Glorious Failure: This 1971 Film From A Drag Race Held Inside Three Rivers Stadium In Pittsburgh Is Awesome!


Glorious Failure: This 1971 Film From A Drag Race Held Inside Three Rivers Stadium In Pittsburgh Is Awesome!

It seemed like a brilliant concept. If drag racing fans were willing to trek into the hinterlands to see their favorite cars and drivers race, putting on a race right in the lap should absolutely crush, right? One would have thought so and on July 2nd and 3rd, 1971 the Ford Annual Drag Racing Spectacular was held right there in Pittsburgh inside the still new Three Rivers Stadium. There were a couple classes of competition with Pro Stock being the fastest, there were promised fireworks every night, there was match racing between a Dodge Colt and an actual horse, and five of the nation’s coolest wheel standers were there to put on a show as well. This was going to be awesome!

The track was built using 12,000 sheets of 12-gauge diamond plate Multi-Grip US Steel material. On the first day it was discovered that the sheets were moving around and shifting as the cars went over them so a welder was brought in to tack the stuff together. This worked but also melted holes in the newly installed Tartan Turf field. Whoops.

The cars raced from what would have been around home plate when the Pirates were playing into shallow center field. Races were flag started and winners were chosen by two guys at the finish line who each had a switch on their side of the track for a win-light. There were no time slips given. The purse was really good. There was a load of cash and prizes on the line each night. Along with the drag races there was a car show as well.

Things that did not happen? The fireworks were cancelled both nights. There was supposed to be a race between 50 girls in hot pants that never came off and there were other promotions that went by the wayside when organizers realized how big a financial bath they were going to be taking on this.

Virtualy no one showed up.

We’re reasonably sure this footage is from Friday night as that is when the Colt vs Colt drag race took place and you’ll see the horse kind of meandering around in this video. It was the first and last time anyone tried to drag race in Three Rivers Stadium.

Press play below to see this 1971 film featuring drag racing inside a stadium –


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