Historical documentary on one of drag racing’s greatest racetracks; rare film, photos and interviews with sport’s pioneers.
This is part one (of the three-part) quintessential video documentary on the sport of drag racing’s most historic quarter-mile facilities, Lions Drag Strip. It took veteran photojournalist Don Gillespie in excess of four years to compile hundreds of photos, films, research, and interviews from more than 30 individuals. The nearly two hour (1-HR, 54 MINS) production (in DVD format), details the Long Beach, CA-based track’s inception in 1955 (w/Mickey Thompson as its first manager), through the lifting of the “fuel ban” in early ’62. Via Thompson, Lions was the first to use electronic starting lights, was LA-based resulting in giant crowds, and played host to some of the largest meets in history, especially at a time when the sport was in its early, pioneering stages. A must have for all who raced or attended an event there, or simply ever heard about agruably the most mystic of all straight-line facilities. This is a definite keeper for lovers of nostalgia, who long for a well-done trip back to racing’s yesteryear. Incredible film footage includes sport’s first ever “live” TV broadcast on KTTV, including interviews with racers Allen “Lefty” Mudersbach, Jack Chrisman, Tom McEwen, Don Prudhomme, with Thompson and Bill Welch as emcees.