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great lakes drag way union grove wi. pics

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by racer-x, Jan 7, 2012.

  1. racer-x
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    franksville wi (drag city)

    racer-x Member

    i would like to start a thread dedicated to great lakes dragaway that is located in union grove wi. the track opened around 1958 and has been in operation ever since. broadway bob booked in everyone who was anyone into that track. i have sent some pics to a friend to put up here to start this off. lets see what you have.
  2. FunnyCar65
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    FunnyCar65 Member

    Scanned these for Racer X hope everyone injoys them as much as I did while scanning them.

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  3. FunnyCar65
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    FunnyCar65 Member

    group 2

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  4. FunnyCar65
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    FunnyCar65 Member

    group 3

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  5. FunnyCar65
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    FunnyCar65 Member

    group 4

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  6. FunnyCar65
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    FunnyCar65 Member

    group 5

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  7. FunnyCar65
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    FunnyCar65 Member

    group 6

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  8. Dakota Kid
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    Dakota Kid
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    Awsome Pics!!! thanks
  9. FunnyCar65
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    FunnyCar65 Member

    group 7

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  10. slayer
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    slayer
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    Awsome pictures guys, keep them coming.
  11. SKULL ORCHARD
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    SKULL ORCHARD Member
    1. The Gas House Gang

    does anyone know how fast the dart turbine was and thee vw? 1/4 MILE TIMES?
  12. Lebowski
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    Louisville KY area

    Lebowski Member

    I was born and raised not far from there in Waukegan, IL and used to go to "The Grove" for grudge races all the time in the late 60s and early 70s. I remember seeing Evel Knievel jump 16 school buses there once. Before the jump he gave a lecture on not doing drugs. It seemed to my friends and me that sitting in the living room smoking some weed was a lot safer than jumping over a bunch of school buses on a motorcycle so that's what we did. I don't have any pics from back then, just a few memories.... :cool:
  13. Curt R
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    Curt R Member

    for this thread to start off right, it's history time,

    the Union Grove, Wis. land for the drag strip was purchased in April, 1955 by husband and wife, Lynn and Marge Bennet. Mostly, Marge's money.

    the Bennett's were responsible for the construction and operation of the dragstrip until the early 1960's.

    Great Lakes Dragaway opened officially on October 7, 1956.

    Attached are original newspaper articles.

    I have attached early photos of the land during the grading process and what happened when it rained. As a result of the rain problem, all the low areas were filled and the surface of the drag strip was raised.

    Attached is a photo of the 1950 Cad powered Merc that had the fastest speed for opening day at 97.82 mph, not et's due to no et timers. The Merc photo is not of opening day.

    Bob (Broadway) Metzler purchased the operation from the Bennett's in the early 1960's.

    I don't know if the articles will be readable as I posted them. If, someone wants to make them larger or readable with better pc skills, please do. Thanks in advance.

    And yes, I was there opening day.

    Curt R

    Attached Files:

  14. racer-x
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    racer-x Member

    curt r cool pics and history. i have never seen anything this early on the track before. its good to get the correct info out there before it gets lost and screwed up.
  15. outlaw256
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    outlaw256 Member

    i remember as a kid growing up in hanover park il, just outside chicago, hearing about the weekend line ups on the radio.after moving away in the early 70s and coming back to the area for a 1 1/2 yrs i finally got to run at the grove.55 chevy pulled a 10.92 in the mid 80s. didnt take much pics back then. now i regret not doing it.
  16. big bad john
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    big bad john Member

    ....Great pictures......I spent a lot of time at Union Grove in the sixties.
  17. Pro Stock John
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    Pro Stock John Member

    Neat info Curt, never knew someone owned the track before Bob.
  18. Hellfish
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    Hellfish Member

    Here are some pics from the the Grove from the past 3 Hunnert Car Heads Ups. Ok, so they're not vintage, but we're trying to recreate that vintage feel at the track. This year the Heads Up is June 16!!

    Attached Files:

  19. Django
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    Django
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    Kick ass vintage photos!
  20. racer-x
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    racer-x Member

    keep a eye out for more pics we have more to post anyone have info on the dragsters. one pic looks like pruedome
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012
  21. BigNick1959
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    Kenosha, Wi

    BigNick1959 Member

    This is T.C. Christensen and me from last year. and a couple from back in 1972

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  22. my father in law has about 4 hrs of 8mm film on the grove from 65-66
    here is me
    [​IMG]
  23. Domiracer66
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    Domiracer66 Member

    The 50 Merc in your picture was Elverne "Al" Pfeifer's who raced out of Kenosha WI.. My father raced with Al from the time the track opened back in 56 and has many fond memories of Al who unfortunately passed of lung cancer back in 2007. Al and my Dad who raced a Cad powered 49 Ford business coupe at the time were pretty evenly matched and would exchange bragging rights week to week. He told me one particular story last summer at Cheaterama that stands out.

    Al a tall soft spoken guy was known for keeping his cars in almost immaculate condition. One weekend while they were going through tech inspection aparticularly irreverent tech inspector put his foot up on the Al's bumper while making marks on his clipboard. Seeing this Al quietly stuttered "puh puh please take your foot off my bumper" the tech inspector looked up at him not taking him serious and simply smiled and went back to checking his clipboard.. Now frustrated Al said a little louder this time "take your foot off my bumper". Again the tech inspector looked up thinking he was joking and gave Al a little chuckle then went back to marking his clip board. The next thing my dad knew the clipboard was airborne and the tech inspector was out cold on the strip. After a short delay in the race while they found a new tech guy, the races continued..

    Great thread.. I'll try to scan some of my pop's picks and post them here soon..
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012
  24. racer-x
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    racer-x Member

    didnt he also have a killer willys that won a best engineered at indy.
  25. PBRmeASAP
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    PBRmeASAP Member
    1. Sock Fuckers Car Club
    2. S.F.C.C.

    awesome info guys...
    anyone remember a yellow 57 chevy 150 with yellow jacket painted in black the side? Shell logo on the trunk, hand fabbed hood scoop?
  26. FunnyCar65
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    FunnyCar65 Member

    group 8

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  27. Curt R
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    Curt R Member

    how about this picture, taken at GLD 1956, may be your dad's car?

    if not, I have another picture of a 49 Ford coupe, Cad powered, Volkswagon bucket seats, ask your dad if that sounds like his car.

    Curt R

    Attached Files:

  28. wingnutz
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    wingnutz
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Hey Curt... I thought it started in 1957? Thanks for the scoop... nice to know that it started 7 days before I was born.
  29. Domiracer66
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    Domiracer66 Member

    Very close he had to think about for a while but the headlights on his 49 were frenched and although it had the same radiused wheel wells the body was in better shape.. The seats were pleated leather which he did himself. If it helps his name is Reinhard "Reinie" Zellmann. It would be really cool if you had a picture of his car. He doesn't have any so I've never actually seen the car.
  30. bobwop
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    bobwop
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    I sure am enjoying all the HISTORIC photos from GLD.

    thank you for posting.

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