Santa Barbara 1962

santabarbara-trackI’m really trying, but I can’t think of a good reason why there aren’t any airstrip races anymore. Think about it. They have fire departments on site, have long and flat paved surfaces designed for high speed, plenty of runoff room, have neighbors that are used to loud noise, and are insured up to their eyeballs. I know, I prefer a track with a bit of elevation changes myself, but beggars can’t be choosers.

The Santa Barbara airport hosted many sportscar races from 1953 to 1967. It’s proximity to Los Angeles meant that all of our favorite actor/racers drove there—many quite successfully. McQueen ran here, James Dean too..

Here’s some wonderful footage of the 1962 race. Check out Don Hulette’s Townsend Special Mk. II bearing race number 404.

One response to “Santa Barbara 1962”

  1. Warwick says:

    Although not really an “airstrip” in the vintage sense of the word, the Edmonton Grand Prix (ex Champ Car, now IRL) is held on the city centre airport. It is still an active airport during the event too, so planes come and go during the race.

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