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Road racing at Pomona


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#1 Wirra

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 02:02

I thought some of our North American members might enjoy these images:

http://www.speedhunt...cing-at-pomona/

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#2 jj2728

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 02:17

Excellent!

#3 E1pix

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 03:46

Very Cool Wirra, Thanks! :up:

#4 jm70

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 14:02

Just to note that the #283 Corvette is the late Andy Porterfield

#5 nicanary

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 15:02

Car#181 is confusing. Is it a 300SL fitted with a look-alike SLR body? I'm sure there's a US historian who'll remember it.

#6 rdrcr

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 15:24

Cool - thanks for the link. Heard of these races but hadn't seen photographic evidence of them. Great stuff!

#7 Jean L

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 15:37

Yes, #181 is the Porter 300SLS.

#8 raceannouncer2003

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 19:55

Click on "Select Racetrack" and the "Pomona" to find more photos here:

http://www.vintage-s...car-photos.com/

By the way, was anyone at the Cobra reunion there this weekend?

Vince H.

Edited by raceannouncer2003, 22 April 2012 - 19:57.


#9 David M. Kane

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 23:41

Cool - thanks for the link. Heard of these races but hadn't seen photographic evidence of them. Great stuff!


As a teenager I went to a race there in 1958 and saw the likes of Ole Yeller and others such as Nick Reynolds race his Lotus 23B. Nick was pretty good driver besides singing Folk Songs for the Kingston Trio.

Yesterday that a great Panel discussion at the Wally Parks NHRA Museum featuring the likes of Sherrie MacDonald, Bob Bondurant, Jerry Grant, Pete Brock, Parnelli Jones, Allen Grant, John Morton, and several others including Dave MacDonald's mechanic...amazing stories.
I wish there had been more time so we could heard from Mr. Henderson, the helby Manager who was with Carroll for 43 years!

Turns out they were a very tight little team. John Morton and Allen Grant ever shared a garage apartment. There were a lot of surviving Shelby employees in the audience as well as competitors from Corvette like Dick Guldstrand. Some serious Journalists like Peter Lyons as well as friend and film maker Alan Bolte. Several attendees came from as far as Paris. I can't remember the gentleman's name but his shop is at LeMans and he builds Cobra continuation cars to a very high standard. I also saw Joe Playan in the crowd but I didn't get to talk to him as there 100-150 people in the crowd.

Hard to believe their glory years at Shelby Racing only lasted 4-5 years.

Sherry told some great stories about Dave and how competitive she was.

To the person the whole panel basically said he was the best. He clearly was aggressive and a charger with great car control. They talked about his epic win the King Cobra at Laguna Seca after he bent it. He had to start from the back and hold it in gear because it kept popping out and he STILL won; BUT he was exhausted and his arm and hand were a mess. What a competitor!

More later...I just got home...amazing experience...pretty tired right now last minute trip :up:

Edited by David M. Kane, 23 April 2012 - 16:41.


#10 David M. Kane

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 03:25

As a teenager I went to a race there in 1958 and saw the likes of Ole Yeller and others such as Nick Reynolds race his Lotus 23B. Nick was pretty good driver besides singing Folk Songs for the Kingston Trio.

Yesterday that a great Panel discussion at the Wally Parks NHRA Museum featuring the likes of Sherrie McDonald, Bob Bondurant, Jerry Grant, Pete Brock, Parnelli Jones, Allen Grant, John Morton, and several others including Dave McDonald's mechanic...amazing stories.
I wish there had been more time so we could heard from Mr. Henderson, the helby Manager who was wirh Carroll for 43 years!

Turns out they were a very tight little team. John Morton and Allen Grant ever shared a garage apartment. There were a lot of surviving Shelby employees in the audience as well as competitors from Corvette like Dick Guldstrand. Some serious Journalists like Peter Lyons as well as friend and film maker Alan Bolte. Several attendees came from as far as Paris. I can't remember the gentleman's name but his shop is at LeMans and he builds Cobra continuation cars to a very high standard. I also saw Joe Playan in the crowd but I didn't get to talk to him as there 100-150 people in the crowd.

Hard to believe their glory years at Shelby Racing only lasted 4-5 years.

Sherry told some great stories about Dave and how competitive she was.

To the person the whole panel basically said he was the best. He clearly was aggressive and a charger with great car control. They talked about his epic win the King Cobra at Laguna Seca after he bent it. He had to start from the back and hold it in gear because it kept popping out and he STILL won; BUT he was exhausted and his arm and hand were a mess. What a competitor!

More later...I just got home...amazing experience...pretty tired right now last minute trip :up:

The Shelby Group videotaped it, so I'm sure you will be able to buy it at some point.

#11 Frank S

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 04:34

Donn Vickrey posted a video of Parnelli in the King Cobra leading some vintage racers on pace laps (Yesterday?). Scroll down and look among the photos in the right column.

#12 E1pix

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 06:02

:) Great story, David. :up:

#13 RA Historian

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 13:35

As a teenager I went to a race there in 1958 and saw the likes of Ole Yeller and others such as Nick Reynolds race his Lotus 23B. Nick was pretty good driver besides singing Folk Songs for the Kingston Trio.

Not in 1958, David. The Lotus 23 did not come out until 1962. But you are right about Nick Reynolds racing. I recall reading about his running in the formula categories. I seem to recall that at one time he drove a formula special for Nate Borgeault, which I think may have been Alfa powered. Later he got a proper Brabham. Sadly, Nick passed away a couple years ago.

#14 David M. Kane

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 13:41

Not in 1958, David. The Lotus 23 did not come out until 1962. But you are right about Nick Reynolds racing. I recall reading about his running in the formula categories. I seem to recall that at one time he drove a formula special for Nate Borgeault, which I think may have been Alfa powered. Later he got a proper Brabham. Sadly, Nick passed away a couple years ago.


What do you think he could have been running in the summer of '58 0r '59? I'll do some digging. The track by the way is still pretty much the same as they were doing hot laps on it.


#15 David M. Kane

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 14:33

I thought some of our North American members might enjoy these images:

http://www.speedhunt...cing-at-pomona/


The French gentleman was at the Cocktail Party on Friday name is Nobert Sarail. He had a facility in LeMans that builds Cobra continuation I believe he show Pete Lyons and I a video on his iPad; but unfortunately I don't speak French. The cars were very impressive looking.


#16 David M. Kane

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 15:13

The Shelby Group videotaped it, so I'm sure you will be able to buy it at some point.



The video is worth buying just to hear Sherry MacDonald and Wally Peat's stories. Wally was Dave's ace mechanic.

Edited by David M. Kane, 23 April 2012 - 16:40.


#17 Jerry Entin

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 16:16

Posted Image
Dave MacDonald working on his Cobra in the day


photo: Allen Kuhn



#18 David M. Kane

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 18:45

Not in 1958, David. The Lotus 23 did not come out until 1962. But you are right about Nick Reynolds racing. I recall reading about his running in the formula categories. I seem to recall that at one time he drove a formula special for Nate Borgeault, which I think may have been Alfa powered. Later he got a proper Brabham. Sadly, Nick passed away a couple years ago.


Your correct, once again my memory is rewriting history. It was the summer of '58 "possibly" '59. I do know I was all "pumped" about Road Racing after watching Charlie Hayes and Dr. Dick Thompson at Upper Marlboro in Maryland. So my younger brother and my mom went to LA to spend the summer with my sister and her husband in their apartment off of Sunset Blvd in Hollywood. Frankly I'm not sure who I saw race other than Max Bachowsky in Old Yeller; BUT it was a full day of racing with multiple classes. I "assume" it was SCCA or Cal Club.

In Phil Henny's book on Bob Bondurant or in a conversation Bob and I had recently; he said the SCCA suspended his license for a year because he was running both groups so he quit racing until he went through this big song and dance with the licensing committee.

Anyway, it was mega experience watching those races a 17 year old.

This Shelby Cobra Reunion was the first time I had been back to the Pomona Fair Grounds since that race weekend in the summer of '58.

The highlight of the weekend was seeing the two King Cobras live and up close and getting to talk to Bob Bondurant, John Morton, Allen Grant, Pete Brock, Pete Lyons, Dick Guldstrand and others.

I learn a lot I didn't know so the trip was well worth it.

For example the Dave MacDonald Lang King Cobra was funded by Craig Lang the heir to Olympia Beer ( a fine brew perhaps even better than the original Coors).) The body was done by Don Edmunds (Bonneville Specials) and it was designed by Pete Brock (the 1st paid Shelby employee). It was a Cooper chassis that was never intended to handle the power of a 289 Ford. So after every session Wally Peat and "his gangsters" would go it with a fine tooth comb looking chassis cracks!

By my estimate there were 2 King Cobras, 50+ original Cobras, 50+ Mustang 350-GTs and on Saturday 2-3,000 spectators. Barry Meguiar was even filming a segment for his Speed Channel Show "Car Crazy".

#19 Frank S

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 18:53

What do you think he could have been running in the summer of '58 0r '59? I'll do some digging. The track by the way is still pretty much the same as they were doing hot laps on it.


There might be a clue in the "Kingston Trio" article from the September, 1964 program on this page.

The course was "pretty much the same" (Pomona, I presume) for some values of "pretty much": Mapquest shows construction that interrupts parts of the road course, and pre-event information was indicating the drag strip - read "original main straightaway" - was to be off-limits.

EDIT:

PS: Couple years ago I met Nick Reynolds' daughter-in-law and grandson. The boy, even though he was only three or four years old, looked just like the Nick of my memory. I guess that means I don't have to post the photo.

Edited by Frank S, 23 April 2012 - 19:01.


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#20 David M. Kane

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 19:53

There might be a clue in the "Kingston Trio" article from the September, 1964 program on this page.

The course was "pretty much the same" (Pomona, I presume) for some values of "pretty much": Mapquest shows construction that interrupts parts of the road course, and pre-event information was indicating the drag strip - read "original main straightaway" - was to be off-limits.

EDIT:

PS: Couple years ago I met Nick Reynolds' daughter-in-law and grandson. The boy, even though he was only three or four years old, looked just like the Nick of my memory. I guess that means I don't have to post the photo.


The aerial shows what we could not see from at least a half a mile away; PLUS when we drove along the fence across from the airport there were only small openings where the blocking screen attached so at 35mph you couldn't really see what the aerial shot showed. Nick also drove a Lotus 20 or 22 FJ with some success as well as a Formula B Brabham. He was the perfect size for a race driver.

Thanks Frank! :up:

Edited by David M. Kane, 23 April 2012 - 20:04.


#21 Jerry Entin

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 00:07

Posted Image
Peter Brock in a Cobra at the recent Shelby reunion held at Pomona


photo: Albert Wong

Edited by Jerry Entin, 26 April 2012 - 03:18.


#22 Frank S

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 01:53

{IMG deleted}
Peter Brock in a Cobra at the recent Shelby reunion held at Pomona


photo: Albert Wong


Pete was an instructor at Shelby's RIR driving school. I'd bet that's the school Cobra.

Scroll about halfway down this page to see a photo of one of the school Sprites, and its story.

#23 David M. Kane

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 02:16

Pete was an instructor at Shelby's RIR driving school. I'd bet that's the school Cobra.

Scroll about halfway down this page to see a photo of one of the school Sprites, and its story.


Thanks Frank's I didn't figure that out. :up: T as in Training car just like in old GP days.

Edited by David M. Kane, 24 April 2012 - 02:16.


#24 rdrcr

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 05:30

Hey Jerry, I can't help but wonder if Joe and his Porsche were in any of those photos... He did race there right?



#25 David M. Kane

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 05:56

Hey Jerry, I can't help but wonder if Joe and his Porsche were in any of those photos... He did race there right?


Joe Playan was there in the panel audience but I didn't get to talk to him. Yes, he did race there BUT Jerry will really know the full details.

He looked pretty good shape too.

Edited by David M. Kane, 24 April 2012 - 05:56.


#26 Sharman

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 06:59

Absolutely nothing to do with motor racing, but I can't resist telling you. POMONA to us Mancunians and Salfordians means the dock complex at the Manchester end of the Ship Canal. There! I feel better now.

#27 Jerry Entin

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 15:37

Sharman: Pomona is a city just outside of Los Angeles. The NHRA setup their museum at this location. I believe the complex is owned by the local government and they call it the LA County Fairgrounds. In the 50's wheeler dealers tried to bring sportscar racing to the Los Angeles area. At first they tried March Air Force base. The fairgrounds were also tried. It was a fun safe place to race. The spectator protection was lacking however.

#28 Sharman

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 16:43

Sharman: Pomona is a city just outside of Los Angeles. The NHRA setup their museum at this location. I believe the complex is owned by the local government and they call it the LA County Fairgrounds. In the 50's wheeler dealers tried to bring sportscar racing to the Los Angeles area. At first they tried March Air Force base. The fairgrounds were also tried. It was a fun safe place to race. The spectator protection was lacking however.


Hi Jerry
Following a quick bit of googling, Pomona wasa Roman Godess of fruitfilness and abundance, her name deriving from "pomum" meaning fruit, more specifically orchard fruit hence Italian pomo and French pomme for apple. The docks were built on the site of the old Pomona Gardens and Zoo,. I'm guessing but i suspect some time before the industrial revolution got into full swing and expanded Manchester there were orchards before the area became the site for leisure activities in the Georgian era. The Victorians were not ones to let sentiment get in the way of profit. Incidentally my grandfather attended the opening of the Docks and the family business (alas no more) shipped machinery out of them right up until their closure.
John

#29 Charles Helps

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 16:45

The French gentleman was at the Cocktail Party on Friday name is Nobert Sarail. He had a facility in LeMans that builds Cobra continuation I believe he show Pete Lyons and I a video on his iPad; but unfortunately I don't speak French. The cars were very impressive looking.

Robert Sarrailh perhaps?

Edited to correct my own spelling!

Edited by Charles Helps, 24 April 2012 - 16:47.


#30 David M. Kane

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 17:20

Robert Sarrailh perhaps?

Edited to correct my own spelling!


Charles:

Sorry but I don't speak French; BUT if you punch Retromobile 94 in YouTube their is a video of him with Peter Brock, Gary Koike, and Maurice Trintigant and he but he has no name tag...sorry.

BUT it sound right because he did say it when he introduced himself.

He was so excited to be at Museum we were almost calming him down! High energy...love it!

Edited by David M. Kane, 24 April 2012 - 17:23.


#31 lanciaman

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 18:01

Car#181 is confusing. Is it a 300SL fitted with a look-alike SLR body? I'm sure there's a US historian who'll remember it.


The Porter SLS was a wrecked SL with a home made SLR body. Porter's "S" stood for "scrap."

#32 Charles Helps

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 18:54

Charles:

Sorry but I don't speak French; BUT if you punch Retromobile 94 in YouTube their is a video of him with Peter Brock, Gary Koike, and Maurice Trintigant and he but he has no name tag...sorry.

BUT it sound right because he did say it when he introduced himself.

He was so excited to be at Museum we were almost calming him down! High energy...love it!

I'm sure that's him - he was very enthusiastic when I met him a few years ago.

Getting back on thread, the paddock pictures in the link in post 1 are wonderful - nice to see Timanus' Lotus carrying 23 amongst the more common Nine and Eleven in the photo captioned '... at the 1960 Pomona Road Races we see a shiny Thunderbird...'