Historical Documentary’s 2nd Volume on One of Drag Racing’s Greatest Tracks; Rare Film, Photos, Interviews with Its Pioneers.
In-depth documentary combines rare film clips and incredible photography with firsthand accounts. Long Beach, CA-based track was pivotal in the sport’s early growth, with many of the great names taking part in carving history. The latest installment by veteran motorsports journalist Don Gillespie picks up speed in 1962, when nitro cars returned after a 5-year ban under founding manager, Mickey Thompson. The (1-HR, 40-MIN) presentation concludes near the end of ’66, with explosive growth in dragsters, supercharged coupes, early funny cars, etc. In 1962 newly formed 7-second dragster teams included Greer-Black & (Don) Prudhomme, plus “TV” Tommy Ivo, both among more than two-dozen interviewed on camera. Roland Leong recounts his accident in the “Hawaiian”. Don Garlits recalls a colorful match race involving Chris Karamesines. Rick Stewart, shown in a breathaking finish line crash, recounts waking up in the hospital as the Watts Riots began. “Wild Willie” Borsch explains how he drove his fuel altered using one hand, from uncovered audiotape. Other appearances include Tom McEwen, John Force, Gene Mooneyham, Larry Sutton, C.J. Hart, Ed Iskenderian, Ralph Guldahl, Jr., Don Prieto, Dave Wallace, Pat Foster, Paula Murphy, Ronnie Rapp, Dale Armstrong, Chris Karamesines, and many others. Top Fuel dragsters also reached 200 MPH. Match race draws included the Willys coupes of Stone-Woods-Cook versus “Big John” Mazmanian, the stands packed to capacity. Stockers evolved into altered wheelbase machines; carbs to injectors, gas to nitro, then blowers – and funny cars were born. Emerging, too, were breathtaking streamliners, exhibition cars, junior fuelers, gas and fuel altereds, coupes, motorcycles, etc. Mickey Thompson’s departure saw C.J. “Pappy” Hart take over, whom promptly ended NHRA sanction. Soon, epic, rival AHRA dual stocker/dragster championships took place, plus the racer-formed UDRA held a series of events of similar national caliber.