Return to Lions Drag Strip Long Beach California 2008

This is the third year of featuring restored dragsters that have run the 1320' Lions Drag Strip in its hey day... This video, typical of going to a drag strip, despite John Ewald telling everyone to stand back, you never get to see much when they display cars this way. Typical of the drag strip, all the vehicles require too much support, they stand around the car and block the view, especially when it is running.... At the CHRR in Bakersfield, the Cacklefest is blocked by a bunch of folks standing at the concrete wall on the track blocking the view to the grand stands as if the concrete barrier wasn't enough....I have been going to the drags since I was a youngster and it seems the problem is no one can stay seated for a run and your typical day at the drags to this day takes on a Jack in the Box atmosphere.... I guess that is the way it is.....Anyway, the City of Long Beach Chamber of Commerce puts on a nice event and I hope it continues into the future.

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Lions Drag Strip 1971
Wardlow & Braswell's Screamin Yellow Zonker 1968 Camaro





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.





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.





48-Year Itch!
When the stars line up in front of me, I just have to record it. I have no choice. And this was one of those moments. I don't know if this will ever happen again. I certainly hope it will--and in front of the grandstands at some selected NHRA events. For you see, you just don't see this happening at all-- when you look back at how unlikely it is that the car and the driver would still be around in 2012! Take the driver, Don Prudhomme. How many times did he make full passes in a top fuel dragster or funny car? And for how many years? In short, it's a miracle that he is in one piece, after all that--and he is! Thank goodness! Then the car: The Greer, Black, and Prudhomme dragster, built by Kent Fuller and raced from 1962 through 1964, with the original partners, it ran up an incredible record at southern California tracks of 81 wins and only 8 loses! (According to Phil Burgess) Then lengthened--bought and raced as the "Bonanza" for a while, eventually stripped of it's motor and left sitting for years. Restored by Steve Davis, bought by Bruce Meyer--How likely is it that it would be allowed to join up with "Snake" for this moment? Pretty unlikely--except that it's owner Bruce Meyer, is a good friend of Don's, and after hearing about Rick MacDonald, they gave him the nod to bring the car to the track, and push start it to life. Now the driver could have been someone else....but it wasn't. That's what makes this fire up so significant. And like I said: All we can do is hope that this mind blowing moment will happen again at a track near you. And if you hear they are coming, better "Make the Scene". For the chance may not come again. Like an old legendary cowboy on a white horse in your local parade. And all you need to do is what you did when you were a kid: Sit on the curb and watch him go by. Perfect. :)




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