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Lions Dragstrip....Who was there??

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by straightaxle65, Nov 18, 2007.

  1. narducci
    Joined: Jan 3, 2008
    Posts: 194

    narducci
    Member

    EJ Potter also ran a SBC powered motorcycle. I saw him at Englishtown in the mid 60's. They called him the 'Madman from Minnesota'. It was pretty wild
     
  2. Used to run a blowin 394 olds powered Orange 32 3 window coupe there in the early 60's ( 63-65). Sponsored by Santa Ana Speed Shop.
    Man that car was a hand full.
    Don't know what ever happened to the car- But still have many memories of the Beach.
    Look @ my avatar- Built this a year ago to kinda kindle the memories.
     
  3. straightaxle65
    Joined: Oct 13, 2007
    Posts: 532

    straightaxle65
    Member

    E.J. Potter is from Michigan and is known as the "Michigan Madman"
     
  4. narducci
    Joined: Jan 3, 2008
    Posts: 194

    narducci
    Member

    Sorry, that was many years ago!
     
  5. shoprat
    Joined: Dec 23, 2006
    Posts: 1,109

    shoprat
    Member Emeritus
    from Orange, CA

    Santa Ana Speed is still here. Larry still owns it, And I'm still
    spending money there....The Beach was fast!
     
  6. AnimalAin
    Joined: Jul 20, 2002
    Posts: 3,417

    AnimalAin
    Member

    You have an excellent memory. I might not have come up with those names on my own, but I recall all of them now that you mention them. Great days.
     
  7. HB of CJ
    Joined: Apr 9, 2008
    Posts: 11

    HB of CJ
    Member

    Wow....you have opened the memory doors big time. Admission was, if I recall correctly, a whole $1.50 and a yellow pit pass was another 50 cents. A lot of money for a kid in junior and high school. Saw Don Garlits change a hemi out between runs...from 10 feet away. Some East coast guy at the time. My lady friend got one of his used up plugs. Little red wagon. 409's turning in the 13's. GTO's burning rubber the whole run. The smarting smell of Nitro and rubber. Twenty five cent drinks. Thank you. :) :) :)
     
  8. arpedersen
    Joined: Apr 15, 2008
    Posts: 85

    arpedersen
    Member
    from Idaho

    Oh man, that sounds good. Our local heritage racetrack, in Spokane, Washington, just got sold to the city, and they may or may not bull doze it. I want memories like these when I get old.
     
  9. HOLLYWOOD GRAHAM
    Joined: Apr 11, 2007
    Posts: 1,428

    HOLLYWOOD GRAHAM
    Member
    from Ojai,Ca

    1960-61 we would go on Sat. nights in my friends 50 Ford..It had a big trunk so 3 of us us would get in free while two of us paid....They collected at the parking lot entrance.... Later my friend got a Harley Chopper and we woild go from Hollywood to Long Beach on it. Sounds easy but he did not have a buddy seat or pegs. so I rode the fender and burned my legs a few times on his pipes, rigid frame ass for days after. My biggest memory was hearing Big Al 1 and 2's Allison engine storming down the 1/4. Stone, Woods and Cook's gassers were big draws then...Those were the days...
     
  10. GEEZZER
    Joined: Mar 20, 2008
    Posts: 296

    GEEZZER
    Member

    Michigan madman
     
  11. WCD
    Joined: Apr 15, 2008
    Posts: 1,712

    WCD
    Member

    I enjoyed the little guy classes as much as the fuelers. When the flatties ran so did the occasional 4 banger rail and even a flat headed Henry J. Joe Monahon was his name I think
     
  12. My Anglia ran the Last drag Race. Built at Blair's in 69 Jay Lindsley (who also drove it) P Wood ( the world famous Pete Eastwood) and even Bob Goldsmith ( aregular on here)
    [​IMG]
     
  13. How many of you remember the motocross track at Lion's ? We raced on Wednesday nights and John "The Flyin Hawaiian" DeSoto was the track hero! That would have been 71-72.
     
  14. Revhead
    Joined: Mar 19, 2001
    Posts: 3,027

    Revhead
    Member
    from Dallas, TX

    I met a guy in a restaurant a while back that said he used to manage Lions drag strip. I never got his name, but he also said he used to race early NASCAR in a '60, '61, or '62 chevy (can't quite remember what year) with the number 13. Any clue who that would have been?
     
  15. Last time I was there was June of 1962. We had the AA/G Comp Coupe out there trying to set the NHRA ET record with it. We had broken the record at an NHRA track in Texas and had to back it up. No such luck. We smoked the engine on the first run. Got real close to the record, but not close enough. Had no money to buy MEL racing parts, so came home. Good memories.
     
  16. That rotten bitch!
     
  17. stan292
    Joined: Dec 6, 2002
    Posts: 857

    stan292
    Member

    Mazooma1 says "From the tower side of the strip, you couldn't have been more than 25 feet from the cars in the close lane."

    He's right, and better yet, if you stood right at the starting line you were more like 10 feet from the closest car. I spent hours standing there during fuel dragster shows - just to get buzzed on the noise and nitro fumes. That's probably why my hearing is shit now (come to think of it, I can't smell much of anything either - LOL).

    There was a solid wooden fence there - about waist high - with dozens of clutch pieces and miscellaneous shrapnel at your feet. Even back then I couldn't believe they let people stand there. Awesome doesn't even begin to describe the experience.

    The first time I went there in '66 (fresh out of the Nebraska sticks), I stumbled into one of Mickey Thompson's 200 MPH meets. A 60 car top fuel dragster show (qualifiers from more than a hundred entrants) that was just kept going and going. It was insane. There probably aren't 60 top fuel dragsters in the country nowdays.

    Without question the most legendary drag strip of all time.
     
  18. lupus_girl
    Joined: Feb 16, 2010
    Posts: 3

    lupus_girl
    Member
    from California

    My dad, Bob Brommer and his partners Eddie Potter and Lloyd Castle used to race out there. Their 2 top cars were Sudden Death and Gang Green.
     
  19. I was there alot as a kid! My older brother used to take me. The hamburgers were like shoe leather and the hotdogs were like chewing on a garden hose!!!
    But the cars were great!!! It will never be like that again...
     
  20. I remember the track,but never went for the bikes...
     
  21. Yes, me! Lions was a favourite hang-out for me back in the 1960s and I was, indeed there when Garlits turned his digger into a circular saw and cut off part of his foot! Can you blame him for going to a rear engined AA/FD after that?

    Wednesday night 'Grudge Nights' were a weekly event for my friends and me for many years and this is where I had my first real experience of serious drag racing. Couldn't beat that cool ocean air for making extra HP!

    I was also at the Last Drag Race there on 2 December, 1972, the only time I was ever a paying spectator. I posted the front cover of the program from that event in one of my HAMB albums.

    Anybody remember those dumb Ladies Races at Lions where the women had to do a Le Mans style start?

    The world is a poorer place with the demise of The Beach, San Fernando ('Races every Sunday'), San Gabe and other historical strips.
     
  22. firingorder1
    Joined: Dec 15, 2006
    Posts: 2,147

    firingorder1
    Member

    In my teens in the 60s I spent a lot of time at the Beach. But most of it was at Fontana or Pomona. Happier times. I still pass by where Fontana was. The Eucayptus trees are still there but its just a sea of houses now. The Beach has some special memeories. I got the three DVD set of the Beach's history. I saw a mention of my all time favorite drag bike "Barn Job".
    [​IMG][/IMG]
     
  23. 31fordV860
    Joined: Jan 22, 2007
    Posts: 864

    31fordV860
    Member

    All I can remember was...in the stands you were right on top of the cars, it was awesome......

    and freakin LOUD....!!!!!!!
     

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  24. hotrod40coupe
    Joined: Apr 8, 2007
    Posts: 2,562

    hotrod40coupe
    Member

    I was there from the beginning, 1955. Class winner several times and I still have the trophies and about 25 pit passes. Was out there with the Pacers C roadster when it puked the clutch all over the starting line. Even raced motocross with John in the 70's. It was the best of times and is most likely gone forever. A sad day for us all.
     
  25. hot rod wille
    Joined: Oct 27, 2005
    Posts: 695

    hot rod wille
    Member

    I was just a punk kid in junior high ,but would beg rides to Lion's. Seems like tons of guys would go down south--I was in Ventura (still am).Used to watch this guy from Ojai with an A/GAS Corvair--front motor / mile high stance.But I'm surprised nobody's mentioned the damned rollers! We'd sit by em, just to see a car jump off,every now and then--that's when they we're working right!Years late I bought that Corvair,and had some fun with it.I remember the big Funny car meets--and the women!
     
  26. hot rod wille
    Joined: Oct 27, 2005
    Posts: 695

    hot rod wille
    Member

    Found these----
     

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  27. hotrod40coupe
    Joined: Apr 8, 2007
    Posts: 2,562

    hotrod40coupe
    Member

  28. You lucky bastards!

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  29. Bud
    Joined: Jun 28, 2005
    Posts: 577

    Bud
    Member
    from Orange, CA

    I have a few memories of Lions, but they are strictly kid memories. I was only 6 when it closed. But I used to go with my Dad all the time. My dad had a black flamed 55 effie with chrome wheels and pinner whites and when he started loading it up with a cooler and some blankets and such on the weekend I knew where we were going! I had a few photos that my mom had taken (With my dad holding me when I was still a baby to sitting on my dads shoulders watching the action when I was a little older) but my ex wife threw everything out. I remember fire, noise and glowing red pipes. I remember running around looking at all the cars and playing with a girl of the same age named Charlie ( I think I was in love). I remember the hamburgers and hot dogs too BadBob, but I thought they were good. I guess it was a kids taste buds. Wish it would have lasted longer, so I would have more memories. We would go to Lions, Irwindale and Pomona all the time. Miss that place and my pops too......
     
  30. 65COMET
    Joined: Apr 10, 2007
    Posts: 3,086

    65COMET
    Member

    I started going around 1960 as a kid with my Father and his friends as spectators .I started racing there in 1969 through the end.I was there for "The Last Drag Race",6AM until the end,if I remember it was about 2AM.I raced Stock Eliminator then switched to brackets.I go by there a few times a year,what a shame. ROY.
     

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