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Remembering Lions Drag Strip Today-Oct 1955/Dec 2 1972 (1 Viewer)

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Nitro Member
Today is always a somber yet special day in my time, today, December 2nd, is yet another anniversary of the closing of Lions Drag Strip. As I woke up today the first thing Mrs. [email protected] said, it's Lions day! What a gal.

Still to this day it is the greatest weekly drag strip of all time. Best air, best competition, best atmosphere to be on the grounds. Place was incredible, so simple yet so awesome.

Quick story.
One Saturday, my father and I took off to Lions for yet another show. We stopped at the local grocery store, I got a RC cola (living large) and dad got one of those Club cocktails in the little can. I drank my soda on the way, Dad held onto his for at the track. We got to Lions in the afternoon, paid our admission, set out blanket down in "our" seats and then dad said. Let's go watch some runs at the top end. We did just that. he popped open the canned cocktail and took a sip or too and then we heard, excuse me sir from down below. We turned around and it was a officer of the law. Opps! He had my dad pour it out and then motored on, dad was embarrassed.

Just moments later we witnessed a dark moment right in front of us. John Hoffman in the "Snoopy" Jaguar funny car had horrible handling issues and crashed right in front of us, it was ugly. John passed away on the run.

Ocean air, chili hot dogs or Tamales on a Saturday night with my father at Lions has left a mark on my soul that has never left me. It was that good. For those of you who were to young or out of state, you missed the most epic piece of real estate for our sport, located at 223rd & Alameda, in Wilmington, California. Lions Drag Strip.

Drive the highways, race at Lions! Thanks Dad!


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Cliff

Nitro Member
You were very fortunate to be able to do those things with your Dad. Most of the times I went to Lions was with a friend or just by myself. Couldn't think of a better place to be on a Sat night. Saw so many things at Lions, so much history. Gerry The Hunter Glenn in the Schultz & Glenn T/F ran a 6.41 for low ET of the world, 1971. Front motor car built by Tuttle & the engine was almost as far out as a F/C in the chassis. Saw the Freight Train crash one night. The 2 things that really stand out to me were Don Garlits crash in 1970, thought he'd been killed. Then 1971, Big's first "back motor" car. I knew he was coming to Lions with that car & no way was I gonna miss that! Was at the Last Race, 47 years ago yesterday. I think the first time I went there was 1963. Went into the USAF 1964-1968. When I would come home on leave, had to go to Lions. If I had a gazillion $$$, I'd build an exact replica of Lions & races would be run. :)
 

MichaelD

Nitro Member
I lived in Riverside until the early 70's and was able to go to nearly all the strips in the area except San Fernando. And although there were some very close seconds, Lions was my favorite. Probably the first strip I went to once I got a drivers license. Colton was the first when I was in 8th grade.
 

Cliff

Nitro Member
I wish I'd had the chance to go to some of the old tracks, like Ramona near San Diego, and Colton and tracks like that. I did get to see San Gabriel once, was impressed with that track. Pomona in 1964 when it still ran on Sundays. LA County Raceway in Palmdale. Carlsbad around 1971. Lions was the favorite, followed by OCIR. Didn't really go to Irwindale much until Lions closed in 1972. after that, it was pretty much OCIR & Irwindale.
 

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