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Vintage Drag Videos: Topeka’s Kaw Valley Dragway Circa The Early 1960s


Vintage Drag Videos: Topeka’s Kaw Valley Dragway Circa The Early 1960s

Today the Topeka, Kansas area has the sprawling Heartland Park racing facility to take care of its need for speed, but that hasn’t always been the case. Before that huge complex became a reality, decades before actually, the humble Kaw Valley Dragway provided the place to race for hot rodders outside of Topeka. We don’t know a lot about the strip or the history around it. What we can tell you from the video is that there were some massive looking grain elevators in the backdrop and lots of fields around the rest of the place. Maybe sprawl swallowed it up or it simply went out of business, fading into the blackness of history. The cool eighth mile has been gone for a long, long time.

There is some cool stuff to see in these grainy videos. From altered wheelbase Chryslers to old school dragsters, gassers, and street cars it is a virtual nirvana caught on 8mm film. For some reason we can’t get the image of the red ’57 Chevy that appears several times in the video out of our heads. If you’re a fan of old school racing and can look past the quality of the video to see the real beauty of the next four minutes you’ll love this film. If you need 1080p HD quality and stereo sound, this ain’t the clip for you.

Thanks to Ron Ward for the tip!

Press play below to see some true vintage drag racing from the long dead Kaw Valley Dragway circa the early 1960s!


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4 thoughts on “Vintage Drag Videos: Topeka’s Kaw Valley Dragway Circa The Early 1960s

  1. ksj2

    The grain elevators are still there.In the bottom video theres footage of Dickie Harrel’s red nova.It was an 1/8 mile track.

  2. Israel Perez

    Where were U in 62….way Cool, I;m guessing that is in N Topeka ? on NW Gordon or NW Lower silver Lake Rd ? I wasnt here in 62 but hey that was 50 years ago…some of those “now Oldies” would of been fairly new…Thanks for sharing.

    1. larry lowrey sr.

      I am the driver of the red 57 chevy, the driver of the pickup was Gary Jensen I believe. The 55 Chevy in the other clip was driven by Wayne Kilnor from Manhattan. My wife bought the 57 for me for christmas for $75.00 !!

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