More Unseen 50’s SCCA Footage: Paramount Ranch 1956

More footage from the John McClure archives, this time from the August 56 running of the Paramount Ranch road races. The footage here is nice and close, it seems John staked out the perfect spot for the featured Sunday races.

The under-1500cc consolation and feature races in the first half of the video has some great shots of Richie Ginther absolutely walking away with the feature race in his #211 Porsche 550 Spyder; the aftermath of Rex Huddleston’s crash in his #75 Maserati-powered Lotus; William Binney’s beautiful #359 Doretti; an interesting shot in the pits of someone’s front-engined(!) Porsche 4-cam powered racer (is it a Lotus 11?). Nice to see some Cooper Formula IIIs mixing it up with the road cars and specials in the low displacement race.

In the larger displacement race, there’s some nice shots of the lovely little battle between Eric Hauser, Bill Krause, and Harrison Evans. Each of them took 1st in their classes piloting their #70 Morgensen Special, #27 Jaguar D-Type, and #130 Ferrari Monza 750.

Seeing the track in use really highlights was an absolutely beautiful location Paramount Ranch was, even moreso than when we featured it in our Lost Tracks series.

DISCUSS (17 Comments)

  1. Kurt O

    Fantastic stuff! Bill Binney’s Doretti has an Allied fiberglass body that was a direct copy of the Cisitalia 202. Mickey Thompson was involved in making the body. They “borrowed” Pete Petersen’s (Hot Rod Mag) Cisitalia to make the mold. The Binney Doretti still exists and is owned by a friend.

  2. Cliff Reuter

    Love it and still can’t believe this footage has never been seen! Congrats Harlo again!!!!!!!!

  3. Chris

    I grew up in Agoura and have walked every inch of that track several times.. but I’ve never seen it come to life. Thank you for this.

    Are there any plans to compile these onto a DVD? I’d love to watch it in my living room.

  4. Greg

    More Classic footage and to think this is a year after the infamous ’55 Le Mans. Check out all the trees so close to the track and the 2 idiots running across the track in the middle of the race. A different time…

  5. Jon

    Fantastic footage. In addition to the trees Greg noted, the dust clouds and standing dirt on the outer curves would have to give you pause if you went wide. I was surprised to see the Triumph TR3 and a couple of others navigate that mess unscathed.

  6. Paramount Ranch Today | The Chicane

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  7. Debby Porter

    My Dad, Chuck Porter, is driving the silver Mercedes roadster SLS number 181. The car is still around having been fully restored, and is currently owned by a man in Germany.

  8. Stu Schaller

    The is a white and red Moretti 750 twin cam coupe at 3:42. The entry list shows 2 Morettis, but this is the only one I have found..

  9. Rusty Smith

    Stu that is car #333 driven by Dave Smith my dad! My dad owned P&S Motors – a Porsche and VW dealership in Bakerfield, CA. at the time.

  10. kevin miller

    thanks for this – after a bit of research I think I have spotted my girlfriends Dad, Jack Wilder – car number 65…. a Nichols Panhard. Its amazing what you can find out on the internet….absolutely amazing

  11. Rcaerat

    I was acquainted with this lost racetrack due to my 25 yrs acting in the Agoura Renaissance Faire event site next to the racetrack(used as the event’s parking lot). I was curious and wanted to see the track in it’s heyday. Until seeing this wonderful footage, I saw a B/W Mickey Ronnery racing film on the Late TV Show that was shot on this track in the 40’s. The film, The BIG Wheel LINK: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0041179/

  12. Don B.

    I’m a Paramount Ranch historian. The Paramount Ranch racetrack wasn’t built until the late 1950’s, so The Big Wheel could not have been shot there. (Info on IMDB says it was shot at a racetrack in Gardena.) However, it is seen in a few films. The only one from the 1950’s that we know of is The Devil’s Hairpin. Later, in the 1960’s, some scenes for Munster’s, Go Home and Disney’s The Love Bug were shot on the racetrack. We have found an episode of Perry Mason involving racing that used it, and, most recently, an episode of The Fugitive that also involved racing that used it.

  13. Available on eBay: Paramount Ranch’s First Race Program | The Chicane

    […] the golden era of the California Sports Car Club. Just take a look at the footage of the race from our earlier post on the Ranch. How could you not want a reminder of this kind of immediate, friendly, […]

  14. Les Hoffman

    Thanks for the time warp.

  15. Terry G. Smith

    Just happened on this site. I was there for that race. Saw my first race while still in high school, 1952, Palm Springs – became an instant addict.

  16. Rusty Smith

    My Dad!! In car 333 Dave Smith! He’s driving a white with red top Moretti Coupe. 750cc’s and he’s giving the big boys a run for their money!

  17. Rusty Smith

    I had to mention it again. So very cool to have found this!

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