The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by J.Ukrop, Feb 10, 2017.
J.Ukrop submitted a new blog post:
Drag Strip Days
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Reminds me of the Summer when I was 16, a friend had use of his dad's '64 Biscayne and every Wednesday evening we went to US30 Drag Strip near Gary, IN.
One week the feature would be Gassers, or Fuel Altereds, Funnies or Top Fuel along with the regular program. Betting in the stands was hot and heavy with a certain clientele, in fact once there was a shooting. US30 was a little rough around the edges but nevertheless they always had excellent booked in shows.
I remember seeing Dick Lahie running his TF car, towing in by himself and getting a pick up crew to help. Gabby Bleeker, Dennison Arlasky & Knox, Stone Woods & Cook with both the Willys and '67 Mustang funny, Beswick, Dyer, the CTH, Mike Marinoff, Ohio George and too many more to remember.
It was The Golden Age, gone but not forgotten.
Winterport drags, not fast but burning bias ply tires sure was a crowd pleaser...
Boy, this thread hits home! Here are some photos I took in June of '59 on one of my Sundays at Pomona.
These pics are from a Sunday in 1958 at old San Gabe. Fritz Voigt had Mickeys twin out for some testing without the full body. They would stop by at Bonneville for a few runs before going on to the US Nationals. When MT ran 294, they went home and began work on the Challenger.
This is awesome. Thanks for posting the additional photos, Dean!
Great pics Dean. I say it often but I will say it again. J.Ukrop we lived in an era when drag racing was new and the most exciting thing we did........... Well almost.
Creighton Hunter, yes.
Hello Dragstrip Enthusiasts,
Great photos, Dean... Here are some action shots from 1959 at Lions showing the same guys in Dean's photos. The early days were pretty eye opening for this young kid.
We did not have a still camera, but borrowed my dad's movie camera to document some dragstrip action. Some of the video clips you see on You Tube that say 1959 Lions are not what they seem. I found some errors in the editing from those early clips. So, what you see here will be in the new folder called Lions, 1959 soon to be on display in So Cal.
But to complement Dean's great photography, here are some of the same people, just an hour south at Lions in 1959.
Kenny Lindley/Don Hampton front mounted 671 wire wheels:
That thing is sweet!
To see this car in person was somethin' else. Kent Fuller (I think), Road Kings' arena.
Hello, (another great photo from Dean Lowe)
So Cal in 1959 was really something. Levis, white t-shirts, Clark’s desert boots, blue nylon windbreaker jackets, buzz cuts, etc. The epitome of local “drag racer” look was the ever present Levis that could stand up in the corner by itself. That was showing others that you were a wrenching fanatic. The girls and moms obviously did not like that portion of the look or smell, but it had some status for others. (Our mom would not let us go out without clean Levis.) They were all part of the So Cal mystique and the “look.” But at the drag strip, early racers were the backyard garage guys that just wanted to have fun and go fast.
Here is another racer that Dean Lowe photographed in 1959, but also raced a few miles south in the So Cal circuit at Lions Dragstrip, during this time period.
Creighton Hunter-Hill-Acala roadster: (tower side)
My "uniform" was Levis, white Penny's T shirt, Keds, and an Akron $7 Tanker jacket. And, yes, grungy Levis when I could get them by Mom. A Sunday at Pomona would cost $3. $1.50 for admission and a pit pass. $1.50 for a hot dog and a coke. A 24 exposure roll of Kodachrome in the little Brownie Hawlkeye and I was good to go. Happy days for sure.
Everyone should be impressed with the Brownie Hawkeye Camera photos. They are great photos and plus, they are 58 year old relics. Well preserved... just like us. ha!
I did not start shooting with a 35mm until 1966 with my Ashai Pentax SLR.
not to many years ago at the antique nats at palmdale, i got a chance to race the creighton hunter car with my flathead bantam. i won but i think it was more that i had an automatic and it had the old stick in his. i know it wasn't hunter driving though. what an honor.
Nice photo, Dean. We were able to film one of the fastest sports cars at Lions during the late 50's early 60's. It was Sam Parriot's blown Cad powered Kurtis. There were other sports cars racing in their own classes just like the stock bodied cars from the Big 3. But, this Kurtis roadster was one of the fastest if not the fastest at the time for sports cars.
1959 Lions Dragstrip A/Stock class
In 1957-59, those Ford sedans with stock centrifugal, supercharged, motors were powerful cars. From 57 on, they were all over So Cal dragstrips and the streets. They were in the same A/Stock car class as our 58 Impala. If we weren’t quicker off of the line, then the race was very close. This guy was our nemesis at Lions.
Win some, lose some, but this time…a win.
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