Monday, January 3, 2011

Ramona Drags ...Some Rare Images

Got these images from my Facebook buddie, Jon Guilmet. Jon has built, restored and raced more cars than most, and he had these saved from the years he was running at Ranoma. Very cool and rare images of the programs.

This was San Diego's first drag strip to have grandstands and even had a plywood timing tower.

Back in the day, many of San Diego's Car Dealers sponsored race cars, here's a shot of the McCune Plymouth.

I remember the "Shannon" Plymouth well. It was a beautiful orange-red color with the flat white VHT headers poking out - intimidating all comers. However Dick Boynton had the class record there at 120.07 mph in his "Ramrod" Hemi.

San Diego was a hotbed of racing, this strip was called "San Diego Raceway," it was an effort to keep the kids from racing on the streets and put them onto a track. Check out more on that at this post.

Related post: The Accident

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  1. I remember those races well. I developed appendicitis at one of them and had to go to the Grossmont Hospital for surgery after the event. That was a long ride down the mountain.

    Amazing that the "Ramrod's" times are duplicated by much more civilizes street cars today.

    I recall the day John Wynderski (spelling?) was killed there and I think things went downhill after that.

  2. I bought the "RamRod" a factory light weight, directly from Chrysler Corp in 1964(just out of High School),it was factory owned,sponsored and raced by So.Cal.Dodge Dlrs.Dick Boynton was the driver, a very unpleasant guy to deal with, it's no wonder he got fired .I raced the car for several years, had a lot of fun with it and I still own it, as soon as I get a few of my other cars finished I will dedicate myself to restoring the RamRod and go racing again.

  3. Jon...that's very cool. I can't wait to see it run again!

  4. Jack Freitas emailed. I was standing on the north side of the track at the lights when Wynderski drifted left but stayed on it trying to ride it out,tore out the south trap lights hit one of those giant boulders and exploded. Me with a camera in hand stood there with my mouth hanging open. That was also when little rich kid Tony McCune was cheating using race fuel if I remember right got caught at it.

  5. I think I saw a Youtube video of his old car some time ago...I'll try to find it to post.

  6. wenderski not wynderski. close enough. go to youtube and type "front engine dragster"

  7. My father, Paul Darrough, built the Ramona Raceway and was head of operations. I remember this day very well, seeing the cloud of dust at the end of the runway, the pause in the track announcer's voice, and a very unusual and tense evening at home that night. I have very fond memories of my dad's fearless endeavor, got to sell Drag News (I was 9), hung around the pits, saw the back fence get blown over by the jet racers, the first funny cars, all pretty fun stuff for a little kid. How I ended up being a college choral director is anybody's guess!

  8. Greg emailed: John.
    The picture of the Dodge brought memories of Shannon Auto Parts.It was a hangout of sorts located on University Avenue between Texas St. and 30th., closer to 30th and near the old Barbecue Pit. Bill Shannon ran a car at Cajon Speedway, one night after the races Bill was towing his car back to his garage in El Cajon and had a heart attack crashed into a stoplight around Mollison & Broadway and died.