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History Ellensburg Drags c1960

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Rehpotsirhcj, Nov 11, 2013.

  1. July 2013, yellow pin is where you crossed the creek. Place really isn't a lot different.
     

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  2. Rehpotsirhcj
    Joined: May 7, 2006
    Posts: 1,197

    Rehpotsirhcj
    Member

    You're right.
    My son and I drove out to the end of Brick Mill this afternoon and took a look. The bridge across the creek is closed, so no way to get vehicles across from that access point.

    The old off-runway road is paved. I couldn't see the runway itself from the gate just on the other side of the creek (we could walk across the bridge).

    Seems like it would be a great place for a little 10-20 car pre-62 event, even if it were just one time. I have no idea if it would be feasible. That said, I'd be willing to front some cash and talk to the airport if there was interest. Probably a crazy idea, and I'm sure they'd say no, but you don't know until you ask.

    Nomobux, any idea if there are other Hambers in Ellensburg?


    Also, thank you to all in this thread, I really appreciate you're insight and history on this. Its cool to have had something like this so close to home.
     
  3. tedster
    Joined: Mar 20, 2005
    Posts: 519

    tedster
    Member

    Great stuff. Thanks a lot for posting.
     
  4. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 23,036

    Jalopy Joker
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  5. todztoyz
    Joined: Jun 21, 2008
    Posts: 176

    todztoyz
    Member

    Great clip! I been here all my life, know lots of old hotrodders, and never heard of a ellensburg track! Was lookin for my brotherinlaws '57 in there. I'm sure he probably raced there. If that red '59 camino is who I think it is....its still in the barn. Very cool.
     
  6. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 5,683

    56sedandelivery
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Most guys were't aware of the Ellensburg Drag Strip either, let alone the ones that were on airports in Bellingham, Burlington, and Deer Park, though Arlington, Shelton, and Bremerton are pretty well Butch/56sedandelivery. known. I know at one time the airport in Olympia was used for sporty/open wheel type car racing. Any other former drag strips In Washington State?
     
  7. Don't know of any other Hambers, but there very well could be. The guy with cattle and the RC guys have keys. On most decent days they fly and you can drive in to watch or visit. Those guys fly when it's freezing in winter ! I'm a mile north and 2 east. I go by at least 2 times on week days and more times than not, they are there. The army played war games 20 or 25 yrs ago and a construction battalion built the new bridge for training or whatever.
     
  8. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 5,502

    1971BB427
    Member
    from Oregon

    Somebody in Ellensburg needs to start the drags up again, like Rocky has done at Eagle Field! I'd sure make the 5 hour drive up to watch or run!
     
  9. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 5,683

    56sedandelivery
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    The biggest obstacle is the FAA since the events of 9/11. The area to the west on the Ellensburg property, where some the planes in WW II were tied down, has potential as an 1/8 mile strip, and is't really used for anything. The FAA does't want runways closed for any activity other than aviation. Condemned runways are different, but IF the FAA puts any money into an airport, they have the final say even over that. Eagle Field is privately owned, and does't receive any FAA moneys; remember when Rocky was raising money for repaving? Wendover Field in Utah, where Wendover Raceway was for years, just threw them off the airport 2-3 years ago, due to a repaving project the FAA funded, on a different runway. That entire field is a MESS, in the desert, and most of it is not maintained; I think there are only two active runways out of like the original 7. The former runway that track was on now just sits, being used for nothing. This is the field where the Enola Gay was based out of, one of the bombers that dropped "the bomb" on Japan in WW II. Kittitas County owns Bower's Field; their county "port commission" would have to be approached, and even if they give their OK, the FAA can stop it or regulate it. Not saying it is't possible, it's just a battle. There are lots of drag strips located on airports, some airports that have become drag strips, and some drag strips that have become airports. It's not like the "old days" anymore. I really wish it were. Butch/56sedandelivery.
     
  10. couverkid
    Joined: Mar 30, 2007
    Posts: 1,125

    couverkid
    Member

    Thanks for sharing.
     
  11. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 5,502

    1971BB427
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    from Oregon

    Didn't realize FAA was still involved at Ellensburg, or that it was an active runway with regular flights.
     
  12. couverkid
    Joined: Mar 30, 2007
    Posts: 1,125

    couverkid
    Member

    There is a green metalflake 39 ford coupe with a 55 t bird hood scoop on it. I ended up with that hood and its now on a 39 coupe my dad is building.
     
  13. Your avatar. somewhere I have a pic of my 27T next to the Orange Crate at the Eugene, Or car show - 1960s. Time sure gets away from you. I have a E'burg drag flyer here somewhere. I'll try and find it and scan it for this thread.
     
  14. Rehpotsirhcj
    Joined: May 7, 2006
    Posts: 1,197

    Rehpotsirhcj
    Member

    Lytles Garage/51 Chevy Gasser/ Nomobux:
    Any of you guys (or anyone else) have photos of when you ran the Ellensburg track?

    Also, in looking at a web search, it may have had a blurb in Hot Rod's September 61 issue.
    Anyone have that issue?
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2013
  15. I never raced at E'burg. The last place I raced was at Balboa in Eugene, Or. which was also a airstrip.
     
  16. Lytles Garage
    Joined: May 6, 2011
    Posts: 613

    Lytles Garage
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    Somewhere I have a bunch of Ellensburg pics,It might take some time to find them. I remember one of me,at about 17 years old in the "Judges box" some of Charlie Gettmans " Charlie Horse" Henry J, Jerry Berschauer,who is gone now, in his "New" BBC gas Dragster, Ray Brain, who just passed away, in his Hemi, direct drive Dragster,that thing would leave the line Chugging, and about half track would really come alive! Neal Newberry's, who just passed away,"Family Affair" 64 Plymouth Belvedere, Tim Cameron's "High Heeled Sneaker" Kellison body Gasser-Altered, and a bunch more! THANKS Chris
     
  17. 51CHEVYGASSER
    Joined: Mar 7, 2012
    Posts: 21

    51CHEVYGASSER
    Member

    Sorry lost all my pic's in a divorce years ago, but sure like to see any that are still around. Car in my avtar is what I'm building now as a tribute to the "GANGREEN" chevy gasser the "Freezer Drive Inn" in Yakima sponsered. Thanks Khyle
     
  18. I'm thinkin that most of us that remember and were at the track are just a wee bit old now.
     
  19. Rehpotsirhcj
    Joined: May 7, 2006
    Posts: 1,197

    Rehpotsirhcj
    Member

    Never too old! :D

    The sand and sage sports car club has a meet out there once a year.
    I'm told that's all the time the airport will allow. Still, its interesting to know they still have some type of motorsport activity...which would suggest at least some FAA flexibility...

    Chris, if you find any photos that you'd like to share, and I can be of any help with scanning etc, feel free to send me a pm. I'll give you my phone #.

    The Freezer Drive In...was that the one on Yak Ave and summitview, or the little one one 16th and Lincoln? Either way, kick ass project.

    For the die-hards, this is the video that my dad shot. The guy we paid to put it into digital format did a really crappy job, its pretty choppy and hard to watch. That said, there may be a few more cars in there that are recognizable:

    <a href="<iframe width=" 640"="" height="480" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/4RDXcqWadsY?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="">"><a href="<iframe width=" 640"="" height="480" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/4RDXcqWadsY?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/4RDXcqWadsY?rel=0" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="480" width="640"></iframe>
     
  20. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 5,502

    1971BB427
    Member
    from Oregon



    For the first few minutes I thought everybody in Ellensburg drove a Corvette!
     
  21. Rehpotsirhcj
    Joined: May 7, 2006
    Posts: 1,197

    Rehpotsirhcj
    Member

    Yeah, who knows what was going on the weekend he was there. I don't even know when he shot it. I think he got the Camera as a graduation present in '58. Until recently I thought it was somewhere in Yakivegas.

    How about using the shoulder as the return road?! :eek:
    That's just dicey.
     
  22. Vendome
    Joined: Mar 18, 2007
    Posts: 129

    Vendome
    Member


    As I recall Tauno was into the roundy round dirt cars. Had an old racer there in his shop that was Mopar powered. I bought my Y-Block Hilborn from Tauno....wanted that Lincoln to but could not afford at the time. Glad to hear it didn't go to scrap!
     
  23. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 5,683

    56sedandelivery
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Bremerton Raceway for years used a taxiway, prior to being permitted to use the abandoned runway. Then, when the runway was being used, the return "road" was also on the runway, on the right side of the track". All that separated the race lanes and return road were traffic cones. It was't until the late 70's/early 80's that NHRA said it could no longer be used that way. It was then that the taxiway was used as the return road. Later still NHRA said the return road could't pass through the spectator area; it was then that an actual, separate return road was paved to the left of the runway, and jersey barriers went up. Insurance requirements also had a big bearing on this.
    I "think" I have the Ellensburg track figured out. The 8 mm movie footage makes the track look very narrow, that's what I said earlier, and that's because it was. A runway was never used, at least early on; it was a taxiway that runs parallel to the 29/11, or SE to NW runway. I looked again on MapsGoogle.Com, and magnified the image up, and zeroed in on things. You can see the finish line about half way down the taxiway, and even the exit/ return road that was paved at a later date. Your last film clip was actually earlier than the first one you posted I believe. You can see the return road, but it's almost obliterated due to the elements and vegetation overgrowning it now. You can also see what I believe to be the staging lane lines just prior to where the taxiway becomes a straight-a-way. Maybe at some time, the runway did get used, much like how it was at Bremerton, but it would have been much later in the tracks history. I could also see at least one "cutout" on the track to the right after the start line. Those would have been access lanes for planes to get to the taxiways. It would be nice to have someone who was associated with the track on this thread; the airport may even have some records that could be searched. If the County Port Commission allows some other activities, that really opens the door for other uses, such as drag racing. The west side of the airport could easily become an 1/8 mile strip using what's already there, or repaving. Or maybe I'm wrong altogether, but if you'll look with Google, you might agree with me. Butch/56sedandelivery.
     
  24. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 5,502

    1971BB427
    Member
    from Oregon

    That's what Riverdale in Toutle, Wa. still does. But they let cars build up at the shutdown area, and then stop the drags when about 8 cars are down there, and let them drive back on the edge.
     
  25. 51CHEVYGASSER
    Joined: Mar 7, 2012
    Posts: 21

    51CHEVYGASSER
    Member

    The Freezer on Yakima ave. Tried to find the orignal 37 Chevy coupe to restore but no luck, however did find the motor (GMC 6 clyinder with the three side drafts) in a chevy coupe at the Arlington show a couple of years ago.
     
  26. About the last thing I remember about the Eburg track was Hahn bringing up a new car they had built ( can't remember if a cuda or challenger ). He turned off the key and locked the steering I guess and the car was destroyed. I eventually put the valve body out of it in my 63 belvidere with a 440 mag/ 727. I got that car new in Eugene with a 383/4 speed/posi and had it 16 yrs I think. The car is actually still in Kittitas.
     
  27. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 25,382

    Mr48chev
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    I think I made it up there twice when I was young. That would have been in the mid 60's, the first time riding in the back seat of "an older guy's" car to watch some friends race and the second time I drove my Metropolitan Rag top up and watched the races. I can remember the guys racing saying that the track was pretty rough at the top end.

    I think the last time I went up Bob Norwood (now the Ferrari tuner in Dallas) was running the old Rambunchus green Mopar with a wedge in it. He was the tune up man at Anderson Motors in Grandview, Wa and they sponsored him.

    My former stepfather even owned a green 52 Ford Victoria with a 56 Tbird 312 in it that had held the C gas record in the mid 50's after he traded a service station operator in Eberg a 52 or53 Mercury for the Ford.

    I used to watch the local guys in the Iron Angles car club (60's version) go by my mom's house early Sunday mornings on the way to Madras in the mid 60's.
    Ernie Sanchez would flat tow Ross Kinkades (sp) Corvette behind his national record holding J stock Pontiac and then go out and run right on the record or break it. I think they ran at Ellensberg some times too.
     
  28. Ha. I bought that valve body from Bob Norwood. We had my Ply on the rack putting it in at his shop next to B&C. It was cold and we had the bay doors shut. Got a hair to test fire the alky FC. Gassed ourselves bigtime.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013
  29. Rehpotsirhcj
    Joined: May 7, 2006
    Posts: 1,197

    Rehpotsirhcj
    Member

    A few picked up via image search. Check out the coupe behind the dragster...

    1957:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2013
  30. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 5,683

    56sedandelivery
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I like this shot of the yellow 56 Chevy Wagon and the Black/Dark Blue Ford as they're approaching the FINISH LINE. I don't see any photocells/lights however. The good old days. Butch/56sedandelivery.
     

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