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Thread: 1965 Nascar Riverside 500

  1. #1

    1965 Nascar Riverside 500



    I've often wondered why there aren't more Nascar races run on road courses, as opposed to ovals. Even modern day Sprint Cup cars look fantastic around Watkins Glen and Sonoma, slipping and sliding, four-wheel-drifting, locking brakes and rolling through the corners.


    But there is little that compares to the sight of a field of 7 litre mid-60s behemoths on skinny steel wheels, slippery cross-ply tyres, and 4-wheel drum brakes negotiating one of the great long-lost tracks, Riverside Raceway, over 500 gruelling miles.


    Here is something I stumbled upon some time back on Youtube. This short 6 minute highlighted video from 1965 is a real gem. There is no sound, just the narration, but thats OK, because the picture quality is superb, and these battleships are mesmerising as they glide gracefully from one four wheel drift to the next. Note the lack of General-Motors participation. Chrysler are also sparsely supported. Nascar had banned the Hemi for 1965, prompting the company to withdraw in protest, although there were a few privateers that remained with the series campaigning older Chrysler machinery. By mid-season, Nascar had relaxed its rules a little, allowing Hemi engines to take part in short track races.


    The race, as with the '65 season, was dominated by Ford, as the only manufacturer involved with its Galaxies and Mercury Marauders. One competitor is even running a rare Mercury Breezeway, an oddball feature of which was a vertical electric back window.


    Note also the respect the drivers have towards one another. There is the rubbing of door handles that is almost impossible to avoid when skating around a road course in massive 7 litre full sized sedans, which, after a few laps, would have been almost completely without brakes, but there is none of the deliberate barging that is common in modern racing. In fact, A.J Foyts brakes fail him completely, as you'll see later in the footage.


  2. #2
    Awesome footage Steve, keep up the good work

  3. #3
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Is this the first Thread ?? 22nd April 2011..

    Logging in today and notice that there are now 1992 threads, with over 68,000 posts - the views must be in the Millions. ERC has over 800,000 on one thread !

    Is this the First Thread ? Steve !.

    The mention of 7 litre Monsters makes me think that in NZ there were two cars were in that league - both driven by Robbie Franicevich. [ old spelling ].

    Custaxie 1966/67 and the Fairlane 1967/68.
    The Custaxie was a success, the Fairlane not so ..

    A couple of my photos of Robbie's cars

    Name:  Pukekohe 1967 #1, Custaxie Robbie Franicevich pic1 v3, CCI19102015 (3).jpg
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Size:  81.2 KB

    Name:  Pukekohe Jan 1968  GP #6 Ford Galaxie Robbie Francevic v2, CCI15102015_0003 (2).jpg
Views: 161
Size:  160.4 KB

    Disregard the note on the photo - have been reminded that the car was not a Galaxie.

    So is the First Thread now First again - until the next post ??

    How soon do WE crack the 2000 Threads ??
    Last edited by Roger Dowding; 07-22-2019 at 07:49 PM.

  4. #4
    Quote: The mention of 7 litre Monsters makes me think that in NZ there were two cars were in that league - both driven by Robbie Franicevich. [ old spelling ].

    Just a small point. The old spelling of Robbie's surname was Franicevic - without the "h" on the end. It is pronounced as though there is a "h" on the end.

  5. #5
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Milan Fistonic View Post
    Quote: The mention of 7 litre Monsters makes me think that in NZ there were two cars were in that league - both driven by Robbie Franicevich. [ old spelling ].

    Just a small point. The old spelling of Robbie's surname was Franicevic - without the "h" on the end. It is pronounced as though there is a "h" on the end.
    Milan my apologies to one who would know. I hope I don't put the 'h' on your name, ever. Cheers Roger [ without the 'd' ]

  6. #6
    That is a pretty good video...

    As for Watkins Glen, NASCAR owns that track these days, so I guess they have to have races there. They'd certainly be interesting at Road America.

    I'm going to send a link to this to my nephew, maybe it will inspire him to get his Group N Dodge ready at last.

  7. #7
    World Champion
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    This is a short clip of "Big Daddy" Don Garlits interviewing Junior Johnson about how he learned to drive and slide evading the law like many other early Nascar drivers. "Them Good Ol' Boys"led fast and dangerous lives.
    This shows Johnson's 1963n Chevy Impala SS # 3 with a 430 cu.in. engine.


    This car can still be seen at certain events to this day.
    Name:  1963 Chevy Impala.JPG
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    (On display at Sonoma Raceway. 2017)
    Ken H photo..

  8. #8
    Semi-Pro Racer Paul B's Avatar
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    Steve,
    I totally agree with your post #1 these full sized 7 liter beast are absolutely awesome and a true spectacle to see. Great footage
    Here is some newer footage of a 7 ltr Galaxie at Goodwood and you can see the driver working the car.
    I sure would like a drive in one of those babies

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