Larry was born on June 14, 1939 in Seattle, WA. He died on April 10, 2019 in Spokane.
Larry grew up in the Laurelhurst neighborhood of Seattle until 1954 when the family moved to Spokane. Larry was a very independent and self-directed little boy. He told many stories of riding his bike to see the Chittenden Locks, of visits to the Sand Point neighborhood in Seattle, and other neighborhood sites where he could watch and learn about machinery. Larry loved animals, machines and driving fast.
Larry began his career in drag racing in 1955. At that time, he joined the Hordemann Racing Stables. He learned the exhaust trade from Lloyd Scott and Jack Rose at the then Magic Muffler shop in Spokane. He moved to California and worked for a time for Roland “Babe” Royer in Santa Clara and the surrounding areas. Returning to Spokane he again worked at Magic Muffler until the untimely death of Lloyd Scott. Larry then started his own exhaust repair shop, The Muffler Man, which was located on Third Avenue. Later he closed this shop and moved north of Spokane where he opened Bear Creek Repair, which he operated until his retirement.
In 1967, when Dave Heerensperger merged Eagle Auto Electric with Pay’n Pak, he sold his Eagle Auto Electric car to Larry. Larry ran the former Eagle Electric car with a blown gas Chrysler engine. In 1970 he sold the car he considered to be too heavy and built a lighter, rear engine race car.
He eventually bought Kenny Goodell’s last dragster, a 220 inch-wheelbase slingshot car, painting it his signature orange. That car proved to be a highly successful fuel injected racer. It earned Larry a top seat in the points standings for numerous years.
Larry raced his cars as “The Muffler Man” and since he stopped racing, he is still recognized as the last pocket racer, racing without commercial sponsorship. Larry always did it his way.
Larry is survived by his brother Richard (Lorna); sons Bruce (Ngaire), Greg; grandchildren Charlie and Frances Taylor; nephew Jeremy Taylor (Dana); niece Paige Erickson (Josh); and great niece Isabelle Erickson. He is also survived by his former wife, Mary, several cousins and assorted nieces and nephews in the extended Coffey family.
The family wishes to thank Windriver Place, Hospice of Spokane and his loyal friends for their help in the last two years. Special thanks go to Terry at Windriver, Christine and Daniel at Hospice for their help at this time.
Larry always lived life as he wanted to. As he would say, “End of deal, I’m out of here!”
The family requests that remembrances be made to the Humane Society or Hospice of Spokane.
A celebration of Larry’s life will be held at a later date to be determined by the family.
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