Page 69 - Nitro Madness Magazine Fall 2017
P. 69

Story by Darrell Conrad • Photos by Pam Conrad
              October 9, 1955 was a relatively     A couple years prior it was        South Central LA. Unfortunately,
            quiet, seemingly uneventful day.     common to find SoCal hot rod         these unorthodox throttle junkies
            On the east coast, the Ed Sullivan   enthusiasts socializing at their     resolved to settle it on the city
            Show was about to broadcast its      favorite stomping ground or car      streets. Long Beach municipal
            8th season, episode 8 with a young   club. Some members had the           judge Fred Miller grew increasingly
            comedian guest by the name of        spirit of a rebel without a cause    distressed with the situation along
            Johnny Carson. However, out west     and were anxious to demonstrate      with local politicians, residents and
            things were not as quiet as racing   what their Detroit Iron could        news media. Being vigilant to find
            entrepreneur Mickey Thompson         lay down! Though there were          a sufficient solution to the issue,
            and his all-volunteer staff had just   approximately 31 drag strips in    they set out to establish a safe
            opened the gates to the renowned     California at the time, none of them   environment in which they could
            Lions Drag Strip.                    were strategically located near      race legally.

                                   The “Waterman & Hampshire” slingshot was a favorite at Lions. In January of
                                   1965, Ronnie Hampshire set a world record of 7.51 ET in this Roy Steen and
                                   Frank Huszar “Haze Series” masterpiece.

            Fall 2017                                 Nitro Madness Magazine                                          69
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