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first light © Robert Sommers 2019

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Race Day


I got into a neat estate this week and purchased some great old southern california road racing posters from the 1950's. Fellow was a Triumph and Crosley road racer in the fifties. Great stuff.


I found the Santa Barbara poster on line and it is pretty valuable. I love the Torrey Pines poster from 1954. Torrey Pines Racetrack was torn up not long after to build a golf course. I like the 40's style airbrush work and lettering. Very pretty.

Torrey Pines started at an old unused army base, Camp Callan, in 1951. A 2.7 mile track, the racetrack proved to be a huge success, drawing over thirty thousand spectators and holding a variety of races including a six hour race. The races were organized by the California Sports Car Club and the Junior Chamber of Commerce. There were a variety of races, the Del Mar Trophy Race, the La Jolla Trophy Race, the Balboa Trophy Race, the Cabrillo Trophy Race and the Torrey Pines Trophy Race. They even had a three lap motorcycle race. Some have called it the greatest road race course in the world.

John Van Neumann's Porsche won its class at this race, only the second Porsche win ever in North America. I am having a hard time coming up with other race results. There is video extant of the November race, when Carroll Shelby out dueled Phil Hill. The July race is tougher to track. Cy Yedor,  won the Under-1500cc Modified race at Torrey Pines on July 3, 1954 in an MGSpecial he bought from Ken Miles who built it and called it R-1. Bill Pickford of Coronado won the over 1500 cc class in his Pickford Jaguar. I am having to cobble all this together but believe a racer named Paul House won the main event in a Troutman and Barnes Special.

Here are the other posters in the haul. They are of course, for sale:




1 comment:

Sanoguy said...

This brings back some old memories. My Dad, who recently passed away, worked in the pits at the Santa Barbara and Palm Springs ( and maybe some other places) sports car races in the early 50s. He was in the pit for Ernie McAfee. Ernie was the Ferrari dealer in Hollywood... on Sunset Blvd., I believe. I vaguely remember going to the dealership one time. I was probably 5 or 6 years old.

Ernie, as I recall the stories, was put in business by one of the Doheny's. He was killed while racing at Pebble Beach in 1956.