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Old 03-02-2011, 04:34 PM   #1
toml24
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Default The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

I think it's time for a thread devoted to the early days of Ascot Park Gardena. The years will be from 1957 through 1969. Anything is cool. Sprints, Figure-8s, midgets, Stocks, jalopies, motorcycles. We all have our favorate type of racing from Ascot so lets see 'em all!!
For starters I include the earliest photo of Ascot Park Gardena I've ever come across. From 1957 just as the track has finish its first stage of construction. Note in the beginning there was not very many grandstands. Enjoy!!
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Old 03-02-2011, 04:44 PM   #2
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

That's a cool pic, Tom.

When my brother and I were little, about 30+ years ago, we used to watch the stock car races at ASCOT in Gardena (California) on TV, on Saturday mornings. This was around '72-'74? If I remember right, they raced on more of a road course, instead of an oval. And I think it was dirt. It was also during the day, 'cause I don't remember any night racing. I think it ran on KTLA channel 5 in So. Cal.

Where's all the old film footage?! I'd love to see it again! It was in color too.
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Old 03-02-2011, 04:48 PM   #3
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

I remember those days. Dick Lane, around 1965, KTLA channel 5 I think. Sunday afternoon, jalopy races....
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Old 03-02-2011, 04:50 PM   #4
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

Heres a model I built, from remembering those days
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Old 03-02-2011, 05:13 PM   #5
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

I posted this in the History of L.A. thread, but here you go:
(Can't remember where I plucked this from, with caption. Probably LA Public Library files)


A.J. Foyt, steering his midget car at Gardena's Ascot Park. The half-mile oval opened in 1957 on a 37-acre dump site, but it soon became the busiest dirt track in the nation (and a training ground for many Indianapolis 500 drivers). Every type of motorized vehicle--from motorcycles to ATV three-wheelers to destruction derbies--raced at Ascot before it closed in 1990. Photo dated: December 4, 1961.
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Old 03-02-2011, 05:35 PM   #6
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

Quote:
Originally Posted by lanny haas View Post
I remember those days. Dick Lane, around 1965, KTLA channel 5 I think. Sunday afternoon, jalopy races....



But wait . . . there is ample confusion regarding some of these tracks. Mazooma1 straightened it all out in the History of L.A. thread.
The poster above is not the track Tom is referring to. The poster refers to the track known as "Gardena" or "Western" Speedway, located at 139th & Western Ave., near Rowley Park.

Tom's track, Ascot Park, was located at 18400 South Vermont, in Gardena, near Gardena H.S.
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Old 03-02-2011, 05:45 PM   #7
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

When it first opened in 57 it was called L.A. Speedway and the first winner of a sprint car race on June 1st was Rip Erikson in a GMC powered rig.
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Old 03-02-2011, 06:01 PM   #8
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

Yeah I remember the Jalopy races on KTLA channel 5 and "Whoa Nellie" Dick Lane. Must've been back in mid '50s, guys even ran in the rain
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Old 03-02-2011, 06:14 PM   #9
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

Aaaahhhh yes, Good ol' Ascot. Friday night flattrack watching #7, Sammy Tanner (the flying flea) take the high groove around the track, and then the Sat. night TT races, and the Jalopies on Sunday.

We used to get a carload and drive down from Barstow to see the races. Usually on Fri. night. This picture is from 1967, #22 Gene Romero looking like he's going to land on Dick Hammer, #16.
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Old 04-02-2011, 11:25 AM   #10
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

What a cool web site. My Father raced at ASCOT in the 60's. What a blast going to ASCOT every Sunday. boy I miss it. Thats my dad car number 68 Les Dixon. My uncle Robert drove car 67, and started a stock car track in Lake Elsinore cal. I think there were only a few races there. Since it was my uncles track my dad was able to give me a ride on the track, damn that was cool.
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Old 04-02-2011, 11:56 AM   #11
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

WELL I LIVED IN GARDENA FOR SEVEN PLUS YRS FROM THE MID 70'S. I LIVED A COUPLE OF BLOCKS NORTH OF REOSCRANS AVE OFF OF FIGUEROA NEAR NEAR ROSECRANS PARK. ASCOT PARK RACEWAY WAS AT 190th STREET AND FIGUEROA. IT WAS AWSOME TO BE IN MY BACKYARD AND HEAR THE SPRINT CARS RACING AND I USED TO GO THERE TO THE MOTOCROSS RACES AS A PHOTOGRAPHER AND TO THE STOCKERS RACES WITH FRIENDS AND BE PART OF THE PIT CREW. ALSO DID RIDE ALONG WITH FRIENDS IN THE PUSCH TRUCKS FOR THE MIDGETS AND SPRINTERS. WOW THE MEMORIES.
NOT TO BE DEPRESSING BUT THE LAND WAS SOLD OFF AND A DEVELOPER BUILT A MULTI FLOOR OFFICE BUILDING ON THE SITE.

MAY ASCOT REST IN PEACE.
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Old 04-02-2011, 03:33 PM   #12
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

I think this is ascot in 1963. That might be Larry Kennedy in the top right of the photo.
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Old 04-02-2011, 03:50 PM   #13
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

Very cool site.,..I think that there were actually several Ascot Park tracks in SoCal, maybe dating back to the late 30s? My old boss Don Blair raced his sprint car there in the early 60s, let me take a few laps and both of realized that I was not cut out to be sprint car driver.......sad that it closed when it did.
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Old 04-02-2011, 03:53 PM   #14
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

right you are...Ascot was not Western/Gardena Speedway...the jalopy races of our youth on TV was not at Ascot
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Old 04-02-2011, 04:30 PM   #15
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazooma1 View Post
right you are...Ascot was not Western/Gardena Speedway...the jalopy races of our youth on TV was not at Ascot
I definitely remember Dick Lane and KTLA channel 5 at Ascot Park in gardena around 1963.

Last edited by Indy87; 04-02-2011 at 04:32 PM. Reason: more info
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Old 04-02-2011, 07:41 PM   #16
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

In the 50s the televised jalopy races with Dick Lane was broadcast from the Culver race way on Washington Blvd, in Culver City. Ascot was located on Vermont Ave. just north and across from the Vermont Drive in theater
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Old 04-02-2011, 08:11 PM   #17
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

Ascot figure 8 races were broadcast on KTLA channel 5 in the mid 60's. My family and I would go to the figure 8 races on Sunday, then watch ourselves on TV later on that night. I still have one of the programs they handed out. Watching those old 50s cars running around the figure 8 was great. Remember a 56 Buick getting hung up on the power poles they used to form the Vees of the figure 8. I can remember one driver who did well, a guy by the name of Dorsey Steele. He and his wife raced there.
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Old 04-02-2011, 09:37 PM   #18
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

This is car 50 and 52, Bob Hobbs and Ben Steele. At Ascot Park. You can see me behind the fence.
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Old 04-03-2011, 10:13 AM   #19
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

Spent many weekends there in the early '60's and at one time watched George Duraid of San Diego go end over end down the back stretch in his Ford powered 32 Ford Sedan.

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Old 04-03-2011, 11:16 AM   #20
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

In July of 1963 the weekly live television on KTLA with Dick Lane on Sunday afternoons shifted from Western Speedway to Ascot Park because the California Jalopy Association moved their operation to Ascot. The live broadcast from Ascot Park continued until April, 1965 when they suddenly stopped and other programming was shown instead of racing, which did continue in the afternoons.
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Old 04-03-2011, 11:38 PM   #21
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

Does anyone remember the 60's afternoon tv show"where the action is"?It was a rock music show and about once an episode it would have a band playing on the infield and the jalopys roaring around the track at the same time.How about a list of the tv shows and movies Ascot appeared in?Had to be the most filmed race track ever!
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Old 04-04-2011, 09:30 PM   #22
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

They filmed the races for TV at both Ascot and western speedway. My Dad is #68 Les Dixon, My Uncles #67 Bob Dixon, #65 Fred Dixon and my #30 Uncle Jim Wahnon all so raced there.
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Old 04-04-2011, 09:52 PM   #23
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

My buddies were big time Mike Bast fans. We all used to go down to Ascot Raceway and watch him tear up the Speedway. Always used to hear on the radio JC Agajanian presents.....

Destruction derby and figure eights were best down at Western Speedway with fender slappin' Dick Lane on channel 5.

"My wife won't let me sell these cars so cheap I'm giving them away."

Rather have Ascot then that damn Home Depot that's there now.
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Old 04-05-2011, 12:04 AM   #24
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

The Western Speedway figure-8s was on television in 1963 as a Saturday taped 30 minute program. The racing association was the RDA headed by Rich Munz. If Munz or his family could be found today and they saved those broadcast it would be one of the greatest finds of So-Cal racing ever.

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They filmed the races for TV at both Ascot and western speedway. My Dad is #68 Les Dixon, My Uncles #67 Bob Dixon, #65 Fred Dixon and my #30 Uncle Jim Wahnon all so raced there.
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Old 04-05-2011, 06:48 AM   #25
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

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Originally Posted by d2_willys View Post
Ascot figure 8 races were broadcast on KTLA channel 5 in the mid 60's. My family and I would go to the figure 8 races on Sunday, then watch ourselves on TV later on that night. I still have one of the programs they handed out. Watching those old 50s cars running around the figure 8 was great. Remember a 56 Buick getting hung up on the power poles they used to form the Vees of the figure 8. I can remember one driver who did well, a guy by the name of Dorsey Steele. He and his wife raced there.
Dorsey Steele one of the top drivers. On the bottom it mentions the lady leadfoots. My Mother LaVergne Dixon raced at western speedway.
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Old 04-05-2011, 03:03 PM   #26
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

Ascot park.The driver on the bottom right is my dad #68 Les Dixon. the driver on the far right is #67 my uncle Bob Dixon and the little girl is his daughter and my cousin Debbie Dixon. Can you name any one else?
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Old 04-06-2011, 11:20 PM   #27
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

I copied the photo and sent it to Jim Penney, a Ascot Park Figure-8 driver from the 1960s and he did not recognize the drivers. I must say I've seen plenty of photos like this one but I too do not recognize anybody.

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Ascot park.The driver on the bottom right is my dad #68 Les Dixon. the driver on the far right is #67 my uncle Bob Dixon and the little girl is his daughter and my cousin Debbie Dixon. Can you name any one else?
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Old 04-08-2011, 04:01 PM   #28
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

I think this is the drivers meeting at Ascot, circa 63. Thats my dad on the far right. I think thats Dewey Wagers number 43. #67 Bob Dixon center.
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Old 04-08-2011, 04:23 PM   #29
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

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Originally Posted by PVTA Jay View Post
Yeah I remember the Jalopy races on KTLA channel 5 and "Whoa Nellie" Dick Lane. Must've been back in mid '50s, guys even ran in the rain
He was also the voice of wrestling and roller derby. my pops took one time a month as a treat then Lions on sunday. 59-65.
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Old 04-08-2011, 10:18 PM   #30
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

This is a Shot of the First Corner Main Event on a Saturday Night in 1965, That is me on #130z, Loved that track, Decomposed Granite was fast,seemed they changed the jump every week.memories,I can smell the race gas and castor oil .
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Old 04-08-2011, 10:31 PM   #31
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

look what i was lucky enough to get..................yup the sign from rite up frt
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Old 04-08-2011, 10:59 PM   #32
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

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look what i was lucky enough to get..................yup the sign from rite up frt
WOW! How cool is that?
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Old 04-08-2011, 11:02 PM   #33
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

great thread. I raced remote control cars on friday nights from the age of 4 to 8 at Ascot until it closed...and went to the "big car" races too! Great thread
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Old 04-08-2011, 11:13 PM   #34
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

This is Western Speedway. The way to tell is this press box is at the top of the grandstands and is open-air view with no windows. On the left of the press box is the transmission dish for KTLA television (not sure it was microwave back then), pointed towards Mt. Wilson perhaps. Also the grandstands have corrigated sheet metel surrounding them, something Ascot didn't get until much later. It is a very good historical photo.

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I think this is the drivers meeting at Ascot, circa 63. Thats my dad on the far right. I think thats Dewey Wagers number 43. #67 Bob Dixon center.
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Old 04-08-2011, 11:46 PM   #35
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

Great thread! Many good memories of sprint and midget races at Ascot Park. I have the 1st turn bench I was sitting on from the last turkey night midget G P hanging in the garage signed by Jeff Gordon, Robby Flock, Sleepy Trip, Stan Fox, Brent Kaeding, Johnny Parsons Jr. Big party in Brent Kaeding's pit till 3:00, we used the hay bayles for a fire, Cops came 3 times asking us to leave, the 3rd time it was leave on your own or ride with them. nobody wanted to leave!
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Old 04-09-2011, 05:04 PM   #36
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesgr81 View Post
My buddies were big time Mike Bast fans. We all used to go down to Ascot Raceway and watch him tear up the Speedway. Always used to hear on the radio JC Agajanian presents.....

Destruction derby and figure eights were best down at Western Speedway with fender slappin' Dick Lane on channel 5.

"My wife won't let me sell these cars so cheap I'm giving them away."

Rather have Ascot then that damn Home Depot that's there now.
Mike Bast, was he related to Harlan Bast? Seems I recall Harlan Bast as racing at Ascot in Figure 8's.

Dick Lane had a way of really doing a great description of the racing. I remember watching an old Studebaker Hawk at the back of the pack during a Figure 8 race, and Dick commented: "Nice car, but doesn't go real well".

Ascot, western raceways, olympic auditorium (boxing, wrestling, roller derby). Those WERE the days! Good clean fun!

I enjoyed going to Ascot so much, that I took an old Revell slot car chassis and mounted a 56 Ford (demolition derby )plastic body on it. Put some more dents in it and painted "RACED AT ASCOT" on the roof. Painted the wheels half yellow/ half brown. Took it to the slot car tracks and all the kids loved the thing. It was certainly different!
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Old 04-09-2011, 07:38 PM   #37
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Mike Bast, was he related to Harlan Bast? Seems I recall Harlan Bast as racing at Ascot in Figure 8's.

Dick Lane had a way of really doing a great description of the racing. I remember watching an old Studebaker Hawk at the back of the pack during a Figure 8 race, and Dick commented: "Nice car, but doesn't go real well".

Ascot, western raceways, olympic auditorium (boxing, wrestling, roller derby). Those WERE the days! Good clean fun!

I enjoyed going to Ascot so much, that I took an old Revell slot car chassis and mounted a 56 Ford (demolition derby )plastic body on it. Put some more dents in it and painted "RACED AT ASCOT" on the roof. Painted the wheels half yellow/ half brown. Took it to the slot car tracks and all the kids loved the thing. It was certainly different!
This one?
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Old 04-09-2011, 07:38 PM   #38
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

I spent many weekends there with my older brother. He was friends with Dave Aldana,who raced Flat-track bikes. Went to lots of the Midget and Sprint Car races also. Went with my friends to the last race they had there.
There was also a dirt track near my house in Bell,called Trojan Speedway.


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Old 04-10-2011, 12:24 AM   #39
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

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This is Western Speedway. The way to tell is this press box is at the top of the grandstands and is open-air view with no windows. On the left of the press box is the transmission dish for KTLA television (not sure it was microwave back then), pointed towards Mt. Wilson perhaps. Also the grandstands have corrigated sheet metel surrounding them, something Ascot didn't get until much later. It is a very good historical photo.
I think that Tom's being a bit modest. He literally wrote the book on the California Jalopy Association. Those of you that watched the Jalopies, Dick Lane (the other announcer was Roy Maypole) on TV every Sunday afternoon; and "long" for those "good old" days, gotta get Tom's book. It's a font of information; and available, amongst others, from Autobooks in Burbank. Or, like I did, you might be able to get one directly from Tom.
If you google the Calif. Jalopy Association, you can get to Tom's aged website. The site, in itself, (replete with the theme from "Rudy) will bring back the flavor of those Sundays long ago. Thanks Tom, for putting out the effort.

I apologize, if I "outed" you; but when you entered the H.A.M.B., you fell in with a bunch of known rascals.

JOHN
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Old 04-10-2011, 02:21 AM   #40
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

As I have said before, so much for being in the Witness Protection Program. LOL!!!
I want to see more early Ascot Park Gardena please!! Those photos are in your garage or closet. Many people may not know that the quarter mile in-side track at Ascot Park was not installed until 1963. The early Figure-8s of 1962 drove all the way down to turn-1 of the half-mile before making a sharp left turn into the in-field. It was a very long Figure-8 track in the beginning.

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I think that Tom's being a bit modest. He literally wrote the book on the California Jalopy Association. Those of you that watched the Jalopies, Dick Lane (the other announcer was Roy Maypole) on TV every Sunday afternoon; and "long" for those "good old" days, gotta get Tom's book. It's a font of information; and available, amongst others, from Autobooks in Burbank. Or, like I did, you might be able to get one directly from Tom.
If you google the Calif. Jalopy Association, you can get to Tom's aged website. The site, in itself, (replete with the theme from "Rudy) will bring back the flavor of those Sundays long ago. Thanks Tom, for putting out the effort.

I apologize, if I "outed" you; but when you entered the H.A.M.B., you fell in with a bunch of known rascals.

JOHN
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Old 04-10-2011, 04:05 PM   #41
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

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This one?
Might be! nice car, but don't go real well!
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Old 04-10-2011, 11:13 PM   #42
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

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I think that Tom's being a bit modest. He literally wrote the book on the California Jalopy Association. Those of you that watched the Jalopies, Dick Lane (the other announcer was Roy Maypole) on TV every Sunday afternoon; and "long" for those "good old" days, gotta get Tom's book. It's a font of information; and available, amongst others, from Autobooks in Burbank. Or, like I did, you might be able to get one directly from Tom.
If you google the Calif. Jalopy Association, you can get to Tom's aged website. The site, in itself, (replete with the theme from "Rudy) will bring back the flavor of those Sundays long ago. Thanks Tom, for putting out the effort.

I apologize, if I "outed" you; but when you entered the H.A.M.B., you fell in with a bunch of known rascals.

JOHN
Second that on Tom's book, Great book!!! Lots of 32 fords that ended as jalopys, Tons of pictures, Get the book you will be glad you did.
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Old 04-12-2011, 04:23 PM   #43
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

The movie pit stop has some ascot park racing footage in it. It's a pretty HOKEY movie if you havn't seen it, Check it out. And I third it on Tom's book, Very cool! I just received it, Thank you Tom.
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:15 PM   #44
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

I'm not trying to "Hi-Jack" this thread; but I have an OT proclamation that I've been posting on other threads.

From April 28th to May 1st at AAA speedway (formerly California Speedway) in Fontana, the greatest value in motorsports, The Route 66 Classic, will be held.

The Historic Champ/Indy Car Association (HCICA), in conjunction with the Vintage Auto Racing Association (VARA), will be running the show.

HCICA will be running no pace car exhibitions on the two mile oval; while VARA will be running all out races on the road course.

I say it is the greatest value in motorsports, as the admission is $10.00 (kids under 12 free). For that you get a pass that let's you in the venue, all the pits and garages; all weekend. TONS OF RACING PORN FOR TEN BUCKS!

You never know what's going to show up. Check the photo album (all the pics) to see what HCICA cars showed up last year.

http://lateralgimages.smugmug.com/20...12363600_ZMnpS
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:22 PM   #45
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

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I'm not trying to "Hi-Jack" this thread; but I have an OT proclamation that I've been posting on other threads.

From April 28th to May 1st at AAA speedway (formerly California Speedway) in Fontana, the greatest value in motorsports, The Route 66 Classic, will be held.

The Historic Champ/Indy Car Association (HCICA), in conjunction with the Vintage Auto Racing Association (VARA), will be running the show.

HCICA will be running no pace car exhibitions on the two mile oval; while VARA will be running all out races on the road course.

I say it is the greatest value in motorsports, as the admission is $10.00 (kids under 12 free). For that you get a pass that let's you in the venue, all the pits and garages; all weekend. TONS OF RACING PORN FOR TEN BUCKS!

You never know what's going to show up. Check the photo album (all the pics) to see what HCICA cars showed up last year.

http://lateralgimages.smugmug.com/20...12363600_ZMnpS
COOL! I live 40 miles from the California Speedway. What is ( no pace car exhibitions )
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:22 PM   #46
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

Great thread Tom.. I quess that a lot of us hamb members have enjoyed toms book.. Any photos of a figure 8 driver with the nick name Bad News.. I understand he was very popular.. Keep them coming..Bobby.. I am a figure 8 fan..
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Old 04-12-2011, 11:09 PM   #47
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

I remember watching two brothers that ran real good in old chevy coupes. Any one know their names? Whiteman stadium also had some good figure 8 races
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Old 04-12-2011, 11:53 PM   #48
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

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COOL! I live 40 miles from the California Speedway. What is ( no pace car exhibitions )
This is not out-and-out, wheel to wheel racing. However, there is no speed limit; and no pacing vehicle limiting the speed. However, the organizer, Victory Lane Magazine, councils us to go at "reasonable speed". Some of the newer Indy cars will be going near 200 mph down the back straight. Most of them will "lift" going into the turns. With my car, being capable of about 120 to 125 mph, I don't feel the need to "lift", except on approaching a slower car.

In that there will be cars of various capabilities on the track; the slower cars are asked to run in the lower lanes of the track.
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Old 04-13-2011, 12:32 AM   #49
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

There were several brother combos during the 1960s in the Ascot Figure-8s but the two you might be thinking of are Dennis and Jerry Meisenzahl.

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I remember watching two brothers that ran real good in old chevy coupes. Any one know their names? Whiteman stadium also had some good figure 8 races
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Old 04-14-2011, 09:10 AM   #50
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

Remember Meisenzahl those brothers had some fast cars, One race at Whiteman they were battling for the win on the last lap they came together at the finish line and both slid into the wall were a car was parked. Wrecked three cars bad. they use to run the indy blue streak tires, there cars were nice
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Old 04-14-2011, 10:46 AM   #51
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

As kid living in the LA area I often watched those races on TV. The one driver name I remember is Termite Snyder. He always chewed on an un-lit cigar while he was driving.

After the races(2 1/2 hours as I remember) was a long segment of live country music.

Les Bacon & Sons Ford often sponsored these events with live commercials. Those commercials were usually so over the top they were entertaining. Sometimes they would do things like filling the inside of a car to the top of the windows with a garden hose(always wondered what they did to seal it up well enough to make that work), smash windshields, dent cars, smash cars into each other, etc. The price of the victim car would then be lowered to something less than their "already low prices".

In addition to the car races, Dick Lane was also an announcer for roller derby and wrestling. And, he did TV commercials for Hub Furniture and others.
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Old 04-14-2011, 10:49 AM   #52
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

I love this photo. This is my Dad at Ascot in 63, Car #68. Note the exhaust coming from the hood.That thing was cool. If I remember correctly,it's a 52 merc with an olds engine. A side note. When the race car was done he gave the olds engine to Ed Big Daddy Roth and Big Daddy put it in a motorcycle. While at Big Daddy Roth's shop I remember he had a dog that he said he had to have the dogs voice box altered so he couldn't bark. It kind of whispered a bark. He gave me and my little brother chrome German helmets. I wish I still had mine.
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Old 04-14-2011, 10:57 AM   #53
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

I found this photo at the bottom of my Dads toolbox. I'm happy I was able to save it. One of my favorite race cars of my Fathers.
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Old 04-14-2011, 12:20 PM   #54
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

A rather truncated slide show of Ascot Sprint Car action...Feb. 1984:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hU_l1KkENI4...I loved the Sprinters, but(t) was REALLY entertained by the silly-assed "Chain Races!" WHOA, NELLIE!
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Old 04-14-2011, 09:22 PM   #55
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

the bad news man was named willie kimbrough..any photos?? thi will be a great thread keep them comming..just to add I will be attending the big figure 8 race in indy at the end of the summer..Next year I will field a entry by the way the modern 8 cars are close to a open wheel modified.....Bobby,,
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Old 04-14-2011, 10:18 PM   #56
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

I met Willie Kimbrough a number of years ago at the tow yard I believe he owns in South LA. Nice guy. He loaned me his small collection of Ascot Park figure-8 photos. The best photos are in the jalopy book. I will try to find a few more but they may have been lost to a bad computer hard drive.

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the bad news man was named willie kimbrough..any photos?? thi will be a great thread keep them comming..just to add I will be attending the big figure 8 race in indy at the end of the summer..Next year I will field a entry by the way the modern 8 cars are close to a open wheel modified.....Bobby,,
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Old 05-16-2011, 02:12 AM   #57
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

I drove down Vermont Ave. in Gardena today (Sunday) just to see what the Ascot Park land looks like. A wall has been built the entire block so you can see nothing. A small sign out front near a gate says "Insurance Auto Auctions." Behind the wall is flat pavement with thousands of cars that will go through an auction process. Most of the nearby areas have been built-up with modern buildings. There is not much in the area that looks the way it did in the 1960s (fifty years ago!)
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Old 06-06-2011, 01:36 AM   #58
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

I used to play on the Cat's & Graders when no one was around during the construction of Ascot. Dad was racing Jalopies at Gardena Stadium at the time. I only remember him racing the Jalopy at Ascot once, but he might have more than that? I was racing a 1/4 Midget Dad built me from A Popular Mechanics Magazine set of plans (March 1952 I think?). Lots of great Racing memeories of those years. I remember Bozo the Clown being in the grandstands a lot entertaining us. The Peanuts & Sodas in the stands were quite a treat for us kids. Dad won the Destruction Derby, Claimer Stocks, and Super Stock Championships 1958, 1959, & 1960 at Gardena/Western Speedway. Dick Lane interviewed Dad on TV lots of times after wins 1952 through 1960. I remember Dad towing the 33 Vicky Jalopy with his souped up 35 Ford Cabriolet, and my brother & I tussling in the Rumble Seat. Dad worked for Capital Auto Wrecking/Parts on Figeuroa in those days. I've a photo of Dad's 33 Vicky CJA Jalopy in the Photo Gallery on my web page at www.w7car.com

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Old 06-10-2011, 06:23 PM   #59
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

Maybe ya blokes would enjoy this '61/'65 clip. My dad dated the first trophy gal...which came as a huge surprise to my mom. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9oB4...eature=related
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Old 06-10-2011, 07:59 PM   #60
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

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I spent many weekends there with my older brother. He was friends with Dave Aldana,who raced Flat-track bikes. Went to lots of the Midget and Sprint Car races also. Went with my friends to the last race they had there.
There was also a dirt track near my house in Bell,called Trojan Speedway.


Swede Savage was one of my racing heros as a kid. Haven't thought of him in years.

Used to go to Ascot from time to time for the great demolition derbys. Can't imagine now wrecking all those old cars, but it sure was great in the day.
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Old 06-10-2011, 11:46 PM   #61
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Used to go to Ascot from time to time for the great demolition derbys. Can't imagine now wrecking all those old cars, but it sure was great in the day.
Then you must have seen a "Chain-race", or two, there! Whoa Nellie!, what a hoot. Like most viewers of that spectacle, I've always felt a mite uneasy about enjoying it ...HAR-de-har-HAR!
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Old 09-13-2011, 08:38 PM   #62
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Then you must have seen a "Chain-race", or two, there! Whoa Nellie!, what a hoot. Like most viewers of that spectacle, I've always felt a mite uneasy about enjoying it ...HAR-de-har-HAR!
I remember my dad raced a couple of chain races with my uncle Bob #67. they would chain the B pillers together and race that way. cool!
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Old 09-13-2011, 09:49 PM   #63
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I remember my dad raced a couple of chain races with my uncle Bob #67. they would chain the B pillers together and race that way. cool!
Most interesting, indeed! Do you have any pics, or better yet- video, of them racing?
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:02 PM   #64
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right you are...Ascot was not Western/Gardena Speedway...the jalopy races of our youth on TV was not at Ascot
In the early 70's, KTLA 5 would air Class C short track bikes early Sunday afternoon. Very close, elbow to elbow racing on the 1/4 track
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:17 PM   #65
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

here is a link to an ascot facebook page. preety cool.

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?s...11313448882608
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:33 PM   #66
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I spent many weekends there with my older brother. He was friends with Dave Aldana,who raced Flat-track bikes. Went to lots of the Midget and Sprint Car races also. Went with my friends to the last race they had there.
There was also a dirt track near my house in Bell,called Trojan Speedway.


Savage was a natural racer. His rise from obscurity-from the stand point of the automotice world- to driving for Dan Gurney was virtually overnight. This is real early Class A speedway, during the sports 1960's reemergence.
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:46 PM   #67
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

subscribed.. i want to follow this. What a great track.
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:53 PM   #68
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

Swede was a great story...but does anyone know who that trophy girl was?....Dayum!
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Old 09-14-2011, 12:08 AM   #69
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

, great pics guys, keep um coming ! My 'cuz and I were going to school at Northrop in Inglewood in 61-62. We used to hit Ascot a couple times a week , sprints at night and TT bikes on Sun . afternoon . I remember the start of the "A" main , Cantrell on the pole , green flag, everyone jockying for position behind him between 2-3 All the stadium lights went out !! OH Shit! Blue exhaust flames all around the track , we figured the worst ! 'Ya know what ? Not one driver lost it , same positions they were in at the flag. They knew that track so well and just played follow the leader to a safe stop !! A couple weeks later some Ford dealer (probably Vel's) brought a brand new XLT pickup as a pace /parade car , between 3 and 4 the pickup got sideways and did a slow roll ! Wonder how they 'splained that one to the boss ? Great times ! Great thread !!
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Old 09-14-2011, 08:56 AM   #70
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Most interesting, indeed! Do you have any pics, or better yet- video, of them racing?
Yes, I do have some old 8mm movies of Ascot that my Mother took. Very Cool!

Last edited by Indy87; 09-15-2011 at 04:02 PM.
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Old 09-29-2011, 12:01 PM   #71
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

I crawled under a fence on Vermont Avenue to get in when I saw Ascot Park being torn down on television in early 1991. I picked up a piece of the grandstand and got some clay and concrete foundation that I put in a used soft drink cup which I later transfered to an empty Skippy Peanut Butter jar.
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Old 09-30-2011, 06:51 AM   #72
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

Several years ago I gave Tom a VHS copy of some 8mm footage taken in '56 at Gardena Stadium - don't know if he did anything with it. The film can was labeled "Protection Inc." and also had footage of a driver showing off a helmet with an Indian headdress painted on it - ring any bells? I could try to make some stills if anyone's interested.
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Old 09-30-2011, 10:41 PM   #73
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

Here's a pic of a young Eddie Mulder, early 1960's, and his factory Triumph Ascot TT Special. He was a consistent winner at Ascot riding flat track and TT. I still remember him coming around the final turn and (if he was leading) pulling that Triumph up into a full throttle wheelie at 60-70 mph down the front straight.

Fifty years later he's still into vintage racing and he builds street bikes based on the legendary TT bikes of that era.
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Old 10-01-2011, 12:27 AM   #74
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

I have a great deal of un-edited, raw 8mm color home movies of So-Cal vintage racing that I have yet to anything with so to be honest I don't remember your contribition but my plan is to make DVD's in the future and use everything.
I believe your refering to the Italian Victory Crown Helmet made famous at Legion Ascot in the 1930s, and used as a logo for Ascot Park Gardena from 1959 thru 1971.
The attachment is an event from 1984--almost 27 years ago. DONT GO NOW!!! This was MANY YEARS AGO!!

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Several years ago I gave Tom a VHS copy of some 8mm footage taken in '56 at Gardena Stadium - don't know if he did anything with it. The film can was labeled "Protection Inc." and also had footage of a driver showing off a helmet with an Indian headdress painted on it - ring any bells? I could try to make some stills if anyone's interested.
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Old 10-01-2011, 10:15 AM   #75
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

Spent many a happy night at AScot.

I was there the night the lights went out. We had run a kart race early in the evening. That was awesome, the screams were deafing until the lights came on.

I used to go by myself on Friday nights for the class C bikes. Larry Cresse(now Tri C), worked for my dad. My dad and I went on Sat. nights for the CRA sprints. This was before all the SBC engines began to dominate. Flatheads, Isso-Franco, Desoto, Chev & GMC 6's with 12 Port and stock type heads, Ardun headed Flatheads, etc. All types of engines making for a mix we will no see agian.

I recall one night my Dad and I were in turn one. Howard Johansen and Donnie were sitting in front of us. Two Wayne head cars took one -two in the main. The Hank Blum GMC powered 'big car' and the Henry & James Chevy 6 car(my favorite BTW). Spanked the Howard 12 Port cars good. Donnie and I bring that one up from time to time.

DW
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Old 10-09-2011, 01:24 PM   #76
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

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I remember those days. Dick Lane, around 1965, KTLA channel 5 I think. Sunday afternoon, jalopy races....
WHOOA NELLIE! And Dr. Erwin Schwartz, the official infield physician ((as well as ring-side rassin' (AND Roller Derby) doc!)). Probably the only one in the entire city who carried "Eye Blinder" around in his medical bag...or so claimed Jim Healey.
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Old 10-09-2011, 01:29 PM   #77
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

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Swede was a great story...but does anyone know who that trophy girl was?....Dayum!
& YET, she won't leave her diggs in a bra and panties...damn it!
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Old 11-07-2011, 09:33 PM   #78
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

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Yes, I do have some old 8mm movies of Ascot that my Mother took. Very Cool!
I have a few more some where.
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Old 11-08-2011, 01:21 AM   #79
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

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Originally Posted by toml24 View Post
I crawled under a fence on Vermont Avenue to get in when I saw Ascot Park being torn down on television in early 1991. I picked up a piece of the grandstand and got some clay and concrete foundation that I put in a used soft drink cup which I later transfered to an empty Skippy Peanut Butter jar.
GOOD LORD, man! You got the makings to bloody-well CLONE another Ascot!
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:39 PM   #80
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

I was a true child of Ascot (Trojan Speedway as well). Dad was the Publicity director for CRA, so I got to do a lot of cool stuff like sit in the pressbox with the big boys, get in on raunchy conversations with owners and drivers, smell the trophy girls, you know, all of the stuff a kid loves to do, even though I was supposed to be selling Racing Wheels newspapers in the stands. The last day the sprints raced, they were selling track clay in jars, I only bought an Ascot commemorative pin, but I also stuck a handfull of clay in my pocket. The result is attached; my own little shrine to Ascot!
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Old 07-18-2012, 06:38 PM   #81
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

Does anyone remember, or remember racing against Ray Jimenez? He built and raced a Pearl White (over silver) Blue and Red midget (I thinkit was ford pinto powered ) in the late 70s. Just wondering where he was now? I know, it's been a long time.
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:54 PM   #82
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

Tom may (or may not) remember me, but back a couple years ago, I was looking for a driver by the name of Red Griffin. After scouring some of the posts and other sites, it could be that he raced at the Western(Gardena) Speedway. I have not seen too much mentioned on the jalopies raced there but then again, that's why I'm here.... (as mentioned before, great book, Tom)
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Old 03-24-2013, 12:52 AM   #83
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Default Re: The Official Ascot Park Gardena Thread: 1957-1969

Pretty Cool Ascot t-shirts available at www.BanginDesigns.com
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