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.

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?!

Against All Odds: Datsun BRE Racing

It must have seemed absurd at the time when BRE and Datsun decided to take on Alfa, BMW and the other more established sports sedan racing teams. Naturally there’s great film here from Road America, Riverside, and other iconic tracks, but the interview footage and shots from the shop and offices give a fantastic peek into the team and the challenge they faced.

From the grindhouse narration; John Morton and Mike Downs at the top of their game; and the atmosphere of the golden era of the Trans Am Series: this sure is fun to watch. The trackside bikinis don’t hurt either.

One of the great liveries of the 70s. Thanks for sending this in, Craig!

124 MPH Under Riverside’s Champion Bridge

Learn Driving

Shelby School AdLearn Driving

in formula or sports cars at world famous Riverside International Raceway. Individual instruction by Carroll Shelby. Send $1.00 for details on beginners and advanced classes.

Carroll Shelby School of High Performance Driving.

10820 So. Norwalk Blvd., Dept. C, Santa Fe Springs, Calif.

That location is now Mooneyes!

Thanks for sending this one in, Chris!

Breaking All the Rules

Kiwanas GP at Riverside program coverEverything I thought I knew about motoring poster design has been called into question. Through my looks at program covers and poster designs in previous posts, I’d thought I was narrowing in on a formula for perfection in racing graphic design. I didn’t have the exact equation worked out, but the highlights were: Illustrated not photographed; no giant sponsorship or sanctioning body logos; make the racing cars (not the text) the center of attention.

Whelp, Looks like it’s back to the drawing board for me. Following my previous sensibilities, this program for the 1959 Kiwanas-sponsored race at Riverside shouldn’t work at all. But it’s just beautiful.

Legends of Riverside Film Festival

09posterCalifornians! Get up to Riverside this weekend (March 27-29) for the Legends of Riverside Film Festival. I’m quite envious and saddened that I won’t be able to attend what looks like a fantastic schedule of racing films; many of which I’ve never seen or even heard of.

It’s not all esoterics, of course, also on the schedule are the Canon of car nerd films, including LeMans, Winning, Death Race 2000, Thunder Road, and the Big Wheel. There will also be a special tribute to Paul Newman and his incredible history as a racer and actor.

Can-Am and F5000 cars will be featured on display and special guests include Pete Lyons, Bruce Kessler, and Dan Gurney. Holy smokes!

I may not be able to attend, but I’ll have to support by screening a few of my favorite flicks this weekend.