Houston, Texas Drag Racing circa 1961

Houston, Texas Drag Racing circa 1961

It’s not unusual to find decent-quality 8mm and 16mm drag racing films uploaded to YouTube from time to time. Usually they are black and white (or extremely faded color), and more often than not, the footage is jumpy, out of focus and poorly cut. Here’s three vintage drag racing clips, all shot around the Houston area around the same early 60s time frame, all decent quality, and all in color. What really separates these films is their sound, or lack their of, each with a unique approach to audio. The first film is silent, as it was shot. The second film has been made into a sort of music video with the Everly Brothers ‘All I Have to Do Is Dream’ as the soundtrack, which seems like an odd choice of music for something as dynamic as drag racing. The last 16mm film at the bottom is the most interesting of all to me because it has sound. I doubt it’s the real sound for the cars shot that day, but it gives the illusion just enough to make it interesting!

So, what do you prefer: Original, Sauced Up, or with Sound Crunch?

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