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Thursday, December 17, 2020

Jalopy Racing

     You don't hear the word jalopy to describe an old, junk car these days, but there was a time when weekend racers with a penchant for souped-up 1930s junkers could race for trophies and maybe even win a few dollars.
     Guys would tow an old car out of a junk yard, get it running, weld the doors shut, install a seat belt, put on a football helmet and they were ready to race on a dirt track somewhere. 
     Jalopy races can be traced back to the 1930s, had their heyday in the 1950s and (unfortunately) were usurped in the 1960s by fancier (and safer) cars. .I remember jalopy races from the 1950s. In fact, at one time my brother-in-law was a jalopy racer. 
     They were noisy and there were plenty of crashes, but almost never any serious injuries...probably because they were going that fast, maybe 60 miles per hour tops. 
     The jalopy races from Van Nuys, California used to be on television back in the 50s and I never missed them. In fact, I still remember my favorite driver...Termite Snyder, so named because he owned an exterminating business. He was one of the early stars in California jalopy racing and passed away in 2005.
     Tell me this doesn't look like fun: 

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