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#1 cabianca

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Posted 01 December 2001 - 21:33

Paramount Ranch was a road course built on a movie lot in Aguora California in 1956. Five sports car meeting were held in 1956-7. The final event in 1957 resulted in two fatalities resulting in the loss of insurance and closing of the track. During this 56-57 period, there was also a late model stock car race held. Don't know if it was NASCAR or USAC. Does anyone have details on this stock car race. Many thanks.

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#2 FEV

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Posted 01 December 2001 - 22:03

There was a USAC Stock Car race there on April 11, 1956. Dick Rathmann was among thez starters in a Studebaker. So I guess you'll find some info about it (dates, sanctioning bodies and Studebaker starters) at the great http://www.studebakerracing.com

Sam Hanks won a race there in 1956 but I'm not sure in which type of racing. Maybe sportscar so you might already know this !

Dave Friedman might have some pics of stock car races at Paramount Ranch : http://www.dfphotoservices.com

One of the drivers killed you mention is probably Jim Firestone. He died in December 1957 aboard his Frazer-Nash. Do you know who was the other ?

Hope this is of any help !

#3 Jim Thurman

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Posted 02 December 2001 - 01:04

Originally posted by cabianca
Paramount Ranch was a road course built on a movie lot in Aguora California in 1956. Five sports car meeting were held in 1956-7. The final event in 1957 resulted in two fatalities resulting in the loss of insurance and closing of the track. During this 56-57 period, there was also a late model stock car race held. Don't know if it was NASCAR or USAC. Does anyone have details on this stock car race. Many thanks.


Two USAC Stock Car races. 11/4/56 won by Sam Hanks in a Mercury and 4/28/57 won
by Troy Ruttman also in a Mercury. Don't have any other info.

I thought there was a NASCAR race there, but apparently not. I based that on a photo of Eddie Gray and Parnelli Jones in 1956 Fords, but it must have been from one of the USAC races even though I think of them as NASCAR drivers at that time because of being members of the West Coast factory Ford team.

Agoura has had some racing history. A one off dirt road course for CRA Sprints/Roadsters (a couple of miles North of the Paramount Ranch course) in the 50's and a small dirt oval for Motorcycles, Karts and TQ Midgets known as Ventura Stadium. It was located right by 101 at the Cornell off-ramp. It operated until the mid-60's.

Paramount Ranch is still there and still used for filming and some festivals (like the Renaissance Faire and Calabasas Pumpkin Festival !!!)

Some good pictures of the site today at:

http://www.tamsoldra...ParamountRanch1


Jim Thurman

#4 cabianca

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Posted 02 December 2001 - 03:07

Thank you, Jim.
The accidents at the 8 December 57 Paramount Ranch were as follows:
In Saturday's first race, Hugh Woods' Corvette ran into the guard rail entering turn one, losing his leg in the accident. Amazingly, the rail was not repaired and in Saturday's Race 4, George Sherrerd in an XK-120 Jag hit at almost the same point . The jutting guard rail piecered the car and Sherrard's body, killing him. in Sunday's feature, Jim Firestone's Frazier Nash got loose on the shoulder, hit a tire wall and rolled, reportedly five times. His seat belt pulled loose and the car struck him at least twice, causing fatal injuries. The deaths overshadowed Dan Gurney's first big car win. Gurney won the race in Frank Arciero's ex-Parravano Ferrari 375 Plus. Victory on a course that favored smaller cars was just the beginning for Dan.

#5 HistoricMustang

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 21:57

http://www.ocregiste...cle_1150646.php

http://www.pbase.com...paramount_ranch

Any additional information from the members?

How deep was the Ken Miles involvement in the facility other than design?

#6 helioseism

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 03:14

Art Evans has published a book on the circuit. Paramount Ranch Remembered is one of his scrapbooks, published in 2006, ISBN 0-9705073-7-2. Available through iconografix.

#7 Fiorentina 1

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 22:23

I live 10 minutes away in Agoura Hills and discovered it when I was browsing through a Calabasas Magazine at a Christmas party two years ago. I couldn't believe there was a road racing track 10 minutes from my house (too bad 50 years ago). I went to the site and you can still see some of the track. The park ranger is a nice guy and a car nut; he has a bunch of old pictures in his office and will show you around the place. I think there is a annual car show type deal every year and as someone else mentioned a scrap book is available for sale. The track closed because of the above mentioned fatalities.

#8 Muzza

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 00:24

Originally posted by Fiorentina 1
I live 10 minutes away in Agoura Hills and discovered it when I was browsing through a Calabasas Magazine at a Christmas party two years ago. I couldn't believe there was a road racing track 10 minutes from my house (too bad 50 years ago). I went to the site and you can still see some of the track. The park ranger is a nice guy and a car nut; he has a bunch of old pictures in his office and will show you around the place. I think there is a annual car show type deal every year and as someone else mentioned a scrap book is available for sale. The track closed because of the above mentioned fatalities.


And I live 12 minutes away from it. :) Bill Pollack and gang organizes a yearly (not sure whether it is really yearly, but it takes place in April) concours de provenance at Paramount Ranch. I will check with him whether it will happen this year.

This reminds me that I owe Frank Sheffield a set of pictures I took there three years ago. :o Sorry Frank - as soon as I get my new computer going I will - finally - send them your way.

Hey, why don't we organize a TNF barbecue at Paramount Ranch?

#9 raceannouncer2003

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 23:10

Just watched a 1965 episode of Perry Mason, "The Case of the Runaway Racer". In a garage scene, there are a couple of Austin Healeys, and a Jaguar XKSS with "Rettig Special" on it. In a track scene, "Pappy Ryan" (Michael Constantine) takes Perry Mason (Raymond Burr) for a ride in a Corvette (maybe a 1965?). The track appears to be Paramount Ranch. I didn't see the beginning, but at the end, there is a shot of what appears to be a right-hand-drive special of some kind.

Vince H.

#10 LittleChris

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 00:03

Think this model plane may take off and land on the old start finish straight as well as flying over turn1 - 3.




#11 Graham Clayton

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 09:28

Here is 9 minutes of footage of the August 1956 meeting:

The circuit was a figure-8 with an overpass:



#12 LittleChris

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 20:35

Great find Graham :up:

#13 etceterini.com

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 00:19


You can see the 1956 Program cover and entry list here:

http://www.cliffreut...lts1956.htm#par

You can see the 1957 Program cover and entry list here:

http://www.ferrariex...ts 1957.htm#PAR


#14 GrzegorzChyla

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Posted 11 November 2018 - 22:05

I just learned that Paramount Ranch area was burned down in Woosley Fire.

 

I live in Europe but I happen to have family nearby and last summer I visited the place. Of course my family was more interested in the movie and when I was there the movie town was being prepared for shooting Westworld.

Now from what I learned only the church building survived.

 

Fortunately my family's home is save, contrary to 177 homes that were destroyed in the fire...