Author Topic: Street racing in California circa 1969-1970  (Read 6308 times)

98SVT - was 06GT

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Re: Street racing in California circa 1969-1970
« Reply #60 on: March 21, 2022, 08:24:32 PM »
It wasn't all drag racing. There was Mulholland Drive (only did that once) and Turnbull Canyon Road (did that one a bunch of times on the way to and from Whittier Blvd. https://www.google.com/maps/@33.9930756,-118.0097788,1356m/data=!3m1!1e3?hl=en

If you look real hard you'll see a Randy motor in that Shelby.

On July 6th, 1971, Steve Saleen learns that racing is for the track when he drives his Shelby GT350 off a cliff in Turnbull Canyon in Whittier, California. Steve spends months recovering from his injuries.

« Last Edit: March 21, 2022, 08:27:33 PM by 98SVT - was 06GT »
Previous owner 6S843 - GT350H & 68 GT500 Convert #135.
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427heaven

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Re: Street racing in California circa 1969-1970
« Reply #61 on: March 21, 2022, 08:30:40 PM »
To add a little flavor to the story line ... Ever since there were 2 cars on the road there was always some competition. I know the timeline was supposed to be 1969 - 70 but the cars that were involved then were involved before that time frame, and well after that time frame. Street racing is not confined to those exact years unless you need something to have happened in that exact time frame. So Cal is a good choice for racing because if it happened first it usually happened there, thats why the list of early pioneers of speed... usually began near L A.

98SVT - was 06GT

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Re: Street racing in California circa 1969-1970
« Reply #62 on: March 21, 2022, 08:45:49 PM »
To add a little flavor to the story line ... Ever since there were 2 horses on the road there was always some competition.

Fixed it
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FL SAAC

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Re: Street racing in California circa 1969-1970
« Reply #63 on: March 21, 2022, 09:12:05 PM »
To add a little flavor to the story line ... Ever since there were 2 cars on the road there was always some competition. I know the timeline was supposed to be 1969 - 70 but the cars that were involved then were involved before that time frame, and well after that time frame. Street racing is not confined to those exact years unless you need something to have happened in that exact time frame. So Cal is a good choice for racing because if it happened first it usually happened there, thats why the list of early pioneers of speed... usually began near L A.

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Re: Street racing in California circa 1969-1970
« Reply #64 on: March 21, 2022, 09:18:11 PM »
Angeles Crest Highway has some curves…… 8)

deathsled

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Re: Street racing in California circa 1969-1970
« Reply #65 on: March 21, 2022, 09:39:53 PM »
You guys have me California dreaming again (yeah I know, rose colored glasses, but still).  If I do the novella, the location will have to be Southern California.  Thank you to everyone for all of these stories.  If no one tells them, then no one else knows them.  It is important that they be told.
"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"

Side-Oilers

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Re: Street racing in California circa 1969-1970
« Reply #66 on: March 21, 2022, 09:43:07 PM »
Mulholland.  In my group, the transition from racing on the straight, flat, streets of the Valley to curvy canyon roads started taking place around 1977. New factory stock cars weren't too quick anymore, so maybe you could have fun twisting the Gs in that new Oldsmobile-403-engined Trans Am of yours. Mikey will race you in you in his mom's powder-blue Mustang II.  (Not as exciting as watching a Pro Stocker come off an enclosed trailer and run for $500, then go back into the trailer and disappear) but it was funny to watch the first couple of squirrels, each night, running out of talent in a corner.

There was a movie called "King of the Mountain" or something like that, which pitted a guy in a Porsche against some muscle cars.  I'm going strictly by memory here, so I could be wrong about some of the details.  The film was a low budget flick with several gag-worthy parts, but it got my pals and I to thinking about trying the canyon stuff too. In years previous, some of the COCOA guys had already explored those turns and started buying 911s and BMW 2002 tii to have fun with up there.

Here's a good article about racing on Mulholland from 1970s and earlier.  https://www.motortrend.com/features/the-ghosts-on-mulholland-drive/

I enjoyed both kinds of illegal competition, and if you're ever driven at high speed along Decker Cyn, from PCH in Malibu connecting to Mulholland and onto Laurel Canyon (careful, Mulholland was not paved in sections, back then) you'll probably have just gotten a new speed addiction.   I'd have to Google Maps it, but I'd guess the total run was bout 25-30 miles.

Those balls-out midnight runs became standard protocol for us (helming magazine test cars, as well as our own machines) most any night of the week.  Usually zero traffic, great straights and corners, and the occasional azz-pucker from a deer jumping into your path.  These runs tested every moving part of your car, including the ash tray hinges that rattled loose from the massive 4-axis g-forces.  :P

Actually, there were many sections of the road where charging 80-100 mph into a dip could reward you with big air, or propel you off a cliff.  So, make that 5-axis (axes?)  We quickly started improving our cars' brakes, tires, suspensions, cooling systems, headlights, and replacing 4.11 and 4.56 street racing gears with higher-speed-friendly 3.50s, etc.

We only saw a cop ONE time. He was going home (our summation) on his Sheriff-issue bike and we fortunately? magically? had just slowed down to legal speeds as he came around a corner, in our direction.  After that, we spaced out the cars in our group to no closer than a quarter-mile apart.  Cheapo $99 Burt-Reynolds-approved CB radios kept us out of the way of most trouble.  But, no satin jackets allowed.

There's an old falling-over sign-post (still there as of three years ago) at the intersection of Decker and Topanga Cyn, where we'd always stop and scrawl our ETs (from PCH to there) onto the post.

We did keep going to Van Nuys Bl on Wednesdays, and expanded our street-racing map to include Westchester, El Segundo (with the awesome 6-lane-wide Pershing Dr behind LAX) and Manhattan Beach. Manhattan usually had the best-looking girls.  But, their cops would write you for 1 mph over.  After we each got one of those friendly court summons we stopped venturing further south than LAX.


I just got a neat idea for a new thread.  Watch for that post in 5,4,3,2...

   
« Last Edit: March 21, 2022, 09:53:31 PM by Side-Oilers »
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Formerly:
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crossboss

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Re: Street racing in California circa 1969-1970
« Reply #67 on: March 21, 2022, 09:52:26 PM »
Since Mulholland was mentioned, here is a good story for y'all: One late summer night in 1986, my buddy and I were parked at the top and just bs-ing. We hear this loud rumbling coming around the corner, and low and behold this nice blue 427 Cobra shows up. He slows down to where we are, and stops. Holy $hit, it's Jay Leno! We ending up talking for 2 hours about cars, girls and the entertainment biz. This was just around the time he filmed the famous Doritos commercials, and was making the guest spot on The Tonight Show. What a memory! Thanks, Jay!
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1968 GT-350--Gold
1970 GT-500--#3129--Grabber Orange.
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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

98SVT - was 06GT

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Re: Street racing in California circa 1969-1970
« Reply #68 on: March 22, 2022, 01:17:35 PM »
Angeles Crest Highway has some curves…… 8)
Did that a couple months ago on the way out to Willow Springs.

We used to do a gumball type thing where you'd get an early AM call to go run Azusa Canyon and Glendora Mountain Road. We'd get 8-12 cars show up at first light and make a pass each direction then get breakfast.
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late66gt350

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Re: Street racing in California circa 1969-1970
« Reply #69 on: March 22, 2022, 01:45:50 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.
[

Hey Randy
Would this '66 have been "The Green Car?"/quote]

gt350hr

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Re: Street racing in California circa 1969-1970
« Reply #70 on: March 23, 2022, 10:20:36 AM »
    That was it.The two week wonder. Went from 15+ second ETs to high twelves with a drive train transplant that took about 10 days.
Celebrating 46 years of drag racing 6S477 and no end in sight.

late66gt350

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Re: Street racing in California circa 1969-1970
« Reply #71 on: March 23, 2022, 12:32:00 PM »
Figured that was it. I bought that car from you less engine and trans.  Pulled the 289 from my Tiger and put it in the Mustang with a junkyard c4 and stock converter. Worked good enough with the 5.14 gears and slicks to run 13.40's. Wanted to do more but I was 18 with no money.

98SVT - was 06GT

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Re: Street racing in California circa 1969-1970
« Reply #72 on: March 23, 2022, 01:35:21 PM »
Wanted to do more but I was 18 with no money.
Weren't we all - Went to Irwindale at 16 with my high school driver a 59 Ford station wagon. Wednesday night was run what ya brung for 1 or 2 dollars. I had just rebuilt the 292 and stuck a 312 4 barrel manifold on it with glass packs. It ran high 14s. I broke 2nd gear in that old 3 speed so often I could get it out and fixed in about 2 hours. I finally bought ($15) a well used and noisy T89 (T85 with overdrive) truck trans and never broke it again.
Previous owner 6S843 - GT350H & 68 GT500 Convert #135.
Mine: GT1 Mustang Track Toy, 1998 SVT Cobra, Wife's: 2004 Tbird
Member since 1975 - priceless

gt350hr

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Re: Street racing in California circa 1969-1970
« Reply #73 on: March 23, 2022, 02:53:41 PM »
Figured that was it. I bought that car from you less engine and trans.  Pulled the 289 from my Tiger and put it in the Mustang with a junkyard c4 and stock converter. Worked good enough with the 5.14 gears and slicks to run 13.40's. Wanted to do more but I was 18 with no money.

   Good to hear from you Dave. I am still wanting a 9.9999999 second ET slip from my Shelby ( back to original white since you last saw it) . Now that I am retiring  , I hope to have time to build and install the new engine in it and try.
   Randy
Celebrating 46 years of drag racing 6S477 and no end in sight.

late66gt350

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Re: Street racing in California circa 1969-1970
« Reply #74 on: March 23, 2022, 04:25:30 PM »
Wow Randy. Your memory is unreal! Yes, your Shelby was blue at that time with the Boss 302. Always loved checking out your garage with all the outrageous
hard to find Ford parts. Nice to hear from you as well.
Dave