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Old 07-28-2010, 09:09 AM   #1
Ryan
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Default Lewistown, Montana... Drag Racing in 1959.



I've been through Lewistown, Montana before. It's a tiny little town with a tiny population and if not for the well cared-for buildings that spec the streets, it could easily be mistaken for a ghost town. There just doesn't seem to be a ton going ...

To read the rest of this blog entry from The Jalopy Journal, click here.
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Old 07-28-2010, 09:39 AM   #2
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Default Re: Lewistown, Montana... Drag Racing in 1959.

My dad met with this guy

http://erlandsonengineering.com/index.html

He was there in the beginning and has lots of stories to tell.
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Old 07-28-2010, 09:59 AM   #3
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Default Re: Lewistown, Montana... Drag Racing in 1959.

That is the worst cover of johnny B good. Being that Lewistown is fairly close to Sheridan wyo, I bet there was members of the Conquistadors there.
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Old 07-28-2010, 10:10 AM   #4
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Default Re: Lewistown, Montana... Drag Racing in 1959.

I was at those races. Those were the days. And saterday night on main street was wild!
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Old 07-28-2010, 10:14 AM   #5
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Default Re: Lewistown, Montana... Drag Racing in 1959.

Thats pretty cool! Wonder if any of those cars are still up in that area.
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Old 07-28-2010, 10:21 AM   #6
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Default Re: Lewistown, Montana... Drag Racing in 1959.

Man, that silver or light lavender model A coupe looked like he was blowing everyone's doors off until that 57 pontiac with no hub caps came along....must of had a good mill under the hood.
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Old 07-28-2010, 10:35 AM   #7
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Default Re: Lewistown, Montana... Drag Racing in 1959.

Here's a link to the drag strip: http://www.lewistowndragracing.com/pages/?page_id=28

There's a pretty good article on the history of racing at Lewiston Raceway when you open the link.
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Old 07-28-2010, 10:42 AM   #8
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Default Re: Lewistown, Montana... Drag Racing in 1959.

I live about 100miles West of Lewistown. (Great fly-fishing there) Went snowmobiling with Erlandson once, really sharp guy. At the time he was all pissed because Polaris stole his invention for a better centrifugal clutch....that Cat is into all sorts of things.

For a while, the Lewistown track was the only 1/4 mile track in Montana. Lots of history out there.
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Old 07-28-2010, 10:46 AM   #9
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Default Re: Lewistown, Montana... Drag Racing in 1959.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 8flat View Post
I live about 100miles West of Lewistown. (Great fly-fishing there) Went snowmobiling with Erlandson once, really sharp guy. At the time he was all pissed because Polaris stole his invention for a better centrifugal clutch....that Cat is into all sorts of things.

For a while, the Lewistown track was the only 1/4 mile track in Montana. Lots of history out there.

I am spoiled, my first Flies came from Dan Bailys fly shop!@ I made a pilgrimmage there on a business trip with my dad about 25 years ago.

He said Erlandson was up to a ton of things, they shot the shit as two old drag racers would for quite some time. All our company trucks have his intake cones and such.
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Old 07-28-2010, 10:50 AM   #10
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Default Re: Lewistown, Montana... Drag Racing in 1959.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tman View Post
I am spoiled, my first Flies came from Dan Bailys fly shop!@ I made a pilgrimmage there on a business trip with my dad about 25 years ago.

He said Erlandson was up to a ton of things, they shot the shit as two old drag racers would for quite some time. All our company trucks have his intake cones and such.
Cool, if you ever get up here, go through Lewistown and I'll tell you exactly where to go fly-fishing on Spring Creek. Beautiful country.

SO, those intake/exhaust cones really work?
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Old 07-28-2010, 11:01 AM   #11
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Default Re: Lewistown, Montana... Drag Racing in 1959.

Great Videos, I like the Channeled Blue 32 Coupe with the Olds motor!
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Old 07-28-2010, 11:01 AM   #12
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Default Re: Lewistown, Montana... Drag Racing in 1959.

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Cool, if you ever get up here, go through Lewistown and I'll tell you exactly where to go fly-fishing on Spring Creek. Beautiful country.

SO, those intake/exhaust cones really work?

They see a difference in the pickups they are in.
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Old 07-28-2010, 11:06 AM   #13
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Default Re: Lewistown, Montana... Drag Racing in 1959.

That first video is pretty cool. The ADHD Camera work on the others made me dizzy.
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Old 07-28-2010, 01:13 PM   #14
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Default Re: Lewistown, Montana... Drag Racing in 1959.

My father grew up in Beach, North Dakota (a Montana border town) ... and ran the Coupe at both the Lewistown & Bozeman (Belgrade) Air/Drag Strips (circa 1958).

I don't have any photos of our Coupe @ Lewistown ... but here's a few historical Drag Racing images culled from the Lewistown Raceway website:

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Name:	'Woody' Woodford's '57 Pontiac @ Lewistown Drag Strip 1958.jpg
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Name:	'Woody' Woodford's '32 Tudor @ Lewistown Drag Strip 1959.jpg
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Name:	Gene Burkland (1936-2009) Dragster @ Lewistown Drag Strip.jpg
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images from the Phil Woodford (portage) collection

Last edited by HEMI32; 08-02-2010 at 03:07 PM.
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Old 07-28-2010, 01:22 PM   #15
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Default Re: Lewistown, Montana... Drag Racing in 1959.

My god this is a sweet coupe!!! 1:37 into the 1959 video!!!
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Old 07-28-2010, 04:51 PM   #16
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Default Re: Lewistown, Montana... Drag Racing in 1959.

sad part is that im from Montana (Hamilton)...spent 20 years growin up there and never new the track history. Yup, i grew up under a rock...i do remember the no speed limit of "reasonable and prudent" though
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Old 07-28-2010, 09:04 PM   #17
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Default Re: Lewistown, Montana... Drag Racing in 1959.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 8flat View Post
I live about 100miles West of Lewistown. (Great fly-fishing there) Went snowmobiling with Erlandson once, really sharp guy. At the time he was all pissed because Polaris stole his invention for a better centrifugal clutch....that Cat is into all sorts of things.

For a while, the Lewistown track was the only 1/4 mile track in Montana. Lots of history out there.
Lewistown was not the only 1/4 mile track in Montana in the late 50' early 60's. I raced at Lewistown then and at Glendive, Red Lodge, Belgrade, Fort Benton, Billings, and Greybull, Wyo.
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Old 07-28-2010, 11:24 PM   #18
deucemanab
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Default Re: Lewistown, Montana... Drag Racing in 1959.

If you guys are interested,lewiston was right in the middle of a minuteman
missle base.i helped install some of it.
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Old 07-29-2010, 10:04 AM   #19
8flat
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Default Re: Lewistown, Montana... Drag Racing in 1959.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HEMI32 View Post
My father grew up in Beach, North Dakota (a Montana border town) ... and ran the Coupe at both the Lewistown & Bozeman (Belgrade) Air/Drag Strips (circa 1958).

I don't have any photos of our Coupe @ Lewistown ... but here's a few historical Drag Racing images culled from the Lewistown Raceway website:
]
Cool pics.. BTW, my wife is from Beach. What a small world, considering the population is about what..800?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pigiron View Post
Lewistown was not the only 1/4 mile track in Montana in the late 50' early 60's. I raced at Lewistown then and at Glendive, Red Lodge, Belgrade, Fort Benton, Billings, and Greybull, Wyo.
That's cool, do you have any pics? I went to high school in Glendive, we used to go out to the old racetrack by the fairgrounds for burnout contests. By then it was already chopped up in half. Now it's completely gone. By the late '80s, all the tracks in Montana had closed except Lewistown's 1/4 mile, and there was an 1/8th mile track that was in Anaconda if I remember right. That was it for the whole state. Now there's a couple new 1/4 mile tracks that have opened, Billings, Malta, etc.

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Originally Posted by deucemanab View Post
If you guys are interested,lewiston was right in the middle of a minuteman
missle base.i helped install some of it.
That was a cool project. We had 250 missiles until last year, they decommisioned 50 of them, now we have the same amount as ND and WY IIRC. Each one is topped with 3 warheads nowadays, so we're literally surrounded by 600 nuclear bombs in Central MT. We'd be a world nuclear power if we succeeded..haha..
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Old 07-29-2010, 12:00 PM   #20
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Default Re: Lewistown, Montana... Drag Racing in 1959.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deucemanab View Post
If you guys are interested,lewiston was right in the middle of a minuteman
missle base.i helped install some of it.
And don't ride your motorcycle up the gravel road leading to said missile locations---even out of curiosity---one (or more) of those black Suburbans will come down to greet you Don't ask me how I know

I've been to Lewistown 3 times, and never had a clue about the strip Last time out, I went to the Game & Fish office with my friend Al to renew his hunting license. I was literally standing on hallowed hot-rod ground

And here all this time I thought the Empire Cafe was the local hot spot......
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