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Circuits/tracks that survive in the public domain


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#1 HistoricMustang

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 22:45

The Riverside thread put a thought in my head.

What former circuits/tracks do infact survive (pretty much intact).

Am sure these would currently be in public domain so can we start a list?

Henry

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#2 Terry Walker

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 00:48

Ascarate Park, El Paso, for starters. There's a thread on it plus recent Google Map and Street View pics.

#3 Terry Walker

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 01:19

If you mean intact, and you can walk around them (or on some cases drive around them), then there's a lot of them.

In USA

Pebble Beach was on public roads, and all but one short stretch (blocked off) is still public. There's a thread on this one

The Savannah races from the early 20th C were all on public roads, still public. Threads on these too.

Early circuits on long Island

A large number of airport/air base circuits are are still there, eg La Junta Colorado

Some abandoned artificial tracks still survive more or less intact, notably Austin Raceway Park, Texas, Hinchcliffe Stadium New Jersey, and Lakeside speedway Denver.

In Australia

Most of the Around the Houses type circuits, and many of the old airstrip tracks, survive. My book "Fast Tracks" covers that subject quite well. (Although some tracks cited as still visible in the book have since vanished, eg Pound Hill (see thread).

When you get to Europe the list is endless. There were countless one-off street circuits in the 50s!


. . . Check out the G.E.R.C.A thread!

#4 raceannouncer2003

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 07:13

Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada airport circuit from the 50s...more at this thread:

http://forums.autosp...ight=Abbotsford

I also went to a drag race a few years ago at the old Shelton, Washington airport track (Sanderson Field). Much of the sports car track from the 50s and 60s is still intact.

Vince H.

#5 Catalina Park

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 07:29

The best example of a surviving circuit would probably be Parramatta Park.
Catalina has survived but is being allowed to deterioate.

#6 HistoricMustang

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 13:33

Originally posted by Terry Walker
If you mean intact, and you can walk around them (or on some cases drive around them), then there's a lot of them.


Yes Terry, that is what I was thinking. There is no greater way to honor former facilities than to take a drive or walk. Those sitting on public land (as opposed to private or commercial land) and therefore owned by us should present some opportunities for enjoyment and documentation.

As these are presented by the members please take a moment to search the TNF archives and provide link if all ready discussed. This will give direction should a visit be planned.

Immediately I think of Central City Speedway in Macon, Georgia:

http://forums.autosp...ht=central city

Occoneechee Speedway in Hillsboro, North Carolina:

http://forums.autosp...ht=central city

Henry

#7 ggnagy

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 15:40

As documented on other threads, the US Midwest has quite a number of them. Chuck Brandt has even driven a few with his cobra.

Greenwood Raceway - Indianola, IA
Ponca City - Ponca City, OK
Lake Afton - Goddard, KS (possible realignment of the damm/spillway area?)
Lake Garnett - Lake Garnett, KS
Hilltop Raceway - Princeton, KS
Warbonnet - Mannford, OK
Lakeland - Lakeland, TN

Like one of the comments in the RIR thread that inspired this one, Warbonnet Raceway Park on Mannford, OK appears to be pretty much intact and used as access roads for a number of subdivisions. Parts of the track appear to have street level views in google maps, but the satellite resolution is poor. Likewise, Hilltop is a campground now and the track is used as access roads. All of them could be driven pretty much completely, but only at slow speed.


It looks like the old Mid America is being plowed under for subdivisions.

I leave out airport courses, because odds are either that a) they are active, and the FAA and/or USAF would have problems with your strolling/driving around or b) they have been closed and mostly obliterated

#8 RA Historian

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 18:37

Meadowdale in Carpentersville, Ill., still exists as part of a nature preserve. The race track is remembered in the name of the preserve, "Raceway Woods" IIRC, and on a monument or two. The track is undriveable, as parts are gone, and the rest is overgrown and the asphalt has turned to gravel. Nonetheless it is there.

Lynndale Farms, in Pewaukee, Wis., is a subdivision now. Most of the track is still there and serves as the subdivision's roads. Parts have been obliterated and built over. I most recently drove it last May.

Wilmot Hills, Wilmot, Wis., is mostly still there. The ski run has been extended over what was the front straight. The rest still exists.

Try this web site: www.lynndalefarms.homestead.com It has a lot of info about the track including recent ariel photos. There are also links there to Meadowdale, Wilmot Hills, and Milwaukee.

Tom

#9 HistoricMustang

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 00:49

Originally posted by RA Historian
Meadowdale in Carpentersville, Ill., still exists as part of a nature preserve. The race track is remembered in the name of the preserve, "Raceway Woods" IIRC, and on a monument or two. The track is undriveable, as parts are gone, and the rest is overgrown and the asphalt has turned to gravel. Nonetheless it is there.

Lynndale Farms, in Pewaukee, Wis., is a subdivision now. Most of the track is still there and serves as the subdivision's roads. Parts have been obliterated and built over. I most recently drove it last May.

Wilmot Hills, Wilmot, Wis., is mostly still there. The ski run has been extended over what was the front straight. The rest still exists.

Try this web site: www.lynndalefarms.homestead.com It has a lot of info about the track including recent ariel photos. There are also links there to Meadowdale, Wilmot Hills, and Milwaukee.

Tom


Well then gentlemen................lets get Google Earth cooking.

Henry

#10 Terry Walker

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 01:38

Bottomless Lakes, now a tourist drive in Bottomless Lakes State Park, Roswell, New Mexico.

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Rattlesnake Raceway, Midland, Texas - private circuit.

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Ascarate Park, El Paso, Texas:

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Pebble Beach California

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#11 Ray Bell

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 02:46

Originally posted by Terry Walker
Rattlesnake Raceway, Midland, Texas - private circuit.

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Birthplace of the modern aerofoil... ground effects... automatic transmissions...

Reverberating to the sound of a thousand Chevies... what sights it has seen!

#12 Duc-Man

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 13:11

I looked into the tracks of the Can-Am a while ago and found a pretty good web-site.
It's about Riverside, Sacramento Fairgrounds, Cotati, Vaca Valley and Paramount Ranch.
If the photos from Paramount Ranch seem familiar think 'The A-Team' or 'Knight-Rider'...

http://www.tamsoldra...RaceTracks.html

#13 Chris Bloom

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 17:47

Roughly 80% of the Westmead track near Durban, that held the Natal GP in 1961/62 is still in use as public roads on an industrial estate. I posted a thread here a while back showing what remains of the circuit.

#14 Terry Walker

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 02:30

Reno 1951 (public roads near Victoria Lake) and Reno 1996 (Hilton carpark) - still there

Put-In-Bay, South Bass Island, in Lake Erie: public roads. Still there.

#15 noikeee

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 12:29

Rattlesnake and Bottomless Lakes look like very cool layouts.

#16 HistoricMustang

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 22:08

Originally posted by Duc-Man
I looked into the tracks of the Can-Am a while ago and found a pretty good web-site.
It's about Riverside, Sacramento Fairgrounds, Cotati, Vaca Valley and Paramount Ranch.
If the photos from Paramount Ranch seem familiar think 'The A-Team' or 'Knight-Rider'...

http://www.tamsoldra...RaceTracks.html


I am not sure which track is the former Sacramento Fairgrounds track. Help!

Henry :wave:

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#17 HistoricMustang

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 22:24

Originally posted by Duc-Man
Vaca Valley


WOW, Vaca Valley. Still in place at the time Google visited.

Henry :wave:

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#18 bradbury west

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 23:05

The Malecon seafront/street circuit, in Havana is pretty much as it was in 57/58, as are the buildings, sadly. see separate thread
Roger Lund

#19 Duc-Man

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Posted 25 December 2008 - 16:23

Sacramento Fairground: there is nothing left of that track.

If you check on Google maps type in: sacramento stockton blvd broadway. Than zoom in and shift Broadway to the bottom of the picture.

The track was in that area thats restricted by Stockton Boulevard in the west, Broadway in the south, 57th Street in the east and V-Street/2nd Avenue in the north.

Thats all I can say and know about it.

:confused: Frank

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#20 idrive

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Posted 29 December 2008 - 06:58

East London's famous GP circuit is public roads apart from race weekends and exactly the same as it was when Jim Clark & Graham Hill battled for the world championship...... but sadly development is now a very real threat.

#21 martyk

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Posted 29 December 2008 - 16:19

Originally posted by HistoricMustang


I am not sure which track is the former Sacramento Fairgrounds track. Help!

Henry :wave:

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That is the dragstrip/oval track at Sacramento Raceway. Still in operation.


Here's one, Hughes Stadium, one of the birthplaces of Midget racing. Also home to the first couple of "Gold Cup" races.
http://maps.google.c...006781&t=h&z=17

#22 Jim Thurman

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Posted 29 December 2008 - 18:16

Originally posted by HistoricMustang


I am not sure which track is the former Sacramento Fairgrounds track. Help!

Henry :wave:

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Marty beat me to it, but that is Sacramento Raceway with it's dragstrip and various ovals. Especially noteworthy is the large oval that was scraped out, but never used.

Thunder Park was nearby, usually described as "across the road" - along Jackson Highway, IIRC. It only hosted 6 races for Sprint Cars and Modifieds along with several for Karts on a 1/8 mile. It was virtually indistinguishable in aerials from the late 80's/early 90's.

#23 HistoricMustang

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Posted 29 December 2008 - 19:26

Originally posted by Jim Thurman

Marty beat me to it, but that is Sacramento Raceway with it's dragstrip and various ovals. Especially noteworthy iis the large oval that was scraped out, but never used.

Thunder Park was nearby, usually described as "across the road" - along Jackson Highway, IIRC. It only hosted 6 races for Sprint Cars and Modifieds along with several for Karts on a 1/8 mile. It was virtually indistinguishable in aerials from the late 80's/early 90's.


Jim, I think we have it here in post #586.

Henry :wave:

http://forums.autosp...249#post3436249

#24 Simpson RX1

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 01:00

If I might be allowed to put my hand up for the plucky Brit?.............


Most of Crystal Palace still exists, and not two minutes from my front door; well, maybe five minutes, I'm not as fit as I used to be :smoking:

#25 Terry Walker

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 14:16

Last chance to see: Mid-America, Wentzville, Missouri

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#26 David Lawson

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 19:57

Davidstow on Bodmin Moor in Cornwall still exists and is freely accessible. I took a drive round the circuit while on holiday there a few years ago. Several of the WW2 airfield buildings are still there albeit in very poor condition.

David

#27 Terry Walker

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 10:12

Davidstow

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#28 TheStranger

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 18:57

If I'm not mistaken, the old Thompson road course in Connecticut is now used as access roads for the parking lot (for the existing short oval that remains).

#29 TheStranger

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 18:58

Originally posted by martyk
[B]


That is the dragstrip/oval track at Sacramento Raceway. Still in operation.

Actually, the Sacramento Raceway oval sat dormant for 2008, not sure they'll be using it in 2009 either.

#30 martyk

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 19:12

Thanks, I had a feeling they didn't use the oval track, but I was too lazy to check to make sure. Not sure why they didn't get more into oval track racing there, with all the space they had, and when the Air Force base was next door, noise wasn't a big deal. Maybe they made too much money with bracket racing.

#31 Jim Thurman

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 19:29

Originally posted by martyk
Thanks, I had a feeling they didn't use the oval track, but I was too lazy to check to make sure. Not sure why they didn't get more into oval track racing there, with all the space they had, and when the Air Force base was next door, noise wasn't a big deal. Maybe they made too much money with bracket racing.

Actually Marty, believe it or not, it was noise complaints. One man, very loud and surprisingly influential, fought every attempt to race in the area and kept trying to get Sacramento Raceway Park closed. His complaints essentially prevented Thunder Park from continuing and he fought every attempt at ovals at SRP. The one above the strip had to be closed after a few races because of "noise". After some effort, the SRP owner was able to construct the track South of the strip. I think the idea was to force the track operators out of money, it sure worked with the Thunder Park operator.

I still remember watching the Sacramento news when Creighton Sanders did his sports report while standing outside a planning commission meeting while awaiting word on a ruling on Thunder Park (short track racing was a big deal in Sacramento). As he was reading another item, I saw the Thunder Park operator shove his way through the door and flail his arms in disgust...it was painfully obvious to me how it had gone. He was sputtering by the time he got to Sanders, but did a live on air interview. That was the end of Thunder Park.

#32 ghinzani

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 19:46

Originally posted by Terry Walker
Davidstow

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Ahhh... my first drive on a race circuit was here! In my Dads ERF B series 32 tonner...

#33 martyk

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 20:21

Originally posted by Jim Thurman

Actually Marty, believe it or not, it was noise complaints. One man, very loud and surprisingly influential, fought every attempt to race in the area and kept trying to get Sacramento Raceway Park closed. His complaints essentially prevented Thunder Park from continuing and he fought every attempt at ovals at SRP. The one above the strip had to be closed after a few races because of "noise". After some effort, the SRP owner was able to construct the track South of the strip. I think the idea was to force the track operators out of money, it sure worked with the Thunder Park operator.

I still remember watching the Sacramento news when Creighton Sanders did his sports report while standing outside a planning commission meeting while awaiting word on a ruling on Thunder Park (short track racing was a big deal in Sacramento). As he was reading another item, I saw the Thunder Park operator shove his way through the door and flail his arms in disgust...it was painfully obvious to me how it had gone. He was sputtering by the time he got to Sanders, but did a live on air interview. That was the end of Thunder Park.


Thanks for the info, Jim.

The complaint thing does sound kinda familiar. Do you know if the racetrack fiasco is what caused the Go-Kart track to close also?? (I should ask a friend who drove karts there, but this will probably be faster)
The noise from the drag strip was nothing compared to the nearby Mather Air Force base testing their jet engines for hours on end, or the B52's taking off endlessly. I know this because my parent's house is directly across the street from Mather, and I had to put up with the noise all the time. I bet the complainer moved in AFTER the track was there. That's usually the case, isn't it? Someone moves in even if they know something that makes noise is there, then complains enough to get the place shut down.

#34 TheStranger

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 20:35

Originally posted by martyk
Thanks, I had a feeling they didn't use the oval track, but I was too lazy to check to make sure. Not sure why they didn't get more into oval track racing there, with all the space they had, and when the Air Force base was next door, noise wasn't a big deal. Maybe they made too much money with bracket racing.


I do have a few photos of a microsprint event at the Sacramento Raceway oval in 2007:
http://flickr.com/ph...57600223908196/

Compared to the overhead shots of Thunder Park (which was before my time), Sacramento Raceway's oval is a bit narrower and tighter. Drag racing has been the bread and butter of the facility for some time so the oval came across as a bit of an afterthought in my visit. The ticket prices for a weekday show were rather steep ($11 - not all that much money, but not a great bargain when $12 gets you a full-sized sprint car show at Placerville about 25 minutes down the freeway on a Saturday night).

The night I went there, they were also doing street drags on the strip, where anyone could come in and get their own chance at the quarter mile. Still think that's going on these days as well...

#35 ggnagy

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 02:35

Originally posted by Terry Walker
Last chance to see: Mid-America, Wentzville, Missouri

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I recently learned that the same is true for Lakeside, TN :(

#36 Jim Thurman

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 17:47

Originally posted by martyk


Thanks for the info, Jim.

The complaint thing does sound kinda familiar. Do you know if the racetrack fiasco is what caused the Go-Kart track to close also?? (I should ask a friend who drove karts there, but this will probably be faster)
The noise from the drag strip was nothing compared to the nearby Mather Air Force base testing their jet engines for hours on end, or the B52's taking off endlessly. I know this because my parent's house is directly across the street from Mather, and I had to put up with the noise all the time. I bet the complainer moved in AFTER the track was there. That's usually the case, isn't it? Someone moves in even if they know something that makes noise is there, then complains enough to get the place shut down.

I have no idea about the Kart track, you'll have to check with your friend.

Of all the noise complaints about race tracks, this one, being next to an active Air Force base is the most ridiculous.

Some tracks and businesses that cause noise, dust, etc. have "grandfather clauses", but they never seem to hold up...especially for race tracks.

Thanks for the photos Chris :up:

#37 TheStranger

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 18:52

You're welcome, Jim :) At the time I never expected the oval to be dormant in less than a year, so I got lucky there. The crowd was extremely sparse the Wednesday night I went so it wasn't particularly surprising.

Mather is no longer an active air force base but still serves as a cargo airport IIRC so in any case, noise complaints in that extremely rural area have never made any sense to me (though there are suburban developments creeping up, new building has slowed in the Anatolia/Mather area due to the economic crisis).

#38 Mark A

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 20:44

Been sorting out my GE file to hopefully update it tonight and thought this one was appropriate for this thread.

The South Dakota Circuit in Guyana.

It's been in use since the 1950's and there was a 6hr endurance race there in June 2008. (using the layout in green)LINK

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#39 alansart

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 10:42

Originally posted by Simpson RX1
If I might be allowed to put my hand up for the plucky Brit?.............


Most of Crystal Palace still exists, and not two minutes from my front door; well, maybe five minutes, I'm not as fit as I used to be :smoking:


As I missed out on the NW TNF gathering at the Chevron works yesterday I needed to make up for my disappointment. A had a few hours spare while I was in London so made a nostalgic trip to Crystal Palace. CP was the first race track I ever visited and I was there for it's final meeting.

As seen on Google Earth with layout and corner names added:

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The startline and pits circa 1971...
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...a similar view 12.30pm 12/03/2009 (yesterday) - My apologies for the quality, these were taken with the camera on my mobile phone!
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1971...
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...2009
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A view from towards the back of the grid. A short stretch has been grassed over.
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Looking back towards the startline - the tarmac here looks like it could be all that's left from CP's racing days.
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Heading towards North Tower.
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North Tower in..
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...North Tower out.
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The Glade
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Park Curve. This area was out of bounds for spectators. I never realised the houses were so close. No wonder there were complaints about the noise.
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New Link.
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Stadium straight. There is a little track by the blue boxes which I think maybe for radio controlled cars.
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Stadium straight towards Ramp Bend. The Grandstand and offices now use part of the circuit.
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Ramp Bend. I think the concrete wall on the left may have been around in racing days.
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Anerley Ramp
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Maxim Rise. The bridge from the station that went over the track has gone.
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Finally heading into South Tower.
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It's sad that there appears to be no recognition that racing took place there. I was chatting to a chap who was walking his dog and he had no idea what I was talking about. There is a little Museum on site, but unfortunately that was closed due to structural damage by vandals!

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#40 bradbury west

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 12:01

Alan, excellent. Many thanks. And may the sounds of the V8 ghost of Sears' Galaxie at full chat, and the hostility of Hunt's temper towards Dave Morgan haunt the planners forever.
Roger Lund

#41 D-Type

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 14:06

Last time I was at the Palce (probably ten years ago) racing was still going on. The local model car club were having a race meeting for radio-controlled cars on the old start/finish straight. I wonder whether the competitors realised the heritage of thjeir venue.

#42 gwk

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 14:19

Surprised that nobody has yet mentioned the original Watkins Glen circuit. Public roads, still there.

#43 Russell Burrows

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 14:36

Thanks for posting the Palace photographs. They seem to have gone to all the trouble of reducung the width of the circuit in various places? I too have made a nostalgic visit, and then in some respects wished I hadn't.

#44 alansart

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 15:16

Originally posted by Russell Burrows
Thanks for posting the Palace photographs. They seem to have gone to all the trouble of reducung the width of the circuit in various places? I too have made a nostalgic visit, and then in some respects wished I hadn't.


Although I was aware that most of the racing history at Crystal Palace had been removed, I was still disappointed that there is now nothing left to acknowledge the circuits existance. It's a pity the Museum was closed as I could have registered my protest :)

I know the original Crystal Palace was an impressive piece of architecture, and along with the early TV transmissions deserves to be remembered in all it's glory, but to completely blot out another part of the sites history does seem a bit crazy!

#45 Rob29

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 16:55

The Glade part was still in use for a sprint May Bank Holiday 1999.My last visit.

#46 MCS

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 18:09

Originally posted by alansart
Although I was aware that most of the racing history at Crystal Palace had been removed, I was still disappointed that there is now nothing left to acknowledge the circuits existance. It's a pity the Museum was closed as I could have registered my protest :)

I know the original Crystal Palace was an impressive piece of architecture, and along with the early TV transmissions deserves to be remembered in all it's glory, but to completely blot out another part of the sites history does seem a bit crazy!


I went a few years back and you are correct Alan, there is absolutely nothing to suggest that motor racing once took place there. All very sad really.

#47 Mark A

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 09:31

Originally posted by Rob29
The Glade part was still in use for a sprint May Bank Holiday 1999.My last visit.


It no-longer appears in the Blue Book as a sprint venue.

#48 Terry Walker

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 13:06

About 90 percent of the shortlived Mooliabeenie circuit in Western Australia survives, and as the area is now a nature reserve, looks like surviving as long as nature lets it. Its greatest moment was when Geoff Duke came to Australia in, I think, 55, and raced at Moolie. Left the locals for dead of course. There are some pics of Moolie as it now is on my website www.terrywalkersplace.com in the "articles" section.

#49 Simpson RX1

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 14:53

Originally posted by Mark A


It no-longer appears in the Blue Book as a sprint venue.



IIRC it was used as a sprint track between 1997 and 2000 for an annual event operated by the Sevenoaks and District MC; I went to all but the last one, but, sadly, I'm not much of a one for cameras, so I've no pictures to share.

Somebody will correct me on this, but I seem to recall the event was almost over before it began; during the early part of the first day's racing, there was a nasty accident (my memory tells me the driver was seriously injured or, possibly, killed) and there was some doubt as to whether or not racing would continue. Certainly, there was a feeling that it might predjudice permission to race the following year.

One thing I do know is that the event was always massively oversubscribed, so entries were usually reserved for 'special interest' vehicles, which guaranteed some pretty wild machinery!

#50 Russell Burrows

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 14:59

Does anyone have any information, in particular the circuit layout, on Biggin Hill. Bikes raced there in the late fifties, perhaps cars too?