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Hot Rods Racing on public streets

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by HOTRODPRIMER, Nov 3, 2019.

  1. I honestly believe me being in the South and we had a lot of red neck cops and me being a scrawny teenager with long hair set those old baldhead cops of, for years I was almost guaranteed a ticket if they saw that Falcon of mine, I had more loud muffler tickets, driving to fast for conditions and of course a racing ticket, when Brenda & got married I started driving her van and we bought her a 66 GTO, I did my best to stay out of trouble. HRP
    j-jock, wicarnut, prpmmp and 2 others like this.
  2. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,241

    Atwater Mike

    Street racing. I did pretty well, last time (of 3!) I had my license revoked (California, in San Jose, 1960) was for speeding, 125 in a 25, thru a radar trap; Speed Contest.
    Framed the ticket, had it for years. I was 18, (and a street racing 'veteran') in court again...
    Third time's always the fatal. After an argument that the channeled coupe had aluminum Moon Discs on it, (and everybody KNEW that would throw the radar off!) the judge gave me a reprimand lecture, and said "I'm revoking your driving privelege in the state of California. Sit down"
    I responded..."How long will my license be revoked, your honor?"
    He gave me a condescending glare, and said quite calmly: "Forever." Well....That sounded pretty final.

    Luckily for me, I didn't get caught driving after that, kept buying and trading cars...Then, in May of 1962, wonder of wonders! A letter arrived, from Calif. DMV. I opened it, thinking, "Now what?"
    Now what indeed, opening the letter, it read: "The Director of the Calif. Dep't of Motor Vehicles has taken your case under advisement, and you may apply to the Department to reinstate your Calif. Operator's license."
    Still raced, we had some sites we used...if I went into detail, this could end up longer than my usual stories!
    Friends caught street racing after 1965 were in for some big fines...I couldn't believe when my pal Jim got popped out on the lights at Montague Exp'wy by a CHP stakeout...his '63-1/2 Galaxie was impounded, along with the Chinese dude from A&W ('62 Biscayne w/427 'Mystery Motor' W type, 4 speed)
    Jim beat him 2 out of 2, then the law showed up, 4 cars strong.
    Arrested onlookers, too. We got away in Belick's 426 Plymouth, just barely. Took the 101 on ramp, and 120 MPH to Sunnyvale. Whew!
    Many nights like this...Now, all my fast stuff is all apart...and the world has changed. Cars are politically 'more correct'...and hooligans like me stay home, LOL
    An acquaintance asked me, "Why don't you race your truck, Mike?" I answered, "No competition..." :D
    j-jock, Papas32, wicarnut and 5 others like this.
  3. Any time two pimple faced kids got together there would be a race, from a foot race to a bicycle race, I remember particpating in a race with 2 under powered automobiles, a 65 Corvair & a 63 Rambler, the Crvair won.

    Later these two kids got together and took a grandmothers wrecked Cadillac and shoehorning the engine & transmission into that same Rambler, it was poorly executed but it ran like Jack the bear, stopping seemed to be the only major drawback but we had fun with that junky little car. HRP
    OLSKOOL57 and 3W JOHN like this.
  4. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 4,186


    Don’t know all the details, but it was somewhere in the fifties I think, before a car was built that would beat a good quarter horse in a quarter mile drag race. I think the race happened in So Cal. I remember my Dad talking about it when we lived there.

  5. Probably 1966 or 67, drinking and racing a Malibu with my 57 w 327 and T10 in Chico, CA. No jail, the other car ran off.
    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.
  6. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,241

    Atwater Mike

    bowie, HOTRODPRIMER and Boneyard51 like this.
  7. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 6,584

    from Michigan

    Came close a time or two. This was one of those times.

    Late 70s, summertime, working midnight shift. Lunch time... About 3 a.m.
    My girlfriend and I had a place together a few short miles away. She had lunch ready for me and my coworker buddy.
    1970 AMC Javelin SST, 390, 4-barrel, automatic, limited slip.
    We're off. Almost no traffic. I was young and stupid. I was having fun, laying into it pretty hard. From a dead stop, with those "Wide Oval" bias ply tires, she'd fishtail about seven times before it finally caught up with itself.
    We're heading north, going about 90 mph. Not an expressway, but two lanes going north two lanes going south with a wide median. I'm paying pretty close attention. I noticed what I thought was a station wagon with a roof rack as we passed the closed darkened gas station on the right. No cars on the road.
    I caught the whole red light at the intersection of another main highway. As we're waiting for the light, I notice one set of headlights coming from behind us, but still pretty far away. The light turns green and I floor it. The Javelin does it's squirrely little dance and straightens out. Almost there. Left turn coming up. I slow down for our turn and bright red and blue blinking lights come on behind us. I pulled over in the median.
    The cop comes to my window and says...
    What do you have in this thing?!? I was doing 90 mph and you were pulling away from me!
    I got the feeling we might be okay. He let me off with a warning. Told me that he knows there's almost no traffic, but there was an accident a couple nights previous near there and a woman died.
    I was grateful.
    Thanked him profusely.

    Sent from my VS835 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  8. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 4,123

    from Ioway

    Smokin' dope and talkin' shit about the gubbmint! What did you expect? /s
    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.
  9. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 17,803

    from California

    back in the 70's street racing was much less of a problem than it is now.. at least here in the Bay Area. they didn't bust people watching and I don't remember anyone even getting a ticket.

    these days when there is a street race or idiot side show when one cop shows up they get pelted with rocks. back in my day one cop could get the attention of 30 or 40 people if they snuck up on us. our illegal race track was in the "middle of nowhere" back then. we could see cops coming from about 3 miles away.
    Boneyard51 and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  10. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 6,253


    To me the early to mid sixties was the hay day of hot rodding. Most of the cruising we did was looking for street races. Must have lived a charmed life, no drag racing tickets and nothing like an accident ever occurred. Trust me when I tell you American Grafitti was not a myth.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2019
  11. Well I suppose street racing is now not politically correct. But this is the HAMB we all are supposed to be not quite in correct alighnment .
    62rebel, HOTRODPRIMER and Boneyard51 like this.
  12. I can tell you honestly, I have never smoked a cigarette nor any dope, I was taught at a young age when face to face with a policeman treat him like my dad, ether one can put you in a world of hurt. :rolleyes: HRP
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2019
    Elcohaulic, TagMan, j-jock and 7 others like this.
  13. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 4,186


    Danny I’m with you on treating the police with respect! I could fill a book about the times the cops let me go, when they should have throwed me under the jail! Now about that smoke??????

    j-jock, HOTRODPRIMER and olscrounger like this.
  14. Yeah, I doubt there are many old farts around that can honestly say they never even tried smoking, I wish I could say the same about drinking, but I quit that a long time ago.

    I'm also fortunate or smart enough to be sober when I was driving. HRP
    Truckdoctor Andy likes this.
  15. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 5,177

    from Oregon

    I did get pulled over in my hometown once for drinking. I had a brown carton tipping up went I went past a sitting police officer. Came up and asked what I was drinking. I said a chocolate milk shake. Showed the carton he smelled it and said open your trunk. Spare tire and 4 way. Off I went. Told you I was a good boy.:p Just to add, back in Canada all our beer was in brown bottles , no cans, so he thought "brown" must be a beer.:eek:
    HOTRODPRIMER and j-jock like this.
  16. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 1,963


    I may have been involved with a race or two...
    I had a 70 Road Runner I put a pretty healthy small block into. It was very effective in stop light to stop light, um, driving...
    Fortunately I've grown much more calm as I age. The fact that I haven't had a big power car for many years has helped.
    I can tell you that even with its low power V6, my coupe can put rubber marks on the street in 2nd, and get a chirp in 3rd, and still be under 55 mph.
    I find its a lot more fun to drive a slow car fast, then it is to drive a fast car slow. These days, a fast car fast should be on a track someplace. There will be no Hellcat in my future. Gene
  17. deucendude
    Joined: Oct 31, 2008
    Posts: 578

    from norcal

    I would have never done this but, every night in Pomona Ca. was race night in the 1960's..
    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.
  18. wicarnut
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 4,027


    The local police always tried to keep kids in check with the 72 hour fix tickets, loud pipes/ headlight height/ front bumper/hood/were the common infractions in my case. IMO In later years the loud pipes enforcement went away with time as my Hot Rods had flowmasters, pretty loud, latest car (Merc)has glass pacs/tail pipes for a mellow sound, thinking we can thank the Harley guys for the easing/ignoring of the noise laws. NOW IF we could just get people off their cell phones when driving we all would be safer.
  19. Man, you got that right! HRP
    wicarnut likes this.
  20. Back in 1965 I was cruising Shippan Ave. ( the main cruising street in Stamford CT.) when Jerry Harold pulls up next to me in my 30 roadster and says hey Boccuzzi I hear that thing is pretty fast. I say it go's alright. Jerry is riding his built XLCH known for being the quickest thing around. My A roadster is running a new 327 fuelie motor with two WCFB's, a truck 3 speed and a Merc splicer 4:27 gears.
    Jerry also owned an A coupe with Buick power. Anyway Jerry says lets see how it does against my bike. So off we go up to I-95 exit 6 in Stamford. The highway was not that old and back then after six pm there was no one on it.
    From the entrance to the second overpass was a 1/4 mile. Everyone in Stamford knew that! So we raced from a 20 mph roll and I never saw him, I beat him bad. So we get off the next exit and Jerry says again, but a 5 mph roll. Same out come. Once more Jerry says from a dead stop, thinking no car will beat his bike off the line. But I did! Back down Shippan and Jerry pulls in to the local hang out burger place and walks over and says that is the pretty fast.
    Those were the days. Note: Drive on I-95 now in Stamford anytime day or night and there is so much traffic you can hardly move at all.

    My Roadster 3o roadster.jpg 30 roadster.jpg
    Jerry's Coupe herold100.jpg Jerry second from right back row. br01-1957[1].jpg
    Black Road Club Members!
    Sorry never had a picture of the Harley!
    woodsnwater and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  21. B1gDaddy
    Joined: Aug 30, 2007
    Posts: 261

    from aladambama

    I'm worse now than I ever was in my teens or twenties. Just sayin

    Now I really don't give a crap, Really! I was scared of it back then , now not so much
    woodsnwater and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  22. B1gDaddy
    Joined: Aug 30, 2007
    Posts: 261

    from aladambama

    IMG_0099.JPG Would you drive this and put put around? ???
    kaspar, scotty t, woodsnwater and 3 others like this.
  23. Brian Penrod
    Joined: Apr 19, 2016
    Posts: 81

    Brian Penrod

    Street raced probably a half dozen times when I was 17-18 years old, didn't even know about a drag strip. Went to the strip the first time and never raced on the street again, I think I grew up a little that day.
  24. I have a 29 Ford roadster with a nailhead engine, I got pulled over in Lankershim Blvd near the famous Palamino club. I thought it was going to be a 30 mechanical problems ticket for sure. Instead the policeman said" would you just punch it so I can hear the nailhead" I said sure if you don't ticket me. He said, I just want to hear it, I hit it hard and burned rubber for a block, he just stood there smiling. Fun moment!
  25. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 5,151


    I lived in the Wayzata, MN area in the fifties and sixties. In the mid to late sixties, we had an actual quarter mile on County Road 6 about 3 miles north of town. We went out one day and measured as close to a quarter mile as as we could with someone's odometer, and then spray painted foot wide white stripes across the lanes. We even had the audacity to paint "START" and "FINISH" on each end. It got used a few times, but I never got a chance. I had a new '67 Corvette Coupe with a 327/350 and no one would race me. I got into a shouting match with some rich kid from Ferndale who had a new Austin Healy 3000, but in the end, he chickened out. I did run it once, timed by my friend in the passenger seat with a Timex. I can't remember what he said I turned, but I do know I was very disappointed. I think I smelled more clutch stink than tire smoke so I never did it again. I attended several runs out here with "lesser cars" though. The funny thing was that the cops never seemed to catch on to what we were doing. I don't remeber anyone getting busted racing there.

    The odd thing is that our "course" was down hill and on a slight curve; I wonder what we were thinking?
    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.
  26. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 4,773


    We were lucky to be living and growing up near Lions Dragstrip. We got all of our drag racing competition vs. the other guys/girls out in droves, almost every weekend. But, sometimes, when the dragstrip was closed and the teenage bravado was in danger of being challenged, something had to take place. There were several places in the general Westside of Long Beach area where it was relatively deserted most of the time. But, our hot rod cruising grounds of Bixby Knolls had a long standing history of hot rods, drag racing , cruising and many generations of teenagers always on the scene.

    In our Bixby Knolls area, drag racing in the streets was usually limited to one street. Out of respect for all of the teenagers living in the whole area and their families, Cherry Avenue on the Eastern city limits of Long Beach was selected. It was almost 1.5 miles long with a good mile of empty stretches of highway with no one to bother. It was “ghostly” all along the starting line area and all the way through the ¼ mile, plus another ¼ mile shut off before homes were involved. It was the East Bixby Knolls dragstrip as one block to the east was the City of Lakewood.

    Why was the street “ghostly?” On the Western side of the street, one huge cemetery and mortuary complex cover almost a ½ mile. On the eastern side was another smaller, but just as long of a cemetery's fenced in area. To say it was ghostly is very descriptive. There were some girls that did not want to go see the races when they popped up and everyone was on the way out of the driveway, from the closest drive-in restaurant. The cemetery gave them the creeps. Plus, it was almost pitch black.

    The main ¼ mile and another ¼ mile shut off area did not bother any homes as far a obnoxious noise. But, the side streets were available if needed when there was a shut down in progress or one was being set up by the local police. There were plenty of side streets after the actual race course and those were well know to the teenagers living in that area of Bixby Knolls. (Short side streets, dark shaded areas for hiding if needed, and cul de sacs near alleys for escapes, etc.) They were typical residential streets with dark shaded areas to sit and wait. It also gave us time to cap up our down, exhaust pipes before heading back to our friends.

    If one kept going South on Cherry Avenue, it was the main street leading to the Lakewood Drive-In Theater compound. So, usually, everyone was already in the shut down mode and on their way back to the drive-in restaurant parking lots. It was the normal thing to do for all generations of Bixby Knolls teenagers that lived and went to our high school. Tom McEwen and Gary Gabelich were locals living nearby and had the most notoriety of high school drag racers there. There were many people growing up on that street and are still around to tell about its history.


    For the many years of being a Bixby Knolls local and drag racing teenager, we were always safe, and nothing got out of hand. Even during those times when there was a raid and we all scattered inside of the safety laden, darkened residential streets just past the end of the racing area. The police patrolled the major streets, but the residential side streets were like Brer Rabbit and The Briar Patch. We knew, they did not. No tickets, no license taken away, just mean looks at the drive-in parking lots when the black and white cruised through wanting to do something.

    They knew something was usually going on and we all knew where they parked to try and catch the teenagers on their way to the “Cherry Avenue” Dragstrip. These days, Cherry Avenue is still there and still fairly empty during the day, but at night, virtually empty, except for those wandering ghosts…

    Cherry Avenue location and sound
    Elcohaulic and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  27. 3W JOHN
    Joined: Oct 8, 2015
    Posts: 654

    3W JOHN

    When I exited from the service the first thing I bought was a 1966 Corvette, I got busted for racing the second day of ownership, before my court date I got busted again, I sold the car before the second payment was due.
  28. 62rebel
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 2,768


    Way past the heyday and I was in the Navy at the time, so I had a relatively new off topic sports car I had high esteem for.... squared off with a guy in a k car charger (remember those? The name was ruined long before Daimler) and took off up Spruill Avenue foot to the floor, through three traffic lights, neck and neck, listening to his turbo whistle in my left ear.... stopped at the main gate crossing and let him go. Never saw or heard a cop.....
  29. Around '73 to '76 we street raced a lot. There was one main drag... lousy with cops... only fools raced there. Like fish in a barrel. There would be cars pulled over everywhere along the route. That also ended using parking lots as meeting points.

    There was one stretch elsewhere, I had measured off a 1/4 mile back in '73 with my dad's 200' tape measure, pretty accurate. I painted the start and finish lines too. My dad's house was close by, so after the bars closed we'd take lawn chairs through the woods and watch the races. This was good for years, the cops were hands-off for some reason until a spectator's car got run into during a race and the gas tank blew. I missed that one.
  30. Boodlum
    Joined: Dec 19, 2007
    Posts: 342


    Private youtube video

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