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Old 08-10-2012, 08:52 AM   #1
Ryan
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Default Drag Racing In Michigan - 1953



I was tooling around youtube and found some footage of the first legal drag race in the state of Michigan. Comments claim that the race went down in Amrhein just off of Eckles in Livonia - the Chevrolet Spring & Bumper plant provides the backgroun...

To read the rest of this blog entry from The Jalopy Journal, click here.
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Old 08-10-2012, 09:08 AM   #2
flatheadpete
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Default Re: Drag Racing In Michigan - 1953

Wow! So cool to see the different styles of builds on here. Thanks!
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Old 08-10-2012, 09:39 AM   #3
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Default Re: Drag Racing In Michigan - 1953

Great footage. Some interesting cars in there. Liked the track roadster and the RPU's.
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Old 08-10-2012, 09:40 AM   #4
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Default Re: Drag Racing In Michigan - 1953

Thanks for digging up that gem for us.
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Old 08-10-2012, 09:49 AM   #5
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Default Re: Drag Racing In Michigan - 1953

More of the same can be found on this nice website... http://thehotrodsofdearborn.com/1953Drags.html#

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Old 08-10-2012, 11:44 AM   #6
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Default Re: Drag Racing In Michigan - 1953

Check this link out. Some historic pics of all of our drag race and circle tracks.

http://www.waterwinterwonderland.com/

I grew up near Motor City Dragway, but it closed down soon after I was born. As a teen in the 80s, there was talk of re-opneing it. Unfortunately it was shot down because of the homeowner complaints of noise from the newly-built subdivisions nearby.

Anyway... There are some great historic pics from all of the various tracks. You can spend hours getting lost on this site.
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Old 08-10-2012, 12:00 PM   #7
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Default Re: Drag Racing In Michigan - 1953

Awesome find!

I had an internship at that plant (was Delphi Spring Plant at that point) back in the summer of 1996. I had no idea this bit of history took place there. The plant was HUGE. Its completely gone now.
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Old 08-10-2012, 12:04 PM   #8
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Default Re: Drag Racing In Michigan - 1953

Great footage. That was still pretty open land in the 70s if I remember correctly. Must have been farm land then. My sister lived off Eckles in the 90's but closer to Ann Arbor Rd. about a mile away. She'll get a laugh out of this.
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Old 08-10-2012, 12:33 PM   #9
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Default Re: Drag Racing In Michigan - 1953

my dad retired from that plant. 30 years with GM. im sure he would have been there on that day as he grew up 2 miles from there. to bad most around that area do not know any of the history. when we were kids my dad took us kids to the union hall at that same location around christmas.can you believe they had presents for all the employees kids that showed up. man that hall was packed.the old man won a contest for a suggestion. mom and him went to a dinner and he got free use of a brand new corvair for a week. also got use of a lot of new cars for the weekends. there was a class action suit in the 90s. lot of cancer from that plant. got the old man.
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Old 08-10-2012, 12:51 PM   #10
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Default Re: Drag Racing In Michigan - 1953

I live a few miles from that exact spot. Lots of folks showed up to hit those races including Tommy Foster in his Hot Rod from Pontiac, Mi. They used to do the same thing near Willow Run airport on the Weekends. AHHHHHH the good old days before we needed the Goverment to protect us from ourselves
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Old 08-10-2012, 01:23 PM   #11
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Default Re: Drag Racing In Michigan - 1953

Quote:
Originally Posted by loveoftiki View Post
Lots of folks showed up to hit those races including Tommy Foster in his Hot Rod from Pontiac, Mi.
Tommy Foster's roadster was bitchin'.

There's a car at about 30 seconds in that I think is one we showed in Bob and Brad Arnold's chapter in the Rodder's Journal Scrapbook (I've included a screen shot of the photo...it's on page 251 of the book). Do any of you guys know anything about that car? It's one that we weren't able to identify in the caption.
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Old 08-11-2012, 11:13 AM   #12
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Default Re: Drag Racing In Michigan - 1953

Quote:
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Tommy Foster's roadster was bitchin'.

There's a car at about 30 seconds in that I think is one we showed in Bob and Brad Arnold's chapter in the Rodder's Journal Scrapbook (I've included a screen shot of the photo...it's on page 251 of the book). Do any of you guys know anything about that car? It's one that we weren't able to identify in the caption.
I think that belonged to my old pal Frank. I will have to look at his scrap book again and see. I know he's in the movie with his car. He doesnt like to talk about it though. He's almost 80 and the internet freaks him out, lol. The guy who put the video together has been lookin for him for years. Frank wont talk to him. I have a copy of this on DVD
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Old 08-10-2012, 01:11 PM   #13
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Default Re: Drag Racing In Michigan - 1953

Cool stuff for sure.

Brings back wonderful memories from the good old day's of drag racing.

Jimbo
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Old 08-10-2012, 02:06 PM   #14
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Default Re: Drag Racing In Michigan - 1953

I had an uncle that was a wayne county sheriff deputy back in the late 50's
he was told to go supervise the racers there a few times
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Old 08-10-2012, 02:44 PM   #15
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Default Re: Drag Racing In Michigan - 1953

Frank Mack would also bring out his T to have some fun
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Old 08-10-2012, 03:11 PM   #16
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Default Re: Drag Racing In Michigan - 1953

Quote:
Originally Posted by loveoftiki View Post
Frank Mack would also bring out his T to have some fun
In fact you can see ol' Frankie kicking up the roadsters heels at 1:29 in,.... And you can see "The Blue Racer" in the left lane at 2:07 when it still had the flathead. and again at 2:29 That Roadster went on to win the B/SR Class at the 1964 NHRA US Nationals and again at the 1966 Spring nationals in Bristol.

Anybody catch Bill Waddell’s Pick up in there,........
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Old 08-10-2012, 03:50 PM   #17
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Default Re: Drag Racing In Michigan - 1953

The coupe at 33 seconds is F'n awesome!
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Old 08-10-2012, 05:35 PM   #18
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Default Re: Drag Racing In Michigan - 1953

Quote:
Originally Posted by buddysyard View Post
to bad most around that area do not know any of the history. .
Sorry I'll have to disagree with ya there bud. All the real car folks I know in this area all know the history and have seen the footage.

Frank Mack lived about 5 or 6 miles from that drag race spot.

Thanks for posting it Ryan
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Old 08-10-2012, 11:30 PM   #19
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Default Re: Drag Racing In Michigan - 1953

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Originally Posted by hotrodladycrusr View Post
Sorry I'll have to disagree with ya there bud. All the real car folks I know in this area all know the history and have seen the footage.

Frank Mack lived about 5 or 6 miles from that drag race spot.

Thanks for posting it Ryan
Denise your 100% correct (as usual )
And Frank Lived on the corner of 8 Mile rd. and Randall,... He had some "Steel-Lock" Buildings there that he had his cars stored in,... but did all the work out of his little one car garage.

If you hang with the right crowd,. there are a lot of stories about Eckles rd. and all the organized racing back in the day. A lot of people talk about California being the epicenter of Hot rodding,.... Fact is Hot Rodding started in Michigan when Henry Ford was more interested in building and racing cars than manufacturing automobiles for the masses ( The early years).

But when you consider all the automotive talent and expertise from the Auto Industry over it's entire existence, It makes sense that a lot of guys building Hot rods in Michigan back in the day had the skills to do a very good job.

Frank told me one time,... "The only reason you read about California Hot Rods in the Magazines all the time,... Is because that's where the Magazines were located."
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Old 08-10-2012, 05:30 PM   #20
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Default Re: Drag Racing In Michigan - 1953

I think everyone of them cars had a flathead and WWW's. I didn't see any dragging the ground either. Hmmmm..
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