The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by indybigjohn, Aug 28, 2008.
Boy,502......some of those names do jog the ol' memory bank. A couple of years later, Ivan Baldwin became the guy to beat at several of the SoCal tracks. He then went into partnership with Jack McCoy but, surprisingly, it didn't amount to much as both their fortunes fell off.
Do you happen to know which track that picture of Ray Elder's #96 was taken at?....obviously a PCLM or Winston West race. Also, I think that picture of Sam Rose's car was taken at a PCLM race. THe #04 Plymouth in the background was driven by Cliff Garner for awhile. I saw him drive that car to a victory at Ascot one year.
I don't know much about what i have here... My grandfather Chuck Barnett raced in SoCal various time between 1967-1969, 1978-1980 and 1986-1988. I have been searching online to find information about him, but there isn't alot of SoCal stock car racing that i can find online. I found this forum full of photos and scanned what i had and posted it.
Im not sure where that photo of Ray Elder was taken at.. I was thinking either Whiteman Stadium or Orange Show. My grandpa and Sam Rose we're good friends back in the day, i think he lives in Yakima, WA nowdays.
Chuck passed on Easter Sunday 2000 in McMinnville, OR.
Ah...OK. that explains it. I thought that you might actually be Chuck Barnett from all the postings. I did see your grandfather race several times out at Whiteman and also at the old Speedway 605, where I spent a lot more time.The big Kahuna in that class was Bill Spencer in his slant-6 Plymouth. Bill moved up to the Sportsman class in the early 70s and was killed shortly thereafter out at Riverside.
That picture of Ray Elder is from a dirt track. Whiteman and Orange Show were both paved, so it couldn't be one of those. Ascot Park was dirt but there was no "tightwad hill" for spectators at Ascot. My guess is that it was taken out in the central valley somewhere.....maybe Madera(?).
You are right that currently there is not a lot about early SoCal racing online. "Allstarracing" has posted quite a few pictures from that era earlier on this forum. I have a few myself which I'm trying to get around to posting but they are all from PCLM/Winston West series or Riverside.
Speking about calif rcing I have recieved the best book on racing history and I have many.. This one is by hamb member thoml 24 or theomas luce.. Its about the cja or calif jalopy assoc from 1948 thru the first 70s lots of good read and more photos than you can belive.. I anynody has contacts in ca its him..Keep them coming and thanks th scary nick name for posting the photo of me..its fun to out run three generations..the driver is 64 and the car has been a race car for over 20 seasons.Bobby..
Yea.... I am only 25..... I remember going to see my grandpa race a few times at Saugus in 1988, he drove a #4 or #4j Chevy that was painted grey/yellow. (i was only 4) but, i do remember him having 'Chargin' Charlie' painted on the roof.
When i came across these photos and books at my grandmas house i thought i would be able to get online and look up something but it seems to be very difficult.
I'll scan in the other driver profiles i have from this 1969 Nascar yearbook. There are lots of great names in there.
here some of sal tovella, a clone of this car is almost ready for racing in a vintage div. around Il. this summer
that is santa maria speedway near pismo beach (south about 20 min) no tightwad hill if you didn't want to sit in the stands you sat in the dirt on the hill
Thats awesome to know that. At least now i know who both the drivers are and what track it is...
This particular car #502 is a 53 Ford.
This particular #502 is a 53 Ford. Allstarracing
This #502 is a 56 Chevy at Orange Show and look at the cage. It is a left offset cage and is so cool because it shows nothing is new in design just newer parts.Allstarracing
Thanks for that. I knew it wasn't one of the tracks south of the Tehachapis. My guess only missed by about 100 miles.LOL. Who won the race?
Saugus was a great track.....and a real drivers' track with those reverse camber turns. Drivers that perfected their skills there are still winning today (Hornaday, Harvick). One summer I went up there every Sat night for 15 straight weeks when "Wild Bill" Foster was tearing up the track in that #9 Plymouth. I think he won 13 out of those 15 weeks. They had a great mix of racing stock cars in the 60s & 70s....Chevys, Fords, Mopars, old Hudson Hornets, and an AMC or two. By the early 80s the race field looked like a used car lot full of old Camaros and I lost interest. I guess that many others did too as Saugus closed down about 15 years ago.
Sickboy....I see that you are lcated in Oildale. I attended a Winston West race out there once on a dirt track that was called "Bakersfield Speedway" or something like that before Marion Collins built the one at Mesa Marin. I think the race was won by Jack McCoy. What ever happened to that track?
Is this the one you're talking about?
Hey beentherebefore my understanding of the closing of Saugus was three fold. First the part of the grandstands on the back stretch was collapsing and the state stepped in and said they had to fix it. Didn't know California had any laws about that stuff but I guess they did. The state also said when they repaired it they had to move it away from the roadway and then it would have been only a few rows. The Camaro thing also led to declining interest and the insurance went up drastically because of the grandstand incident. I understand the oval itself is still there and nothing has been done with the property. I also heard the county legislated out any hope of any track by making the requirements so harsh nobody could afford to build one.
Could be. It is dirt and less than 1/2 mile. I haven't been out there since 1969 or 1970 so I don't remember exactly where it was located, other than it was considered "Oildale" in those days. Bakersfield has spread out quite a bit in the last few years. I attended most of the NCTS truck races at Mesa Marin and could see the housing developments getting closer & closer to the track every time that I went.
A good part of that could be true. All I know is what the track mgmt had announced, as published in the "L A Times" auto racing column. They stated that they weren't able to fund "needed updates" or something like that. For awhile they were still using the grounds for swap meets but I don't know if that is still true. I don't know if you get back to visit but that Santa Clarita Valley area has seen tremendous growth in the last decade. There are now housing developments 1/2 way up the Grapevine. Saugus track was pretty noisy as the sound reflected off the canyon walls. Wouldn't surprise me if someone living in the vicinity sicked the State safety inspectors on them with the hope of shutting them down. My guess is that the owners are now just waiting for a good offer from a developer......that property would probably make a good strip mall, if nothing else.
I used to like to sit in those backstretch grandstands but there usually weren't more than a handful of people sitting there. The track could have easily torn them down and not have affected their gate receipts very much. I used to attend with a regular group of friends but none of us were big fans of watching just a bunch of Camaros race so we all quit attending in the early 80s. You could see their weekly crowds already dropping off by then.
indybigjohn, looks like you got some good stuff to share... let's see alittle. pre 64 if you don't mind! i still dig nascar, indy, f1, you name it, but i love the early pics!
For all you Ascot fans,there are some old Ascot Speedway programs for sale on E-bay,only about 4 hours left though
Pontiacs sure ruled in '64, '65 !
John, what a great thread! A real thrill to listen in on all you guys who were in the thick of it, doing it.
Falconred Hi Robert
There's lots more of you. And of course you, Dog427435, your photo collection is second to none!
I'm one of the guys who never got out of the stands, starting at AIR in '65, except to occasionally help a buddy at Dixie Speedway in the late 80s, early 90s. Just never had a camera with me!
Thanks again John, the greatest history lesson ever!
Have only made it through p.60, can't wait to see it all.
Thanks for all the kind words, guys. I just started it, the guys with more photos have kept it going and there's some great history in here for me, too. I've been offline for almost a week because the computer was in the shop getting a virus cleaned out. Being in a wheelchair, without the computer I become a quadraplegic. I depend on it for everything I do in my work, etc.
Since last Friday, I've worked 14 crosswords from the local papers that my wife was saving for my daughter, worked every daily crossword since then, helped my wife with nine jigsaw puzzles, and read five old Louis L'Amour westerns. I was ready to start on a plastic model of a '36 Ford modified when the computer store called and said it was ready.
On more photos, I'm in the process of sorting right now. Andy Vertrees stopped by on his way to Florida and dropped off three big boxes of photos. There's stuff in there from the old Fairgrounds, the Sportsdrome, Louisville Speedway, and Kentucky Motor Speedway at Whitesville in addition to a sprinkling of photos from Salem and other tracks I haven't identified yet.
In regard to history, I'm still writing a column each Friday on Frontstretch.com during the season. I think Andy is going to be this week's primary subject.
Thanks again for the kind words.
Since I'm too young to have any good pics, (Cloverleaf Speedway closed the year I was signing up), here are some shots of my Dad's cars. He grew up in Oneonta, NY, and raced at tracks near there in the 60's. Although he started with the 53 Chevy, he ran a slew of 58 Fords over the years. He's currently building a street legal stock car clone of his 1958 Ford #201. I love this thread, keep up the cool pics!
bakersfield speedway is alive and kicking. 65 or so years now. opening nite is march 6th. i've raced out there since '92. been off a couple of years due to the fact that the class i was running just went crazy. regrouped moved down a class hope to have some fun.
Thinking about turning my 58 Ford into Nascar look. Always see slammed and gassers never vintage Nascar
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