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Passing of Mel Tyree

Dave Simpson

Well-Known Member
Not sure if the Off Road Community knows or not so I apologize if this is old news or a repost. One of our sports greats recently passed away – Mel Tyree. Mel was one of the early pioneers in our sport. He ran a class 12 car back in the day and won everything in sight. Mel and his shop Unique Supply in Redlands was very instrumental in my early Off Road Racing carrier. He was a friend, a mentor and an all-round great guy. At his recent memorial I did learned from Doug his son that Mel was a man of the Lord. I told Doug I would post on Race Dezert. Mel will be missed but lives in in many hearts he touched along the way.
 

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Bro_Gill

Well-Known Member
One of the best drivers and builders of all time. Was talking to someone about Unique today. Didn't know Mel had passed. Many VW shops are going the way of the dinosaurs right now. R.I.P. Mel. (Race in Paradise)
 

Josh 8

Well-Known Member
I am sorry to hear this. I never met Mel but I have spent a lot of money in his shop back in the late 80's. I loved the place. A buddy and I built a simple baja bug that we drove down the panisla in 87. Dave Ashley's Uncle Tom Ashley who race the first few 1000's was a tech expert on the build. He was a crusty old coot. Great guy. He rode a xr 350 down and back. He had to be 60 at the time. Tough as nails. And it was mostly mental. Nothing scared him. And we were so stupid we did it July but that didn't bother Tom. He was ready to go no matter what. I have never been hotter in my life. I was 16 then ditching summer school.

Then I can't remember how much sand rail stuff my brother and I have bought from Unique. And my first car was a 69 bug. More parts from Unique. I was so dissiponted when they closed.

Wow the memories are coming back.... sorry about the ramble.

Well, as I said I am sorry to hear this but since he was a man of the Lord he is home and all the rest of us believers will be there with him in the blink of his eye. I will be glade to meet him then.
 

12LaPaz

Well-Known Member
Mel was a good guy, he drove bitcons 5 car for a while, did a lot of winning over the years.
Rip Mel God bless
 

oldschool5er

Well-Known Member
Sorry to hear this, raced the same times and races in those early years and bought parts from Unique so I knew how influential he was in our community. It's sad to see all these names I know so well passing on and I just hope the younger generations will remember the contributions they made.
RIP Mel Tyree Vaya Con Dios.
 

Bro_Gill

Well-Known Member
Mel was a good guy, he drove bitcons 5 car for a while, did a lot of winning over the years.
Rip Mel God bless
He won class 5 at the Frontier 500 the first time he drove it. I think it was the first run for the car as well.
 

Rich Roberts

Well-Known Member
I remember the Bitcon car, A Green full body. It was the 83 Frontier 500 and me and my partner Tony K had a hour plus lead and broke 35 miles from the finish and to this day I remember when those guys went by cheering when they passed us broken on the side of the course and all I could do was to hold back tears:( Vaya Con Dios Mel! May we race each other again some day....
 

Doris Tyree

New Member
Just reminiscing about my Dad tonight on New Years Eve 2017 and decided to look up what was out there for his racing past and came across this site. and I just want to thank Dave Simpson for posting this information about my Dad. He so very missed especially the holidays and everyday that is for sure, but his sense of humor lives on through his many jokes that I know so many have heard. He will always be a legend and a hero in my book and the best off road racer ever. I will see if I can upload some race pics for you all soon. Thank you again Dave and thank you for all of the great comments posted on here as well, I will be sure to let my family, including brother know I came across it.
 
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