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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Lions Drag Strip incredible Grand Premier accidents 1972
Season opening Grand Premier at Lions Drag Strip in Janaury 1972 marked the return of NHRA sanction to the world famous Wilmington/Long Beach, CA racetrack. Incredible clip is from Part 1 (of 3 part) video documentary "Lions - The Greatest Drag Strip", and shows the unusual amount of accidents that took place, thanks to veteran lensman Paul Sadler and Dave Kerr. Lions would close after its 17-year run just eleven months later.





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Ingenuity in Action - 1959 Hot Rods and Drag Racing Documentary by Hot Rod Magazine - Ella73TV
Hot Rod Magazine takes us on a cross country trip to compete in the September 1959 Hot Rod Nationals. We see all the action on the dragstrip - big cars, little cars, V8's are all seen. The film also features a number of personalities from the era including: Chuck Jones, racer from sidewinder crew in Long Beach, California Wally Parks, president of NHRA Ed Cole, general manager of Chevrolet Robert Petersen, publisher of Hot Rod Magazine Mr. Tex Colbert, president of Chrysler Corporation . . Ella73TV - https://www.youtube.com/user/Ella73TV2 - A curated collection of old films, newsreels & archive footage spanning the 20th century.





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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