Author Topic: Street racing in California circa 1969-1970  (Read 6313 times)

crossboss

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Re: Street racing in California circa 1969-1970
« Reply #45 on: March 20, 2022, 09:55:42 PM »
Forgot to mention: one of the fastest street cars in the mid to late 1980s in the SFV was Sam aka 'hajie' and his 1985 modified and NOS'd equipt Saleen Mustang. And yes, it was his daily driver. It would run 10s at LACR.
Past owned Shelby's:
1968 GT-350--Gold
1970 GT-500--#3129--Grabber Orange.
Current lifelong projects:
1969 Mustang Fastback/FOX chassis, 5 speed, 4 wheel discs, with a modern Can-Am 494 (Boss 429), Kaase heads, intake with a 1425 cfm 'B' Autolite Inline carb, ala Trans-Am style
1968/70 Olds 442 W-30

Side-Oilers

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Re: Street racing in California circa 1969-1970
« Reply #46 on: March 20, 2022, 10:04:05 PM »
Crossboss, thanks for your posting.  Agreed that we didn't help ourselves any with the photo van choice. 

I'd been street racing (nothing over $50...I wasn't big-time by any means...but $25-$50 was a lot to me back then) at Van Nuys since mid-70s.  I knew the basic rules, most the hangouts, a few of the people, etc. (Although most of the people were referred-to more by their cars than their names. "The dude with the Orange LS6 Chevelle", etc.)   Super Shops parking lot was our digs. 

My pal Phil and I, and a few others from Culver City, would be there most every Wednesday and Saturday night.  We would've liked to have been a few years older, in order to have been there in the true late-1960s heyday, but we still had fun.  Cruising for chicks was about half of our motive, followed by checking out other fast cars for speed equipment, and actual racing. 

With KMET and KLOS radio songs blasting out of just about every car around you, it made for good times.

   
« Last Edit: March 20, 2022, 10:09:58 PM by Side-Oilers »
Current:
2006 FGT. Tungsten. Whipple, HRE 20s, Ohlin coil-overs, 3.90 gears. 210.7 mph.

Kirkham Cobra. 482-inch aluminum side-oiler. Tremec 5-spd.

Formerly:
1968 GT500KR #2575 (1982-2022)
1970 Ranchero GT 429
1969 LTD Country Squire 429
1963 T-Bird Sport Roadster
1957 T-Bird E-model 3-spd stick

crossboss

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Re: Street racing in California circa 1969-1970
« Reply #47 on: March 20, 2022, 10:10:55 PM »
Crossboss, thanks for your posting.  Agreed that we didn't help ourselves any with the photo van choice. 

I'd been street racing (nothing over $50...I wasn't big-time by any means...but $25-$50 was a lot to me back then) at Van Nuys since mid-70s.  I knew the basic rules, most the hangouts, a few of the people, etc. (Although most of the people were referred-to more by their cars than their names. "The dude with the Orange LS6 Chevelle", etc.)   Super Shops parking lot was our digs. 

My pal Phil and I, and a few others from Culver City, would be there most every Wednesday night, and about every other Saturday.  We would've liked to have been a few years older, in order to have been there in the true late-1960s heyday, but we still had fun.  Cruising for chicks was about half of our motive, followed by checking out other fast car for speed tips, and actual racing. 

With KMET and KLOS radio songs blasting out of just about every car around you, it made for good times.

   



All of the racers (and friends) were referred to as pet names or as we called them 'squirrel names'. As mentioned Sam was 'hajie' (he was Indian), I was 'fatty'. Others were called 'Idol', 'Magoo', etc you get the idea. It was all fun.
Past owned Shelby's:
1968 GT-350--Gold
1970 GT-500--#3129--Grabber Orange.
Current lifelong projects:
1969 Mustang Fastback/FOX chassis, 5 speed, 4 wheel discs, with a modern Can-Am 494 (Boss 429), Kaase heads, intake with a 1425 cfm 'B' Autolite Inline carb, ala Trans-Am style
1968/70 Olds 442 W-30

deathsled

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Re: Street racing in California circa 1969-1970
« Reply #48 on: March 20, 2022, 10:44:10 PM »
At Car Craft Magazine in the early 90s, someone had the idea to do a series of stories about the "Real Truths of Street Racing Today" Or something like that.  We'd planned to report about L.A., Detroit, St Louis, and other lively venues. 

I was freelance at the time, and I (plus one other guy and a Petersen Publishing photographer) spent several weeks going to all the local SoCal illegal venues. We interviewed drivers and spectators who were typically paranoid/secretive/scary (sometimes all three.)  Or they proved to be total squirrels and racer-wanna-bes.

The whole experience was "interesting" to be part of, but the tactical mistake we made was driving a Petersen photo van, which was painted "undercover cop car" brown, with dog dish wheels, no side windows, and replete with giant roof rack platform.  No, we were not welcomed with open arms.  And, shooting flash photos out from the dark confines of the van's interior caused the people to scatter like roaches on a linoleum floor.

Night Two, we wore our Car Craft logo shirts, hats and jackets like they were some sort of gang-member-repellant shields, and it did get a bit easier to walk up to someone and ask if it's okay to take photos of them standing by their car. (But, only about 10% of those we asked, said okay. That's up from 0-1% w/o the Car Craft swag.)

The most memorable time during that story's production was one late night in Lennox area (aka South Central) when we thought the crowd was going to turn on us.  It was only because we knew one old-time racer's nickname (something like "Nitrous Bob") and said he'd vouch for us, that we survived...even though good ol' Bob wasn't there that night. 

We wisely headed back to the Valley, where the Hispanic gangs in low-riders gave off vibes more like PTA Moms in station wagons, by comparison. 

At San Fernando Road, as mentioned by others, the rowdy stuff sometimes did get out of hand...with spectators throwing food, drink cans and rocks at the racing cars. We never saw any guns, but did hear a "pop...pop...pop" once.

We went to Terminal Island and interviewed Big Willy, and he was the overlord, to be sure.  That was 30 years ago.

We ran two or three long stories in Car Craft, before we came to our senses and called it quits.  There was little chance that we'd get the real "full true story" of the inner sanctum of street racing.  Especially because the characters, the streets and the car setups vary, according to parts of the country. 

And, because no one wants to reveal/discuss/admit their knowledge of anything.
Thanks for the great story.  Now, speeders tacitly admit their wrongdoing and borderline brag about it posting their escapades online through YouTube Instagram and so on.   Sometimes the prosecutors go after them because all the evidence is right there open and shut!
"Low she sits on five spoke wheels
Small block eight so live she feels
There she's parked beside the curb
Engine revving to disturb
She's the princess from his past
Red paint gold stripes damned she's fast"

427heaven

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Re: Street racing in California circa 1969-1970
« Reply #49 on: March 20, 2022, 10:53:23 PM »
Crossboss, thanks for your posting.  Agreed that we didn't help ourselves any with the photo van choice. 

I'd been street racing (nothing over $50...I wasn't big-time by any means...but $25-$50 was a lot to me back then) at Van Nuys since mid-70s.  I knew the basic rules, most the hangouts, a few of the people, etc. (Although most of the people were referred-to more by their cars than their names. "The dude with the Orange LS6 Chevelle", etc.)   Super Shops parking lot was our digs. 

My pal Phil and I, and a few others from Culver City, would be there most every Wednesday and Saturday night.  We would've liked to have been a few years older, in order to have been there in the true late-1960s heyday, but we still had fun.  Cruising for chicks was about half of our motive, followed by checking out other fast cars for speed equipment, and actual racing. 

With KMET and KLOS radio songs blasting out of just about every car around you, it made for good times.

   
The MIGHTY MET... KMET with Jeff Gonzer WOOOAHHH and Uncle Joe Benson over at KLOS  Good times fer sure! Dont forget Frazier Smith!!! ;D

crossboss

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Re: Street racing in California circa 1969-1970
« Reply #50 on: March 20, 2022, 11:53:03 PM »
And Paraquat Kelly, Jim Ladd, BC, Gino, Cynthia Fox, Steve Downs, etc.
Past owned Shelby's:
1968 GT-350--Gold
1970 GT-500--#3129--Grabber Orange.
Current lifelong projects:
1969 Mustang Fastback/FOX chassis, 5 speed, 4 wheel discs, with a modern Can-Am 494 (Boss 429), Kaase heads, intake with a 1425 cfm 'B' Autolite Inline carb, ala Trans-Am style
1968/70 Olds 442 W-30

deathsled

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Re: Street racing in California circa 1969-1970
« Reply #51 on: March 20, 2022, 11:59:35 PM »
Well this will screw with the YouTube algorithm on my channel, but screw it.  Here is the genesis of my initial inquiry.  I think it is one of my better stories.  But opinions vary.

I present: "Burnt Rubber"

https://youtu.be/wFhCMeoidow
« Last Edit: March 21, 2022, 12:16:31 AM by deathsled »
"Low she sits on five spoke wheels
Small block eight so live she feels
There she's parked beside the curb
Engine revving to disturb
She's the princess from his past
Red paint gold stripes damned she's fast"

FL SAAC

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Re: Street racing in California circa 1969-1970
« Reply #52 on: March 21, 2022, 09:45:49 AM »
Great Caesar's ghost  !

You have enough material here to run up through season nine of your new series.

By the way,  what will you call it ?

"Rich and Tonys excellent adventure" or  "So Dazed and Confused I did not know what street I was on"
Home of the Hertz Musketeers

These cars are meant to be driven so enjoy the hell out of all of it. not just the look of it when its all clean.CS

A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs.It's jolted by every pebble on the road

I have all UNGOLD cars

Life is short B happy

gt350hr

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Re: Street racing in California circa 1969-1970
« Reply #53 on: March 21, 2022, 11:16:14 AM »
   Rich,
     Going back to '69 , like you asked, ( when lots of the poster were in diapers , or not born) things were allot different as far as police. No Helicopters, cameras etc. There were usually only two or three actual races in a night. Very quick . No huge crowds. Nitrous wasn't around then . A 6-71 blower was as bad as it could be. Not allot of big strokers either . 427 Chevelles were a dime a dozen. There were some fast BB Camaros out of Bill Thomas's shop about a mile away from Harbor blvd in Anaheim. Ford's were poorly represented in '69 as the Boss cars weren't fast and the CJ was a 12 second car at best . There was one "straight axle" '65 Mustang with a high riser that ran tens at "the beach" but I never saw it race on the street. Remember "big money" in '69 was $100 . A week's pay for most of us back then.
   Randy
Celebrating 46 years of drag racing 6S477 and no end in sight.

Steve McDonald Formally known as Mcdonas

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Re: Street racing in California circa 1969-1970
« Reply #54 on: March 21, 2022, 01:28:30 PM »
Richard
There was a lot of “street racing” that took place in almost every town across the county, most was for bragging rights. When you started to get money involved it got real serious, real fast. It wasn’t like a whole evening of racing it was usually a run or two at secret location and you always had one real bad ass guy to hold the money. Lots of intimidation going on. You know it became really serious when a gun was introduced to the argument
Didn’t do a lot of street racing but I did take $100 from a guy at a street race one night   He has a 1967 Mustang that had been allegedly “built”. He lost by half a car length. Later that summer I was running brackets at the local drag strip and he gets in line to race me again.  This time he had open headers, slicks and a mouthy driver. My buddy was sitting in the stands and the owner asked him for a chance to win his hundred back. My friend he didn’t want him to feel bad when I beat him again. I crept my car into the lights, the other car driver had his car bake torqued up to the max. Had an 8” open rear with 4:62!gearing. I put a hole shot on him of about 4-5 cars as he sat and spun the one tire on the 8” slick. He then proceeded  to float the valves on the hydraulic lifter motor in both first and second gear. I ran a 14.31 at 92.9 mph he ran a 14.5 at almost 99 mph. He passed me between the finish line and Mph lights past the finish line. The driver jumped out at the end of the strip and accused me of “cheating”.
Like I said lots of racing took place but most was just for bragging rights
Owned since 1971, now driven over 245,000 miles, makes me smile every time I drive it and it makes me feel 21 again.😎

deathsled

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Re: Street racing in California circa 1969-1970
« Reply #55 on: March 21, 2022, 02:42:24 PM »
Great Caesar's ghost  !

You have enough material here to run up through season nine of your new series.

By the way,  what will you call it ?

"Rich and Tonys excellent adventure" or  "So Dazed and Confused I did not know what street I was on"
You're correct, Tony.  Lots of stories generated by this post and I am pleased to read them.  I think I can get a novella out of the street scene from the early 70s.  More exciting than the next iPhone or should be, but these days, I'm not so sure given the current crop coming up.  Do they know what excitement is outside of the virtual world? I live in a fantasy world as evidenced by my writing but also I live in the real world.  It's all about balance.
"Low she sits on five spoke wheels
Small block eight so live she feels
There she's parked beside the curb
Engine revving to disturb
She's the princess from his past
Red paint gold stripes damned she's fast"

deathsled

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Re: Street racing in California circa 1969-1970
« Reply #56 on: March 21, 2022, 02:55:41 PM »
   Rich,
     Going back to '69 , like you asked, ( when lots of the poster were in diapers , or not born) things were allot different as far as police. No Helicopters, cameras etc. There were usually only two or three actual races in a night. Very quick . No huge crowds. Nitrous wasn't around then . A 6-71 blower was as bad as it could be. Not allot of big strokers either . 427 Chevelles were a dime a dozen. There were some fast BB Camaros out of Bill Thomas's shop about a mile away from Harbor blvd in Anaheim. Ford's were poorly represented in '69 as the Boss cars weren't fast and the CJ was a 12 second car at best . There was one "straight axle" '65 Mustang with a high riser that ran tens at "the beach" but I never saw it race on the street. Remember "big money" in '69 was $100 . A week's pay for most of us back then.
   Randy
Thanks for the information, Randy.  I am still mulling over the idea of writing a fire breathing novella about the street racing scene somewhere in the U.S. (Likely California because it still remains my favorite fantasy state).  It wouldn't be a horror but a feel good story for a change with some real drama.  I remember one of the forum members (I know his handle but don't want to bust him out) talking about hiding from the cops in a nightmist Shelby Mustang, hiding behind a hedge that matched the colour of his car.  That image is frozen in my memory for some reason, it was so vivid even though I wasn't there.
"Low she sits on five spoke wheels
Small block eight so live she feels
There she's parked beside the curb
Engine revving to disturb
She's the princess from his past
Red paint gold stripes damned she's fast"

gt350hr

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Re: Street racing in California circa 1969-1970
« Reply #57 on: March 21, 2022, 03:35:19 PM »
   I'll give you a real stop light grand prix story. I had a '66 notch back that I had just outfitted for drag racing .Slicks ,  5.14 gears , C4 with 3,000 stall converter and a 360HP 289. The only spare headers I had were a set of 180* firing order set I got from Ray Wolfe that came from SAI. They sounded like a Honda four cylinder motorcycle out the back. So I am coming back from the local Burger King and a guy in a Tiger pulls up next to me and laughs at the sound probably thinking I had a 6 with a glass pack. So he revs me and points forward. I say OK! I had 6 cars on him as I pulled high gear. Slowing to the next signal he pulls up along side ad says he missed a gear. No problem! We did it again and I wound the engine a bit tighter to give him more noise and I ran it to 100 mph with him trailing by at least ten cars and I slowed as he passed me with the finger in the air. Guess my "6" was a little too powerful! That was 1977.
Celebrating 46 years of drag racing 6S477 and no end in sight.

JohnSlack

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Re: Street racing in California circa 1969-1970
« Reply #58 on: March 21, 2022, 06:52:13 PM »
Greg Shaw was the king of "Squeeze" (his nickname for Nitrous Oxide. Greg made a 300, 450, and a 600 horsepower set up for the race plane. We tested the 450 horsepower unit for a 30 minute flight duration. We carried a lot of squeeze we hardly ever used, but it was there if we needed it.
German innovation in WWII - War Emergency Power  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GM-1

I don't have the time right now, however I have a great story about Greg Shaw, Dave Cornell, myself and old Nazi that used to work for Focke Wulf under Kurt Tank. It was the reason we could keep the Nitrous Oxide liquid while feeding it to a 3,350 Cubic inch engine making 4,200 plus horsepower for half an hour. Nobody else could because when a very small group of dedicated people share a secret, they stay that way.

John

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Re: Street racing in California circa 1969-1970
« Reply #59 on: March 21, 2022, 07:10:08 PM »
Well this will screw with the YouTube algorithm on my channel, but screw it.  Here is the genesis of my initial inquiry.  I think it is one of my better stories.  But opinions vary.

I present: "Burnt Rubber"

https://youtu.be/wFhCMeoidow

Just viewed all I can say it was a heated unexpected conversion,  keepem coming
Home of the Hertz Musketeers

These cars are meant to be driven so enjoy the hell out of all of it. not just the look of it when its all clean.CS

A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs.It's jolted by every pebble on the road

I have all UNGOLD cars

Life is short B happy