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History Richmond Dragway Reveries

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by J.Ukrop, May 10, 2019.

  1. I must confess to spending a fair amount of time at Eastside as a younger man both at the dragstrip and the circle track. I understand the circle track is no longer in operation though. That's too bad. End of an era I suppose.
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  2. catdad49
    Joined: Sep 25, 2005
    Posts: 3,517

    catdad49
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Pete, thanks for all the great history and photos!
     
    lothiandon1940 and sidevalve8ba like this.
  3. How is it that so many dragstrips could stay busy in the Richmond area? Central Virginia and the city particularly were hot beds of interest during the time that the Richmond strip was getting started. A look at just a few of the many car clubs confirms the interest locally in hot rods and customs.

    The fever wasn't confined to Southern California, as many would have us believe:

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    Many more listed here from around the state on Virginia Auto Racing website:

    http://www.vaautoracing.org/hotrodding5.htm#clubs
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2019
  4. I know this thread is focused on the drag racing in the Richmond area, but it was also a hot-bed for stock car racers as well. Ray Hendrick, Sonny Hutchins, Manny Zervakis and others were prolific and legendary racers.
     
    catdad49 likes this.
  5. 'Mo
    Joined: Sep 26, 2007
    Posts: 7,155

    'Mo
    Member

    Bookmarked. :cool:
     
  6. There must be something in the water here. Cool stuff everywhere, and it still surprises how many places the evidence of hot rods and racing shows up. Often hiding in plain sight.

    For instance, around the corner from my house in Richmond's affluent and snobby West End, this little '57 straight out of Thunder Road is down in the woods in one of the last undeveloped lots left in the city. My buddy John Bowers grew up in the neighborhood and tells me that many years ago around the corner from my house was a grocery with a nip joint and gambling parlor around back. Easy spot for folks to buy beer and moonshine after hours. Notorious place for rogues and roughnecks. I've heard stories of shoot-outs over card games. Long gone now.

    Was this car a rum runner? Sure could be. Parked for many years, quietly rusting away. Dunno.

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    Last edited: May 12, 2019
    Hamtown Al and lothiandon1940 like this.
  7. Dang, Pete, someone needs to save that thing.
     
    OLSKOOL57 likes this.
  8. 20190427_095407.jpg
    Believe he was manning the Rodders Journal booth at Jalopyrama in Easton Md...cut me a good deal on a case of a couple a dozen back issues....
     
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  9. drtrcrV-8
    Joined: Jan 6, 2013
    Posts: 1,149

    drtrcrV-8
    Member

    When I saw the title "Richmond Dragway", & that it was entered from San Francisco, my first thought was that he was talking about San Pablo Ave in Richmond, Ca on a Saturday night.....
     
  10. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 3,090

    41rodderz
    Member
    from Oregon

    And Junie Donleavey
    Lennie Pond, Junie Donlavey and Eric Freedlander all had ties to Nascar Cup racing. I have talked to Roy Hendricks, Rays son a few times. Go out to Southside and watch him. He had a muffler shop off Broadway.
     
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  11. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 3,090

    41rodderz
    Member
    from Oregon

    Dad was offered a job on Junie's Nascar Cup team but he said if he was 20 years younger he might want to put up with cross country travel.
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  12. Dlow
    Joined: Mar 28, 2019
    Posts: 1

    Dlow

    Fond memories there. My dad would take me there in sixties to the Spring Nationals. Had the opportunity to help Roland Leong’s crew when they were in need of a tow vechicle for the Hawaiian Funny Car at the Nationals there in I think the late sixties. Towed them with my 1967 SS Chevrolet 4 speed. Larry Reyes was the driver and they won the event. Wish I had some pics from then. Later went on to race there with my dragster in the eighties. Got to go there again with a top sportsman racer and saw some of the same people that I bracket raced against 30 years ago.
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.

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