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History Dragway 42 West Salem, Ohio (mid 60's)

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by gbritnell, Jan 14, 2014.

  1. gbritnell
    Joined: Apr 26, 2013
    Posts: 193

    gbritnell
    Member

    Gents,
    My wife and I went to her class reunion a couple of years back and one of her classmates who was big into cars said he had quite a few pictures of our old drag strip, Dragway 42. He said he would send them to me so I'm presenting some of them here.
    Dragway 42 was built in the early 60's in the farmland south of Cleveland, Ohio. It was just north of West Salem, Ohio. In it's heyday it drew racers from all over the country with events like the Drag News Invitationals etc. At one time it was so big they used all 4 lanes for racing.
    Over the years it operated as and NHRA track, an IHRA track and a couple more.
    It's main downfall came because of the layout of the track. It couldn't be lengthened to accommodate the speeds as they got faster. The starting line end was close to the state highway and the shutdown end terminated at the county road. There was talk at one time of putting a jog in the county road to lengthen the strip but that never happened.
    It still operates today but only in the shadow of Norwalk Park.
    gbritnell
     

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  2. gbritnell
    Joined: Apr 26, 2013
    Posts: 193

    gbritnell
    Member

    More pics
     

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  3. Love the old pics. I ran there a few times in the 70's & early 80's. For me , it never had the appeal of Norwalk though.
     
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  4. gbritnell
    Joined: Apr 26, 2013
    Posts: 193

    gbritnell
    Member

    More pics.
     

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  5. gbritnell
    Joined: Apr 26, 2013
    Posts: 193

    gbritnell
    Member

    More pics.
     

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  6. gbritnell
    Joined: Apr 26, 2013
    Posts: 193

    gbritnell
    Member

    More pictures.
     

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  7. gbritnell
    Joined: Apr 26, 2013
    Posts: 193

    gbritnell
    Member

    And yet more pics.
     

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  8. gbritnell
    Joined: Apr 26, 2013
    Posts: 193

    gbritnell
    Member

    These first two are of our car. '49' Merc, D-gas. R-H Automotive.
     

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  9. Great pics. Thankyou for sharing.
     
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  10. Thanks for sharing especially the shots of Gene!!
     
  11. R W Ohio
    Joined: Dec 24, 2011
    Posts: 494

    R W Ohio
    Member
    from Ohio

    Let us see more. These are great pictures from the past.
     
  12. BDogCstms
    Joined: Jan 7, 2013
    Posts: 8

    BDogCstms
    BANNED

    Very cool pictures. I live about 5 miles from 42 and spent many weekends there. Norwalk is bigger and more famous but there's something awesome about a small track like 42. Would have been nice if they could have got the shut down lengthened but its still a cool place to go.
     
  13. JC Sparks
    Joined: Dec 8, 2008
    Posts: 727

    JC Sparks
    Member
    from Ohio

    I hear 42 has a new owner and he is moving the start line back about 400 feet. Sounds like he has some big plans for the place.
    I hope he can bring it back to life. I had my first job on a top fuel car there in the 70's. JC
     
  14. -DMC-
    Joined: Dec 8, 2008
    Posts: 278

    -DMC-
    Member
    from Ohio

    Cool pics...

    Dragway 42 was huge from the 60s up untill the mid 80s. Thats when the cars got too fast for the track, and Norwalk started growing. I remember Norwalk had the bmx and dirt bike track beside the strip too in early 80s...That when Midwest Auto Specialties was still around and Summit Racing was still a catalog order small building...

    I went to a few of the AHRA Stroh's Grand Nationals at 42 in the early 80s. Had all the big names there, I even saw Evel Kneivel there at one of the Nationals.
     
  15. BucketHeadBart
    Joined: Jan 13, 2014
    Posts: 59

    BucketHeadBart
    Member
    from illinois

    AHH Dragway 42. my old stomping grounds when I was just a youngster.
    I was there a few yrs ago with an OT vehicle. The track sure isnt what it used to be.
    Still had a great time there.
     
  16. Jimbo17
    Joined: Aug 19, 2008
    Posts: 3,802

    Jimbo17
    Member

    Great old photo's and they sure bring back some wonderful memories from the good old day's of drag racing.

    Jimbo
     
  17. gbritnell
    Joined: Apr 26, 2013
    Posts: 193

    gbritnell
    Member

    Ok, going through my archives I found colored pictures form 1963. Not too many famous names except Dave Koffel with the pre Flintstone Flyer. but maybe the old timers will recognize some of the cars.
    gbritnell
     

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  18. gbritnell
    Joined: Apr 26, 2013
    Posts: 193

    gbritnell
    Member

    More pics.
     

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  19. gbritnell
    Joined: Apr 26, 2013
    Posts: 193

    gbritnell
    Member

    A few more. How about adjusting your valves out in the dirt? The last one is a shot of GM's small V-6 at the time with a Jimmy supercharger on it.
    gbritnell
     

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  20. oldsjoe
    Joined: May 2, 2011
    Posts: 2,540

    oldsjoe
    Member

    Now that's some COOL stuff from back when drag racing was real drag racing! Thanks for the post!
     
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  21. slowmotion
    Joined: Nov 21, 2011
    Posts: 3,270

    slowmotion
    Member

    Great pics. Thanks for posting, hope there's more.

    Never made it to 42 in it's hayday, it was a bigtime track back then.
     
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  22. bustingear
    Joined: Oct 29, 2002
    Posts: 1,878

    bustingear
    Member

    I have attended a few Rock and Race events there. The first few were like being in the past
    Not sure about lately
    Heard it was for sale and I guess sold. Hope they et a few things back going.
     
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  23. snackmaster
    Joined: Dec 16, 2013
    Posts: 4

    snackmaster
    Member

    My dad took me to dragway 442 when I was very little he raced there till he got in to stock cars and did that tell they closed the track
     
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  24. bearfebco
    Joined: Sep 20, 2013
    Posts: 16

    bearfebco
    Member

    The Bach's Body Shop '33 Willys in post #17 was Jim Clinton's and was sold to Chuck Stolze owner of S&S Parts Co. in Va. at the end of the '63 season, and it became the first KS Pittman / S&S Parts AA/GS in a series of KS / S&S gassers...At the end of the '64 season it was one of 8 cars picked to go to England for exhibition drag racing...
    Ohio George was the other gasser....
     
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  25. biscaynes
    Joined: Mar 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,649

    biscaynes
    Member

    awesum pictures! thks for sharing, love the merc. :cool:
     
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  26. Geargoyle Curtis
    Joined: Nov 6, 2009
    Posts: 582

    Geargoyle Curtis
    Member

    Really dig pictures from early 60s drag racing. Thanks for posting!
     
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  27. jimdillon
    Joined: Dec 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,092

    jimdillon
    Member

    Great pics. Did not have the rear view of Ron Readers Pontiac powered 57 Vette before. Never got to see it run in 65 with the 421 but watched it run many times with a 427 Chevy. Bunch of great pics. Thanks.
     
  28. c57heaven
    Joined: Feb 22, 2008
    Posts: 539

    c57heaven
    Member

    great pics from 42
    thanks
     
  29. ardyboy
    Joined: Mar 5, 2008
    Posts: 664

    ardyboy

    Wow..thanks for the history lesson Fred. I'm glad you're here.
     
  30. ardyboy
    Joined: Mar 5, 2008
    Posts: 664

    ardyboy

    I'm hoping the new owners will continue the Rock & Race event. I'd like to check that one out.
     

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