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Motion Pictures San Jose's "Little Bonneville" Drag Strip in the 1950s

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by HEMI32, Apr 12, 2016.

  1. YouTuber Steve Bunnell posted this vintage home movie of a drag racing event held at the "Little Bonneville" Drag Strip (aka Reid-Hillview Airport in San Jose) in the '50s:

    NOTE: This footage was shot by Jack Santos of Santa Clara, CA​
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2016
  2. There's also some (circa 1956) "Little Bonneville" Drag Strip footage starting at the 1:00 mark and again at the 2:44 mark of this vintage home movie:

    NOTE: This footage was shot by @Rod and Wheeler (Dennis Gomes)​
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2016
  3. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 10,020

    Member Emeritus

    My first trip to the drags. Long time ago. Some guys rolled a Ford coupe. An Altered as I remember. Driver was OK but the roof was pretty bent. One of them told me that next time out it would be running as a roadster.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2016
    HEMI32 likes this.
  4. Thanks for posting these. Did anyone notice the girls looking and touching the mill in the T, they acted interested, and knew what they were talking about. That looked like so much fun. Ron...

  5. No ... I didn't even notice the six girls in bathing suits discussing the finer points of the Olds engine in Rudy Heredia's T Coupe :rolleyes: :D:

    Still at 6.46 mark (Rudy Heredia\'s T Coupe with 6 girls in bathing suits).JPG
    Still from the 6:46 mark of the "San Jose Reid Hillview Airport Drag Racing 1950's" video​
    Ron Funkhouser and kidcampbell71 like this.
  6. Here's a pic of the PACERS Car Club (of Daly City) and their Modified Coupe at "Little Bonneville":

    The Pacers CC (Daly City) Modified Coupe at Little Bonneville.jpg
    image from the (Jim) McLennan Family Collection​
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2016
    kidcampbell71 and Ruben Duran like this.
  7. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 31,231

    Jalopy Joker

    Cool - Thanks
    HEMI32 likes this.
  8. 296ardun
    Joined: Feb 11, 2009
    Posts: 4,682


    Thanks for posting!!
    HEMI32 likes this.
  9. elgringo71
    Joined: Oct 2, 2010
    Posts: 3,825


    Excellent, thanks for posting
    HEMI32 likes this.
  10. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,695

    Member Emeritus

    That airport is still in use today, only now they have two (actually four-either way for takeoff-landings) parallel runways, Rt. and Lt. Looks like a pretty busy little airport via GoogleMaps.Com; lots of planes on the field. Too bad they could't close off one runway for an occasional drag strip, but the airport is also literally surrounded by homes. I am Butch/56sedandelivery.
  11. Ruben Duran
    Joined: Aug 18, 2007
    Posts: 604

    Ruben Duran

    Ha! I drive by Reid-Hillview every other day on my way to the gym....had no idea they once held drag racing events there. Kinda makes me wonder if some of those old rods are local (and if they're still around here).....
  12. $um Fun
    Joined: Dec 13, 2008
    Posts: 660

    $um Fun
    from Nor Cal

    A nice airport, but I think its days are numbered as few planes of hit the shopping center across the street over the years. Everything grew around the airport. I learned to fly a tail dragger there.
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  13. Here's a circa 1958 pic of Jerry DeVito's famous "MAZE" '57 Ford at "Little Bonneville":

    Jerry Devito\'s MAZE \'57 Ford at Little Bonneville.jpg
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2016
  14. Here's an advertisement for a November 1958 event at "Little Bonneville":

    Little Bonneville (November 2, 1958) Advert.jpg
  15. BrerHair
    Joined: Jan 30, 2007
    Posts: 5,009


    Just not sure what to say about the pink Ford . . . seems like it was a much bigger palette back in the day. Not that there's anything wrong with that. At least he put some flames on the front, but maybe a bit too subtle.
    Good stuff, thanks Todd.
    HEMI32 likes this.
  16. Just a bump to see if anyone has more pics and/or movie footage shot at "Little Bonneville" ... ???
  17. TomWar
    Joined: Jun 11, 2006
    Posts: 727


    I went there with my friend in his stock 40 ford coupe, I was 15, and he let me make a pass.
    I was scared to death, I think I turned about 65 mph. But that started it.
    HEMI32 likes this.
  18. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 9,372


    hemi 32,
    thanks for those historic films. back in 1965 those roads near that side of 101 freeway were long and flat. not too many homes if i can recall. i went all over the place on my college roomate's triumph 650 as i was testing out the tt pipes i installed on it. he gave me the ok to drive it for the weekend while he was visiting family back in so cal. those pipes sounded great on a flat out, tuck down, ride on those long roads. i wish i had found little bonneville, i must have ridden right by it in san jose. by the way, i drove about 400 miles all over the bay area from the top of the mts. behind berkeley up to fremont drags across the bridge to ocean beach and back.
    thanks for the san jose memories.
    HEMI32 likes this.
  19. Yeah, I was racing that day. The girl in the red bathing suit was my GF and I sent her over to retard the timing on that Olds so I could beat the guy in my banger Model A.:p:rolleyes:
    Ron Funkhouser likes this.

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