modified fan , old or young. You get an appreciation for the time and hours building it yourself verses buying it. I had Lenny bend up a front bumper one time. I walked in told Lenny what I needed , he grabbed a length of pipe, Said ” you run that Buick Nose on your car still ?” I said Yes , I brought the nose cone with me to use for a template I will go get it. Lenny said ” thats ok i think I know the shape of it ” Well He put a slight bend in the Middle then a larger bends on each of the ends . Lenny says “try that. see if she fits … Took it outside to the Truck, slid it into the nose cone, Much to my amazement it fit like a glove front , middle and ends… What a humble man Lenny was , what talent he had as a mechanic and builder. Really loved the book….

  3. NH MOD CHASER says

    I have read a lot of racing books this one is a MUST reed..Far one of the best

  4. Lenny was one of a kind. I think it’s safe to say there will never be another car owner of his caliber. The man built fast race cars, and fielded ole blue for some of the most successful drivers in the Northeast. Can’t wait to get the book.

  5. Old Observer says

    This is a great book that all fans, racers, & crewmen should read. A lot of history & heart in it!!!

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