Drag racing's 1st live TV show Lions Drag Strip KTTV 1961.mov

On September 16, 1961, history was made at Lions Drag Strip (Wilmington/Long Beach, CA), when local Los Angeles television station KTTV (Channel 11) aired the first-ever "live" drag racing TV program. Hosted by Bill Welch, plus the legendary track's first manager and iconic hot rodder, Mickey Thompson. Clip is from Part 1 of the three-disk DVD trilogy "Lions - The Greatest Drag Strip", by Don Gillespie. Early day film clips include Tom McEwen, Dode Martin, Zane Shubert, Bob Muravez and Gary Cagle. TV show was the result of manager Thompson's second job, as a pressman for the Los Angeles Times, and friendship with its owners, the Chandler Family, whom also owned KTTV. Each "Lions - The Greatest Drag Strip" DVD is nearly two hours in length, and chronicles the track's incredible history from its opening in October 1955 thru "The Last Drag Race", held on December 2, 1972.

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Garlits horrible accident Lions Drag Strip incredible 1970 wreck
Horrific drag racing accident involving "Big Daddy" Don Garlits at Lions Drag Strip (March 8, 1970) is graphically depicted in this segment from Part 3 of the historical documentary (DVD) "Lions - The Greatest Drag Strip". Incredible footage shows the legendary top fuel driver's "Swamp Rat 13" explode its transmission just off the starting line during the final round. As a result, Garlits lost part of his right foot, plus a spectator was also injured. While recuperating in nearby Pacific Hospital (Long Beach, Calif.) Garlits conceived of a machine which placed the driver ahead of the engine, and the rest was history.





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Lions Dragstrip





Lions Drag Strip 1959
Rare footage of races at Lions Drag Strip in 1959. Among the cars are Tommy Ivo, Dragmaster, Garlits’ first foray out west, Leonard Harris, Sidewinder, Chrisman’s Hustler, Chet Herbert Special, Speed Sport Special Roadster, plus gassers, Thompson, Cook, Hirshfeld, etc.)





Lions Drags 1966?
Home movie of Lions Drag Strip, California. This was a filmed about 1966 but I am not sure of the exact date.




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