If this isn’t the single coolest gem I have ever extracted from the mines of YouTube than it has to be damned close to the coolest. This is the actual footage from the 1965 ABC Wide World of Sports broadcast that featured coverage from the NHRA WinterNats in Pomona, California. You’ll see several pair of top gas dragsters run off, and interview about drag racing safety equipment with driver Bob Keith, and four minutes of period perfection in the form of awesome dragsters, a very “homey” feeling drag strip, and the thumping sounds of angry motors on gasoline.
Drivers of note that you’ll watch include “Sneaky” Pete Robinson, George Bolthoff, Jimmy Nix, Ron Colson, and more. The Chrondek signs under the win lights at the top end of the track (remember those are not score boards, they simply lit up to indicate who go down the track first), the traditional banner that was strung across the track, and even a cameo appearance by legendary NHRA “Canadian Indian” Bob Beezer. Beezer was at the NHRA New England Hot Rod Reunion and was a fixture at NHRA races all through the 1960s where he would perform his “rain dance”. The head-dress you see him wearing here was again perched atop his melon at NED a couple of weekend back. How cool is that?!
I’m not going to do anything more but direct you to press play below for four minutes of total and complete drag racing zen from the 1965 NHRA Winternationals. In a time where drag racing is preempted by the left handed ladies skeet shooting regional playoffs these days it seems almost impossible that the sport was covered by network television with the knowledge that it would draw an audience nearly 50 years ago. This is so freaking cool to watch.
PRESS PLAY TO WATCH THE WIDE WORLD OF SPORTS COVERAGE (4 MINUTES OF IT) AT THE 1965 NHRA WINTERNATIONALS!