Lynndale Farms Raceway Then and Now

I wonder if any of the homeowners that live in the neighborhood built on the bones of the Lynndale Farms Raceway know of the history of the streets in front of their suburban homes. I wonder if any of them turn into their subdivision on their commute home and blip the throttle downshifting for the corners, imagining themselves sitting in a Austin-Healey or Cooper 500 as they apex the turn in front of the Peterson’s house.

I sure would. Hell, I do all of that now and I don’t live on a former race track.

Props to Tim Cahill for pointing this out on the Vintage Road Racing Archive Facebook Group.

Reader Photos: William Goldman’s 1960 Ole Smokey Hill Climb

MGA at Ole Smokey Hill Climb. Lowellville, OH. 1960.

Brian Goldman sent in these photos that his father shot at the 1960 Ole Smokey Hill Climb in Lowellville, OH. I’ve been sitting on these for a while, trying my darnedest to color correct the aged photos back to their original vibrant glory. My Photoshop skills were no match for them though and I realized that I really should just let these artifacts live as they are—without introducing the artifice of retouching. I love when I decide these things because it lets me be lazy—it’s a key decision-making factor for me.

What I so love about these community events of the mid-century is the variety of machines that are encouraged to participate: VW Beetle, Corvette, MG, racing specials, and others are separated by only a few runs up the hill. Great stuff. Thanks, Brian!

Previously from the Goldman Archives: Put-In-Bay and the Davis Field Trials.

Mustangs on Greenwood in 2012

Greenwood Revival

Greenwood Sports Car Reunion - June 8, 2013The grass is poking through most of what remains of the pavement; the curbs are crumbled; the entry gates are hanging on by a powder of rust. None of that is stopping an impromptu celebration of the Greenwood Roadway’s anniversary.

June 8, 2013 marks 50 years since the inaugural event at Greenwood, and some dedicated sports car fans are going to head on over to the track to pay their respects. Cars, Motorcycles, and Karts that raced on the track—and their drivers—will be in attendance.

The track only really operated for 3 years starting in 1963, but in that short time the track played host to local races and SCCA events. Despite it’s short history, the track’s mystique lives on. There were precious few tracks in the midwest, so the memory and the legend of them remains so vitally important in this part of the country. Of course, Mid-Ohio and Road America (and a few other wonderful examples) live on, but those that left, left an impression.

The good news is that the bones of the track are there. There’s enough driveable surface that parade lapping is on the schedule for the weekend. I wouldn’t recommend putting much oomph into the go pedal, but it will give some sense of what it must have been like fifty years ago to charge down one of Greenwood’s sweeping turns at speed.

Greenwood Roadway todayWhenever I happen upon one of these tracks my heart starts to long for its resurgence. Usually it’s just the musings of a romantic spirit but just take a look at this satellite view of the track as she sits today. There’s a damn lot of it still there. I hope that the revivalists that take in the show and festivities of the Greenwood Revival show up the next weekend with an asphalt truck. This is more than just the barely visible foundations of a track that once was… it’s a dare. She wants to come back. She’s just sitting there, waiting for us. Look at that map and tell me that some part of you doesn’t want her back too.

More information at the Greenwood Revival site and at this wonderful Greenwood Roadway remembrance.

Building Meadowdale

Meadowdale Main Straight and Pits Under Construction

Meadowdale Raceway may be gone but she remains a much loved and sorely missed track in the Midwest. Although the park that stands on her old bones has a few reminders of the greatness that once was, it’s comforting to look at these photos of Meadowdale under construction. They remind me that tracks may go but new ones can come as well.

Inspecting the Monza Wall at Meadowdale Raceway during construction

Monza Wall at MeadowdaleInto the Main Straight at Meadowdale RacewayThe lay of the land at Meadowdale Raceway

Will these new tracks have the nail-biting danger of Meadowdale’s defining feature: the Monza wall? Probably not. Will they inspire such fear and respect that they prompt a timid racer or mischievous prankster to adorn the racing surface with a painted “PRAY” in enormous block text just before the entry to turn 1? Almost certainly not. Will they feature the tight turns and sweeping bends that made Meadowdale so tricky? Maybe. Will they drive racing enthusiasts to painstakingly recreate them a generation later for use in racing simulators? Well.. probably.

Sweeper through the trees at Meadowdale RacewayThe Monza Wall at Meadowdale RacewayInspecting the Monza Wall at Meadowdale Raceway

More inspiration at Chicagoland Sports Car Club’s Memories of Meadowdale Raceway.