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

  1. #21
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    As the Formula One racing is not happening at the moment, enjoy the racing during this movie that was partly filmed during the 1953 Santa Barbara race meet. See it at about the 36 minute mark of the movie "Johnny Dark".
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    Ignore the subtitles and turn up the sound and enjoy a 1953-54 movie on full screen.




    (Ken H)

  2. #22
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    One of the cars that came to race and ended up being featured in the movie was the Tatum Special driven by Chuck Tatum.Name:  Tatum Special # 96.jpg
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    Racing around the Santa Barbara Airport course.

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    Chuck Tatum standing next to his GMC powered racer with his navigator.

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    And in the movie they are all set to go.
    (Not sure why it just has one tail light ?)

    (Ken H )
    Last edited by khyndart in CA; 03-18-2020 at 08:00 AM.

  3. #23
    I just love the Tatum. One tail light, the article says it had to have one, saves weight and cost for not having more? Thanks for digging up these cool oddities Ken.

  4. #24
    Superb addition to the thread...

  5. #25
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    Another car in the Johnny Dark movie was the Victress S1 Roadster.
    Name:  Victress_1953_July-31_Motor-World_2-1024x580.jpg
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    It had a long sleek body.
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    As can be noted in this photo !
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    ( Ken H..)

  6. #26
    Semi-Pro Racer Paul B's Avatar
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    The Victress was a very cool style, great pics Ken, I am enjoying the Fiberglass cars that you are posting.
    The Kellison was also a very cool style and way ahead of its time.

    Cheers

  7. #27
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    In-car camera style. 1953.
    At Santa Barbara / Goleta Airport in a Woodill Wildfire preparing for the Johnny Dark movie.

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  8. #28
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    The Woodill Wildfire was the first fiberglass sports car produced in the early 1950s, even before Corvette. It was on the cover of the August 1953 Motor Trend magazine. Built by Dodge and Willys dealer Blanchard Robert "Woody" Woodill from 1952 to 1958 in Downey, California. The Wildfire used a Glasspar fiberglass body. Three of these cars were used in the movie. The # 21 car actually raced at the airport event.
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    Woodill Wildfires lined up outside their assembly building. The first three were in the movie. The closest one has a Corvette windscreen.

    This did not make the car go any faster and although all running gear was contemporary Willys, including the 161 cubic-inch F-head engine. The engine was equipped with a triple carburetor manifold made exclusively for the Wildfire. "The “Canadian border” starting point was actually Lake Tahoe which, being at around 6,500′, explains why the car wouldn’t get out of it’s own way !"
    At sea level it was much more competitive.
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    # 11 on the climb to Lake Tahoe.
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    # 11 Wildfire speeding toward the finish.
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    (Ken H..)

  9. #29
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Good stuff Ken H,
    Love these specials - after all we come from a nation of Special builders - ours mainly for reasons of economics and supply restrictions in the 1940's 1950's - then in the 1960's because we had the skills and that DIY can do attitude
    Good to see an American selection..

    The Ralph Watson, Hec Green, Gordon Brown and Don Ransley's of the 40/50's the George Begg, Garth Souness, Graham McRae and Jamie Aislabie's of the 60's/70's and many others - all contributing to an interesting collection of vehicles ..covered on other threads too !! .

  10. #30
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Santa Barbara Road Races

    Ken H,

    a photo that fits into two Threads
    - yours - Santa Barbara Road Races,
    and
    - mine - Austin Healey's -
    just found this Gem.

    " Barbara Windhorst Austin Healey 100S & Sandy Hale Porsche 550 Spyder, '60 Santa Barbara Road Races
    photo - [Alan Grant] "

    Name:  AH 100S #105 Barbara Windhorst Austin Healey 100S Sandy Hale Porsche 550 Sypder, '60 Santa Barba.jpg
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    Have just found my copy of the " NHRA 1966 Drag Racing Rules " handbook -
    It has, as well as all the class classifications and and current 1965 records, there are a lot of photos -
    Must break out the scanner and camera - not much else to do at the moment.

    A random photo ;

    Name:  Models #372  1930's Hot Rods Trad Speed Supply.jpg
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  11. #31
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    Thanks Roger.
    Here is some more of the Woodill Wildfire.

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    The straight six Willys engine came standard with a single carb.
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    Or the race engine with triple carbs.
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    Name:  # 21 Wildfire.jpg
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    # 21 Wildfire shows up in this movie trailer.


    What might have been Mr. Bell !
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    ( Ken H )
    Last edited by khyndart in CA; 03-23-2020 at 10:30 PM.

  12. #32
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    Santa Barbara in 1964, Frank Monise in Lotus 23 leading
    Jerry Entin in Ol Yeller 2 and then Tony Settember in the Washburn Corvette Coupe and Al Caddrobi in Porsche RSK and Bob Challman in Lotus 23.
    This was a college town, and for a club race over 30,000 people came out on the weekend. It was unbelievable.

  13. #33
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    Lance Reventlow in the rear engined Scarab in front of Don Wester and his RSK Porsche at Santa Barbara

  14. #34
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    Jerry Entin in his Mk 2 McLaren and Jay Hills in his Mk 2 McLaren Santa Barbara in 1967
    They are now calling these cars Mk 1B's.

  15. #35
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    Thanks Jerry,
    Here is a recent article about the 1966 McLaren.
    https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1966-mclaren-m1b/

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    Ken H.

  16. #36
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    My old car was bought by a very nice and Great racer named Jeff Green. He was sadly killed at Mosport in a F 5000 race and never got to run my old car.

    It was sold on bring a trailer and the new owner was going to run it this season. At present all racing is side lined due to the Covid 19 Virus..

  17. #37
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    Jerry Entin in Cheetah 1965

  18. #38
    I would reckon the Cheetah would have been a real buzz to drive, Jerry...

  19. #39
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    Jerry Entin in the LeGrand Mk 7 in 1968
    This was the last race weekend for the Santa Barbara events. They were held twice a year and due to the airport becoming too congested to hold events they were stopped.

  20. #40
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Entin View Post

    Jerry Entin in Cheetah 1965
    Jerry, I like Cheetahs - my small tribute to them .. [ Models by Spark - purchased when in Australia - at the Gold Coast Model Shop ].

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