As cool as old drag racing movies and videos are, this collection containing 12-minutes of vintage drag strip radio ads from tracks all across the country blows them all into the weeds. The names being thrown around, the match races, the driving music beds, and the booming voices of radio guys screaming into microphones combine to summarize virtually everything great about that era of straight line warfare. The capper that really hooked us happens about 2:30 (or so) into the video as a couple of DJs start reading an ad and then bust up laughing at the complete ridiculousness of it all. That’s gold because frankly it WAS ridiculous but everyone loved it. Listening to the ad copy, you know people were having loads of fun writing it and the guys on air had to have loved reading it because it had to have broken up the monotony of trying to sell vacuum cleaners or toothpaste for other sponsors.
The audio from the ads is set against images and video from some of the old tracks that are mentioned in them. From Connecticut Dragway to Bee Line in Arizona, there are strips from all across the USA advertised in these clips. Names like Dave Strickler, Jungle Jim, roll off the tongues of booming announcers like the celebrities they were in the middle 1960s. Real drag geeks will have their ears perk up when the Strickler ad comes on because it talked about the Old Reliable Corvette, which was a car he drove only in 1967. It was a crazy match race piece with a stretched wheelbase, injected big block, and very bad attitude. As the story goes, he finished out 1967, took the car home, stripped it and set it on fire behind his shop because it was a death trap. Who knows if it is true but it sounds good!
The video begins with Frank Marrata, the man behind the construction of Connecticut Dragway and a very successful car dealer in Connecticut giving what amounts to a public service announcement about racing on a drag strip and no on a track. It is a message that is still pertinent today and it only gets better from there. The ads run one after another for a solid 12-minutes and we think you’ll end up like we did…smiling like idiots.
Thanks to Lawrence Smith for the tip!
PRESS PLAY TO TAKE AN AUDITORY TRIP BACK IN TIME TO GREAT SCREAMER RADIO ADS OF YORE!