In-depth documentary combines rare film clips and incredible
photography with firsthand accounts. Long Beach, CA-based track was
pivotal in the sport’s early growth, with many of the great names
taking part in carving history. The latest installment by veteran
motorsports journalist Don Gillespie picks up speed in 1962, when
nitro cars returned after a 5-year ban under founding manager,
Mickey Thompson. The (1-HR, 40-MIN) presentation concludes near the
end of ’66, with explosive growth in dragsters, supercharged coupes,
early funny cars, etc. In 1962 newly formed 7-second dragster teams
included Greer-Black & (Don) Prudhomme, plus ‘TV’ Tommy Ivo, both
among more than two-dozen interviewed on camera. Roland Leong
recounts his accident in the Hawaiian. Don Garlits recalls a
colorful match race involving Chris Karamesines. Rick Stewart, shown
in a breathaking finish line crash, recounts waking up in the
hospital as the Watts Riots began. ‘Wild Willie’ Borsch explains how
he drove his fuel altered using one hand, from uncovered audiotape.
Other appearances include Tom McEwen, John Force, Gene Mooneyham,
Larry Sutton, C.J. Hart, Ed Iskenderian, Ralph Guldahl, Jr., Don
Prieto, Dave Wallace, Pat Foster, Paula Murphy, Ronnie Rapp, Dale
Armstrong, Chris Karamesines, and many others. Top Fuel dragsters
also reached 200 MPH. Match race draws included the Willys coupes of
Stone-Woods-Cook versus Big John Mazmanian, the stands packed to
capacity. Stockers evolved into altered wheelbase machines; carbs to
injectors, gas to nitro, then blowers and funny cars were born.
Emerging, too, were breathtaking streamliners, exhibition cars,
junior fuelers, gas and fuel altereds, coupes, motorcycles, etc.
Mickey Thompson’s departure saw C.J. ‘Pappy’ Hart take over, whom
promptly ended NHRA sanction. Soon, epic, rival AHRA dual
stocker/dragster championships took place, plus the racer-formed
UDRA held a series of events of similar national caliber.
DVD – 1 hour & 40 minutes – Color
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