Golden Gate ’53 Photos

After seeing our earlier post on the Golden Gate Road Races, a reader was kind enough to send in these photos that were part of a collection of recently purchased negatives. A marvelous shot of Masten Gregory crossing the finish line in his Jaguar C-Type and another celebrating in the pits with his wife.

Just look at how closely he seems to pass the flag waver. What a thrill it must have been to have a speeding racing car pass within a couple of feet! The flag is being waved enthusistically, but I bet the air being pushed around the Jag would have been enough at that distance to give the checkers a proper dance.

Thanks for sending these in, Skullyspice! If you have a box of old photos in the attic (or on your hard drive), we’d love to share them with our readers. Drop a line to

9 responses to “Golden Gate ’53 Photos”

  1. Kev Lynch says:

    I was in diapers a mile away during those years in G.G.Park! Too bad they failed to re-enact it in 07′. (a shame)

  2. […] was a generous reader good enough to send in this excellent photo, but had an answer for me on my musings on the sensation of waving the […]

  3. Ken Matheson says:

    My uncle Dan Pollock ran an MG in Golden Gate Park in the 50’s. I wish I had some pictures to send you but I don’t have anything. If you have any information or ideas of where I can go to research this please let me know. Thanks Ken Matheson

  4. Mike Jacobsen says:

    Ken: If you haven’t found anything by now, look for Art Evans’ “Golden Gate Remembered” which you can order from Art at :

  5. John Giordanengo says:

    My parents took me to the Golden Gate races in 1953 when I was nine we also went to the Concours at the
    Polo Grounds that was the day that changed my life
    forever, seeing all those Jags, MG’s and Allards etc.
    Met my wife withdrawing money from my bank account to
    buy a 61 E type roadster(we’re still married) she was
    my teller. She now has a 49 TC retired race car, we
    also have a couple other sports cars. We have Golden
    Gate Remmemberd and a great poster of the 53 race on
    our wall.

  6. John says:

    If you go to this link you will find the racing picture above discussed.

    If you further go to this other link at Autopuzzles you will understand more;

    We desire to know if anyone else might have pictures of this event with Ben Harris from Champaign Illinois pictured.
    When you go into the second link you will notice other pictures of Ben.

    Also notice that the SCCA officials had a dress code it seems, all three are wearing identical sweater vests and ties.
    Do believe these are all Chicago boys, Jim Kimberly included, working on bridging the west coast and east coast together in the early years of the SCCA.

    We have Ben officiating at races all over the US, Cuba and Bahama’s.
    My personal email is;
    If you can add to what we have, would truly appreciate it.

  7. Mike Jacobsen says:

    I’m late on this one, but I have read all the other comments here and at the other link. The man on the far left is Kjell Qvale. Kimberley is not present. I doubt the short guy is Parravano. I do not know the others. MJ

  8. Stuart Singer says:

    I was in Jr high school and my friend knew Phil Hill…H was driving a Ferrari and he did win. Little did he or we know !!!!!!!!!!I think he went on to bigger and better things..

  9. John says:

    M J,
    I do not know if the gentleman to the left is Mr Qvale or not?
    The short gentleman right next to this Gentleman, with sunglasses, is Mr Ben Harris the III form the chicago region of the SCCA, AAA and FIA.

    Behind him , background, in the white attire w/sunglasses and by the blonde haired lady,Tony Paravono. Most know the Long story on Tony and Ferrari race cars to say the least.
    Notice that the three officials with the badges are all dressed alike with matching ties and sweater vests.
    Perhaps a early attempt of a dress code for SCCA officials that Kimberly and Ben highly endorsed and pushed.
    We have Kimberly in other early (1953) pictures, and film, the early resemblance is uncanny sir.

    A few years later, Ben and Kimberly became Pres and V Pres of the SCCA.
    Whacky Arnolt is also pictured assisting SCCA races that Ben organized and hosted.

    An long time archivist from Watkins Glenn helped ID Ben at the Last quenn Catherine Cup street race and turned us on to 3 other official titles Ben held at the SCCA.
    Ben was later given a Lifetime membership for any SCCA event held in the US.

    Ben also is pictured dropping the finish line flag at the Inaugural Road America race, he furthered by having his good friend Harley Earl bring some concept cars from GM.

    Please be patient as many of the pictures, letters of documentation and other early filming of the SCCA in infant years has yet to be publicly shown.

    The link , of the very incomplete and rough story above has but a pittance of the 400 pages of docs.
    With respect sir,

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