The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Dog427435, Dec 18, 2009.
Nice rare photo of the ambulance driver at Lions. I got to know this guy from 1959 to 60. He was the guy that was always parked right below the orange tower, ready to scurry onto the track to go to the scene of an accident. This spot allowed the white ambulance to zip right onto the dragstrip to get right to the scene of the accident.
When I was taking my drag racing movies, I wanted a closer oncoming shot. (Without a chain link fence staring me in the face.) So, I walked around the tower to the spot next to this white ambulance. Some days, this guy or his helper was laying on the hood relaxing. Other times, he was in the ambulance ready for action.
In 1960, our 671 SBC Willys coupe was in the final elimination round of C/Gas, going up against the current class champion. My brother got out to a tremendous lead. It was his best start yet. As he got around the ¾ mark, a fiery ball of flames went under the car, out the windows and the whole interior lit up. We watched in amazement and then this white ambulance took off down the strip.
He pulled over near the final light and stopped, while we zipped by in our 58 Impala. We were going to the Willys coupe stuck in the spectator’s side fence with fire coming out of the cab.
Using extinguishers and not getting anywhere, someone told me that the ambulance had stopped and was loading my brother into the back…near the return road. The white ambulance was loading my brother on a stretcher and into the back. This ambulance driver said, “We will be taking him to Long Beach Memorial Hospital, don’t worry.”
By late 1960, the Lions management built a telephone fence to keep the ambulance safe from drag racing errors and to keep the riff raff out of the area…like movie filming, teenagers.
It wasn’t until 1964 when I met this driver again. I was at Lions Dragstrip documenting our friend’s, Atts Ono, debut of his immaculate red, Willys Coupe. I wanted to get some shots of the starting line racing and the eliminations against the Airoso Bros Willys came up. I hung out around the ambulance and when the race cars started staging, I rushed to the edge of the track with the movie camera. I started filming the preliminary staging and when the race started, someone yelled at me to get off of the track and back in the pits. He was yelling at top volume and was a mean guy. He, of course, read me the riot act as I was filming.
In the last film of Atts Ono’s Willys coupe against the Airoso Bros, it started ok, and just after the start, a jerky film shows up. That is when the guy was yelling and startled me. I kept filming until they zipped by where I was standing. Now, by this time, the guy was really mad and escorted me all the way back to the pits area and told me not to do that again or… Ha!
I am sure that ambulance driver was laughing during this whole time of the incident…
Virginia City Nv? If so... The joint lives large in hippie lore.
This is the Red Dog Saloon in Virginia City...
very classy picture of a wonderful time that I wish all the young Hambers could have experienced !
its interesting how many of these old photos show the proud owner standing by his new car. it was a big deal then, not sure the folks now gather in the drive way for a photo of they're new toyota
I can understand why............it would be like taking a photo standing next to your new refrigerator or new washing machine. Pretty boring!
The 270 GMC was first offered in 1941.
Could it possibly be a 302 ?? I believe they first arrived in 1952 ??
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