Deer Park Drag Strip was a staple of the straight line scene in the Spokane, Washington area from the early 1950s to the early 1970s. It began life as an airfield as we understand it today the place is back to doing what it was intended to do in the first place, deal with airplanes. The track’s history was interesting and like all drag strips there was all sorts of great and not-so-great things that happened there over the years. A near 20-year run was ended by the construction of the Spokane Raceway Park which was a more modern facility designed to conduct drag races at. That place has its own insane history so we’ll just leave that all right there for now.
This video is fun because it was made around the time of the transition from front engine to rear engine top fuel cars. You’ll see a pretty early looking rear engine fueler doing some testing, you’ll also see a slingshot top fuel car which we think is called “The Gladiator” with a crazy looking wing setup on it. That’s the style of wing that Garlits tried in the 1960s and a few others gave a shot at. Let’s just say it didn’t stick around long and in drag racing that’s pretty much the indication whether or not something actually works.
You’ll love the early pro stockers, the wheel standing Corvette, the early Thunderbird that has some sort of really pissed off injected engine in it, and all of the other cool stuff. The slow motion footage of the big Mopar wagon bring the tires is a personal favorite moment.
We’re guessing that this was just a test and tune day judging by the amount of variation in the stuff we’re looking at going down the track.