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Motion Pictures Drag Racing in Color - 1958

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Jive-Bomber, Jan 9, 2018.

  1. Jive-Bomber
    Joined: Aug 21, 2001
    Posts: 3,252


    Jive-Bomber submitted a new blog post:

    Drag Racing in Color - 1958


    Continue reading the Original Blog Post
  2. Great stuff, thanks for posting
  3. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 24,170

    Jalopy Joker

    very Cool - Thanks to both of you gents
  4. flamingokid
    Joined: Jan 5, 2005
    Posts: 2,199


    Thank you for the best 6 minutes of my day :)
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  5. AVater
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,125

    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    Thank you for sharing!
  6. elgringo71
    Joined: Oct 2, 2010
    Posts: 2,811


    Thanks @Jive-Bomber for posting these and @jnaki for filming them. This is solid gold and made my day. As a Willys fan I wish that I knew who the Willys coupe belonged to that got a hole shot on the Grist Brothers Willys in the last video. I believe that the Grist Brothers were running a 430 MEL and was sponsored by Reath Automotive and was one of the fastest A Gas coupes at that time.
    Ron Funkhouser and jnaki like this.
  7. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 4,060


    Nice photo capture, JB upload_2018-1-10_4-49-6.png
    BELOW: Just moments before, our 58 black Impala is returning to the A/Stock staging lanes upload_2018-1-10_4-47-59.png

    Hey Guys,

    Oh my, oh my, thank you, thank you... that introduction is so full of kind words. It is totally unexpected. My goal was to show people what it was like back in those fun times: Drop the hubcaps and go racing. or…Drop in an Olds in a 34 coupe and win in the A/Gas class while driving it to high school, or to look at the early technology in the quest for speed. Let me preface this story with: I was just a teenager with a borrowed 16mm, fixed lens, movie camera, in between helping my brother race his 58 Impala (pit crew). When I got my license, I was able to get in some races with the 58 Impala. Our 40 Willys build was another story.

    In 2015, I felt that these long version films (on 16mm reels) were in the closet just gathering dust. My wife was in a spring cleaning mode and that is dangerous in our house. Her motto: “two years max of no use and out it goes.” So, I decided to get them digitized, despite the cost, as a way to preserve them on my computer and emergency external hard drives. I had no way to constantly set up that huge projector and watch them whenever I wanted to see the action. After that cleaning tirade and getting the films digitized, it opened up a whole world of possibilities and memories.

    It was fun watching the long versions. But, since then, I have been editing them to fit in the appropriate titles. All 1958 Gas Coupes, all 1959 Altered Coupes and Sedans, etc. There is even an all FED race cars at Lions from 1958-60 that is in the works. So, the fun never stops. I am always on the look out for sounds from that era to go with my films. The two I created are my favorites. Junior Thompson, silent, then with his added 1959 sound from Sept. in Detroit. Also, the classic Sidewinder from Joe Mailliard at Lions in those days and the sound from the 1959 Detroit Nationals.

    JUNIOR THOMPSON Studebaker sedan at Lions SOUND

    Thank you for including all of my You Tube films for people to see and enjoy. Those were great times.


    That was a nice gesture for including the short film clip on the Ratican, Jackson, Stearns, dark blue, A/Altered. It is the most recent research find. The research came with new knowledge about the original Ratican, Jackson, Stearns modified A/Altered Fiat that raced at Lions back then. A story is in the works after waiting many years for the correct identification of this popular A/Altered.
    upload_2018-1-10_5-4-35.png Lions Dragstrip upload_2018-1-10_5-5-8.png Bakersfield

    The research goes on:

    Elgringo71 brings up a great point. The information that the people on the HAMB have stored away is tremendous. Although that black Willys, for example, is a mystery all of these years. No one got that much of a jump on the Grist Bros during a drag race. So, who was it? Howard Cam sticker, Moon Discs, unusual paint scheme,etc. (Doug Cook, perhaps, before SWC?)

    upload_2018-1-10_5-5-36.png upload_2018-1-10_5-5-52.png

    Finally, thank you again for the feature post. Hope everyone enjoys the "blast from the past."

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
    Ron Funkhouser likes this.
  8. Big Plan Dan
    Joined: Sep 16, 2015
    Posts: 134

    Big Plan Dan

    The '34 5-window looks like the 554 car, before being numbered and painted blue. The woodpecker decal shown on the rear quarter panel is replicated on the most recent paint job. The 554 was the car I most wanted to see when I visited the Garlits Museum this week, my first time to do so in probably 15 years. I remember this car racing at Fremont in some of the first nostalgia drags. It and a few other cars are directly responsible for me having my own '34 5-window for over the past 30 years. As for Ratican, Jackson & Stearns: A couple of years ago I got the seat in that car during a cackle-fest fire-up in Pomona. That old 50's Oldsmobile engine running on nitro and supercharged is still a real least that's how it felt while in the seat! That's my only time to sit in a supercharged fuel car and I shall never forget it! I got a chance to talk with Ron Stearns at a car show in Newhall, CA this past summer...he is a very nice, very interesting and very gracious person, full of amazing stories about running that car when he and the others were just kids. They traveled from CA to the Nationals. I believe he said that Joe Reath paid their gas one way and Crane Cams the other way, and that was about all they had invested in that trip. Thanks, Ron! And thanks to Big Daddy Don Garlits for putting together that fantastic museum! There are two buildings that are crammed with cars and memorabilia. If there's any doubt who is the greatest drag racer ever, go to that museum and all doubts will vanish.
    302GMC and jnaki like this.
  9. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 4,060


    Hey BPD,
    Great description of the RJS A/Altered experience. You were very fortunate in getting to sit in the latest version of the Ratican Jackson Stearns A/Altered at those Cacklefests. It still is impressive all of these years later. Check your PM conversations...

  10. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 4,060


    upload_2018-1-13_6-18-17.png upload_2018-1-13_6-18-31.png


    This forum has plenty of history and facts. But, can anyone identify that silver SBC FED in the film clip 1958-59 lions silver sbc fed total? More footage of that silver FED in the opening part of JB’s post. JB, thanks for posting the original clip of the silver FED. The other film clips were added in and found in another Lions Dragstrip folder. (now on You Tube.)

    Thank you,

    1958-59 lions dragstrip silver FED. Identification needed asap.
  11. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 4,060


    upload_2018-4-29_16-5-29.png Lakewood, CA

    Hey BPD,

    The 34 Ford 5 window, silver coupe in my original film posted by JB in January was a complete surprise. The silver Ford coupe was/is the early version of the Mooneyham/Sharp Coupe.

    Here is a complete version of the silver Mooneyham/Sharp Ford Coupe at Bakersfield in 1960:

    The first photo was taken in Lakewood, CA. Then I was able to film the silver coupe racing in one of the elimination races at the Bakersfield Smokers March Meet in 1960. They made the cover of the April 1960 Drag News. That in itself is a great accomplishment.

    Many different versions were popular throughout the following years and most people know of it as the blue Ford, 5 window 554 Coupe. Yet, it had its record breaking runs without the 554 number a year or two earlier.


    Thanks to Dean Lowe for creating an outstanding drawing of the later 1963 version of the 554 Mooneyham/Sharp Coupe.

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