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Killer Drag History: Detroit Dragway

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  • Killer Drag History: Detroit Dragway

    http://www.bangshift.com/blog/Killer...t-Dragway.html

  • #2
    Re: Killer Drag History: Detroit Dragway

    Man! THAT'S a trip down memory lane!

    The pic marked 1959 19 has a red Henry J in the far lane which might be Duane Meulling's car that I've talked about on here in the past. A few of the shots showing the track being dismantled have a bit of the hill and ditch showing. The track was constructed by removing dirt from the track area and piling it into a hill along the right side (where the stands were placed) so you were looking down a bit at the track. There was also a ditch that ran the full length of the track on both sides to catch a car that left the track - this was before Armco barriers. It worked pretty well and the gassers tested it often. I miss that track! But Milan is nice, too, and the pits have better trees.

    Dan

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    • #3
      Re: Killer Drag History: Detroit Dragway

      I really wish I would have gotten a chance to run there before they shut it down - I came to the area just two years too late. Damnitall - I need more of those fukitol pills.

      Milan is starting to push their luck with all the local clubs including ours - that used to rent the track on a monthly basis on an off night.... we had the third thursday, a camaro club had the third wednesday, that sort of thing....
      the last couple years they are claiming insurance costs are driving up their costs - up to the point that we can no longer hope to break even on these events - so we can only afford to run a couple times a summer.... total buzz kill.
      Unfortunately - for a weeknight event - they are the only game in town. >
      There's always something new to learn.

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      • #4
        Re: Killer Drag History: Detroit Dragway

        I almost forgot what Detroit Dragway looked like it's been so long since I was there. It was the mid '80s last time
        Cognizant Dissident

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        • #5
          Re: Killer Drag History: Detroit Dragway

          I spent about half my damned life at Detroit Dragway from the early '80s through track closing. The other half was spent running the local streets. I'll bet I've made a couple thousand passes at that track - maybe 8 per weekend at best, 20 weekends a year, for many, many years

          The Tim Young in the photo credits is my long time good friend. I brought him to the Dirty D to help on my car and he ended up reworking everything electrical at that track - PA, Timers, Lighting. With Tim tied up I went and brought the twins - Nic and Chris Auger as assistants. They promptly left me to fend for myself, and joined Tim in the tower (Chris ended up as the track announcer working along with the legendary Dave Gladwish).

          First time I went to Detroit I was with a bunch of high school friends that walked around the perimeter of the track before climbing through a hole in the fence. We were promptly (properly) attacked by security guys carrying rubber mallets. I later saw a night time pass of a McEwen funny through my fencehole vantage point - and the hook was set. for life.

          I miss the hell out of that place. The Milan crowd just ain't the same.

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          • #6
            Re: Killer Drag History: Detroit Dragway

            Gotta those pictures of how things were back in the day. Really enjoyed running through these pics.

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            • #7
              Re: Killer Drag History: Detroit Dragway -- EXCUSE ME!

              Folks:

              Though Jan Gabriel and many other radio voices made the call famous, in truth "Sunday, Sunday SUNDAY!" was first heard over the PA at Detroit Dragway in the summer of 1962. What basically happened was that track owner Gil Kohn was sinking the place on Saturday nights but on Sunday attendance stank.
              So Gil began booking-in second-level match races to build attendance. He came to the tower one night and let us three announcers know - in no uncertain terms - that our jobs were on the line if Sunday traffic didn't improve. That offended us and so we devised a grand joke. We would simply scream the racer's names and the day they were racing as if it were the greatest event ever. So ... in turn, we would pick a sentence from the printed announcements and scream the words at the top of our lungs on Saturday night. We would always end with "Sunday, Sunday, SUNDAY!"
              After hearing the "joke' for about three weeks, Gil contacted a local voice-over guy to reproduce the call and up the anti with a bit of echo added. He debuted the new ads on CKLW, a 50,000 Watt clear-channel station and on Detroit's number one rocker through DJ Joel Sebastian who owned the local teen market. It woked beyond our wildest dreams (and certainly our intentions).
              Jan Gabriel may have been the most famous radio talent to mouth "Sunday, Sunday, SUNDAY!". But the whole thing began at Detroit Dragway, over the PA system, as a joke, in the summer of 1962. I was there, I was part of it, and that's how "Sunday, Sunday, SUNDAY!" was born.

              Jon Lundberg, VODR (Ret.)


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              • #8
                Re: Killer Drag History: Detroit Dragway

                Jon, an amazing story that I've not heard before.

                That rules! Thanks for sharing it!

                Brian
                That which you manifest is before you.

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                • #9
                  Re: Killer Drag History: Detroit Dragway

                  Way cool, what a cool era.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Killer Drag History: Detroit Dragway

                    These are the bestest blog postings you guys do...

                    I love history lessons.

                    Thanks.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Killer Drag History: Detroit Dragway

                      Good stuff! Winterwonderland is a great site for stuff like that.

                      Dad had our Camaro (below) at Detroit, Windsor and Motor City dragways frequently. Towed behind the '68 Chevy truck with a tow bar 8)



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                      • #12
                        Re: Killer Drag History: Detroit Dragway -- EXCUSE ME!

                        Originally posted by thunderlungs
                        Folks:
                        Though Jan Gabriel and many other radio voices made the call famous, in truth "Sunday, Sunday SUNDAY!" was first heard over the PA at Detroit Dragway in the summer of 1962. What basically happened was that track owner Gil Kohn was sinking the place on Saturday nights but on Sunday attendance stank.
                        So Gil began booking-in second-level match races to build attendance. He came to the tower one night and let us three announcers know - in no uncertain terms - that our jobs were on the line if Sunday traffic didn't improve. That offended us and so we devised a grand joke. We would simply scream the racer's names and the day they were racing as if it were the greatest event ever. So ... in turn, we would pick a sentence from the printed announcements and scream the words at the top of our lungs on Saturday night. We would always end with "Sunday, Sunday, SUNDAY!"
                        After hearing the "joke' for about three weeks, Gil contacted a local voice-over guy to reproduce the call and up the anti with a bit of echo added. He debuted the new ads on CKLW, a 50,000 Watt clear-channel station and on Detroit's number one rocker through DJ Joel Sebastian who owned the local teen market. It woked beyond our wildest dreams (and certainly our intentions).
                        Jan Gabriel may have been the most famous radio talent to mouth "Sunday, Sunday, SUNDAY!". But the whole thing began at Detroit Dragway, over the PA system, as a joke, in the summer of 1962. I was there, I was part of it, and that's how "Sunday, Sunday, SUNDAY!" was born.

                        Jon Lundberg, VODR (Ret.)
                        CKLW -- man that brings back some memories.
                        Michael from Hampton Roads

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