1959 Santa Barbara and Riverside Road Races
I was at a concert last night and invariably as the artist takes the stage, people’s phones come out and they start filming. My first thought is, “You’re never going to watch this poorly recorded video with poorly captured audio. Put your phone away and dance!”
But then I think of things like this 8mm film of the 1959 runnings of the spring and summer sessions of the Santa Barbara Road Races and Riverside… I’m sure at the time, people standing around this person thought they’d never watch the films. Other spectators were thinking that instead of enjoying the day of racing, our filmer here was lost in the camera’s eyepiece. And for what? Grainy film with no audio… Fifty hears later, however, I think of this document as absolute treasure and the person that recorded it as a hero.
Maybe I should lay off the people holding their phones over their heads filming all the time.
A Collection of Mid-50s California Racing Film
Great stuff here from the 1956 running of the Santa Barbara Road Races, Torrey Pines, and Pebble Beach.
1952 Palm Springs Road Races Track Map
I think we can all generally agree that the rapid increase in technology—particularly the desktop computer—has made society better in almost every way. Sure, maybe we’re all too buried in our phone screens, but the societal benefits of all that increased computation have made our medicine, our education, our entertainment, our jobs.. on the whole: faster, easier, more enjoyable. I have yet to find, however, a single example of a contemporary track map that is better designed or more engaging than those created by draftsmen hunched over a table with a pencil and a bottle of ink.
This example of the track map for the Palm Springs road races of 1952 is an excellent example. Would a contemporary track map designer sketch in these gorgeous little illustrations of the cars lined up on the track? Would a contemporary designer playfully wrap the typography of the turns around the contours of the map? I doubt it. I’m glad that Stan Parker signed his name to this masterpiece so we can thank someone specific. Thanks, Stan.
1957 Catalina Grand Prix for Motorcycles
I’ve seen a few clips here and there from Catalina, but never anything this comprehensive. This collection of 22 minutes from the 1957 running of the 100-mile Catalina Grand Prix motorcycle race is absolutely fantastic. The chaos of that start is crazy. That everyone seems to just get up and start their bikes back up and continues is even crazier.
1959 Santa Barbara and Riverside Races Home Movies
Another can of film has made it out of the attic and onto YouTube. Rejoice! Here is the Owens Family’s footage from 1959’s Memorial Day Santa Barbara Road Races, The Kiwanis Grand Prix at Riverside, and The Labor Day Santa Barbara Road Races. How is it possible that this footage has been up for over a year and only has 28 views? Can’t we do something about that, readers?!
Track Map of the Past: Pomona
You can still make out most of the course on Google Maps. Looks like the 3-4-5 sequence has been completely trashed. Though it looks like you can still faintly see the short straight bit at 7-8-9. I understand that this facility was in use as recently as 2012 for police training and the occasional Porsche Club event. In any event, it looks like it could still adequately facilitate a small bore race.
Carroll Shelby Goes Racing
Marvelous 20 minute film of Team Shelby’s racing exploits. Even if this film was just the Willow Springs chalk talk with Peter Brock it would be worth the watch. That it’s interspersed with sequences of Dan Gurney or Ken Miles illustrating his lecture on the track makes it mandatory viewing. You might just learn a touch of racecraft that’s just as true today as it was 50 years ago. Of course that first-generation GT40 and a spinning and drifting 289 Cobra aren’t hard to look at either.
Thanks for sending this one in, Craig!
1952 Torrey Pines Road Race Program Cover
’56 Morgan+4 On Display
You have seen this production model Morgan victorious in competition. A consistent So. Calif. Winner (Bok Oker, Driver)!
The same outstanding performance is available in any new Morgan.
See and test drive the car considered one of the finest hand made class E roadsters.
’56 Morgan + 4 on display
- Hand Made by skilled craftsmen
- Sliding pillar front suspension (Pat. by Morgan over 40 yrs.)
- Proven 90 H.P. TR2 engine
Ed Savin Worldwide
312 So. Soto
475 So. Atlantic
1968 S. Sepulveda
West Los Angeles
Published in MotoRacing. August 1956.