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Thread: Early Days of Hot Rodding and Racing in Santa Barbara and beyond.

  1. #61
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    Ah Roger,
    Usually at this time I am doing a thread about the Laguna Seca Historic Meet but it was not to be the case this year.
    There is even talk that the track may be sold for housing development which would indeed be a sad occasion.

    Another entrant at Santa Barbara in 1955 was movie actor James Dean driving a Porsche 356 Super Speedster # 33

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    Dean liked the look of the Porsche 550 Spyder that was being raced at Santa Barbara.

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    James Dean purchased a brand new Porsche 550 Spyder when he returned to Los Angeles.

    It was in his new car about 3 weeks after the Santa Barbara races, that he was killed in a high speed collision about 140 miles further north.
    And the legend of James Dean began and the place of his accident is visited by many to this day.



    (Ken H)
    Last edited by khyndart in CA; 08-17-2020 at 06:11 AM.

  2. #62
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Thanks, Ken H,
    - have read a book about James Dean with quite a section on the Cars [ the two Porsche' ] and that accident. He was supposed to have the car on the trailer towed by the Ford Wagon, but he and Ralf decided to drive it, being hit by Donald Turnupseed [ spelling ? ] at the junction. Lots of theories as to why ?? the sun, reflections etc, etc..
    Cheers

    Roger

  3. #63
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    During 1956 Ken Miles was part of the British George Eyston team that went to the Bonneville salt flats in Utah with a beautiful MG Special to set some international speed records.
    I found this 20 minute YouTube clip most interesting.






    (Ken H)

  4. #64
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    For the 1956 racing season in California, Miles had put his skills into taking a 1955 Cooper T39 "Bobtail" sports car and he put in a Porsche 550 Spyder engine which allowed the front radiator to be removed and produced a sleek and again an instant winner including the races at Santa Barbara and a new track that he helped design at the Paramount Ranch north of Los Angeles.
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    Once again in his favorite number 50 Ken Miles drives to victory in the Cooper Porsche {Pooper}
    (Allen Kuhn photo )

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    Another view of # 50 in 1956.


    (Ken H)

  5. #65
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    This is part of my "Santa Barbara and beyond."
    The Paramount Ranch race course was situated in the hills between Malibu and the Ventura Highway # 101.
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    Many movies were filmed around here including the Gunsmoke series and everyone's favorite "Little House on the Prairie"
    New owners of the ranch built a race course and Ken Miles helped with the design and layout.
    Being close to LA they had good crowds and a lot of exciting racing.
    In fact it was so exciting and dangerous the track was closed down after just 18 months due to the fatalities (3) and other injuries etc..
    August 1956 to Dec. 1957.
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    One of the first races. August 15 1956.
    " Thousands of Southern California spectators witnessed Harrison Evans, in his Ferrari Monza, battle it out with Eric Hauser, Morgansen Special, Sunday August 19, at the first sports car road race to be held at the Paramount Ranch in Agoura, California. Evans zoomed across the finish line just two seconds ahead of the home-build Special to chalk-up another victory for Ferrari banners. Richie Ginther, driving a Von Neumann Porsche, upset favorite Jack McAfee in Saturday’s go by a close half-second proving that the young driver belongs with the top ranking drivers on the West Coast. Ginther sailed to an easy victory in the Sunday under 1500cc race also when the closely anticipated race between him and McAfee failed to materialize after McAfee’s Porsche was forced out early in the race."

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    The same area as it looks today.


    (Ken H)
    Last edited by khyndart in CA; 08-23-2020 at 12:07 AM.

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