The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Rehpotsirhcj, Nov 11, 2013.
July 2013, yellow pin is where you crossed the creek. Place really isn't a lot different.
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.
Great stuff. Thanks a lot for posting.
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.
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?
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.
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!
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.
Thanks for sharing.
Didn't realize FAA was still involved at Ellensburg, or that it was an active runway with regular flights.
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.
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.
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?
I never raced at E'burg. The last place I raced was at Balboa in Eugene, Or. which was also a airstrip.
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
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
I'm thinkin that most of us that remember and were at the track are just a wee bit old now.
Never too old!
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:
For the first few minutes I thought everybody in Ellensburg drove a Corvette!
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?!
That's just dicey.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A few picked up via image search. Check out the coupe behind the dragster...
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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