Lions drag strip in Long Beach California !
Lions Drag strip was THE place to race in So Cal in the 1960s/early 70s. Opened in October 1955 as a Los Angeles Judges way to get the local hooligans to stop racing their cars on the streets. Opening day drew 3000+ people ,fences were torn down and the racing began with the Lions motto “Drive on the Highways-Race at the Beach”. The industrial area of Wilmington where Lions was located meant noise was not a factor and the cool damp beach air was the best thing high performance motors could ever ask for,Lions was made for speed. From Grudge nights and “run what you brung” style races to NHRA top fuel,A-Altered and Funny Cars anything that could pass safety inspection could run at “The Beach”.
You may have seen Lions on TV over the years since it was close to the studios in Hollywood they used it for race car scenes including the popular Munster’s episode “Hot Rod Herman”.
Due to the city wanting to expand the harbor area,encroaching housing and shopping Lions Drag Strip held “The Last Drag Race” in December 1972 closing an amazing place to race forever.
If you would like to learn more about early Southern California Drag Racing history and Lions go here: http://laist.com/2008/07/26/laistory_lions_drag_strip.php
A note ,the above site is full of great info but has a single date wrong which I will correct here.Big Willie Robinson formed The Brotherhood Of Street Racers in the mid 1960s as a peacekeeping move in the wake of the Watts riots of 1965 not the 1950s as the article states. Everything else is all true and only a golden memory now.
See more of the letter L at ABC Wednesday! : http://abcwednesday-mrsnesbitt.blogspot.com/
The painting of the Winged Express at Lions is by Dave Whittle @ http://www.etsy.com/shop/CaliforniaDesignsArt?ref=seller_info