More auto racing has taken place in Southern California than any other place in the world!
Where They Raced TURN3 is the long awaited follow-up to Where They Raced. Now expanded to 144 pages, TURN3 illustrates how auto racing venue locations mimicked the growth of Los Angeles from 1900-2020. The history hasn't changed, but the stories are better and more images have been found. Over 340 images!
More auto racing has taken place in Southern California than any other place in the world. The index lists 179 different official racing venues. Period aerial photographs graphically show many before/after race locations.
From the real roads at Pasadena, Santa Monica, and Corona to the board tracks at Marina del Rey, Beverly Hills, and Culver City, to the myriad small ovals, Where They Raced TURN3 breaks it all down for you.
That's Gilmore Stadium above, circa 1946, and the CBS television studios below, 1969. Gilmore Stadium was built in 1935 with the idea of racing midgets, but many other events were held there, including Los Angeles' first professional football game.
Comparing these two photos, the view is eastward. You can see the white Pan-Pacific Auditorium in the background, Gilmore Field (in the top image), and just make out a curved line on the pavement to the right of the CBS eye marking the previous edge of Gilmore Stadium.
The year is 1902, Pasadena. It's Waldemar Grant Hansen at the wheel. A machinist by trade, Hansen developed metal machining techniques and provided engine parts for the Tourist Automobile Company, a Los Angeles automaker at the time. He regularly tested his machines on the apricot orchard roads in and around Pasadena and Altadena, eventually leading to the Pasadena/Altadena Hill Climb events of 1906-1909.
Barney Oldfield aboard a Stearns racer at Pasadena, 1908. He finished second twice in four years at the annual event up along what later gained fame as Christmas Tree Lane.
The Santa Monica Road Races were held 1909-1919. They were instrumental in keeping Santa Monica from getting annexed into Los Angeles.
Put on by the city, auto dealers, and real estate developers, they were used as a promotion to bring people to Santa Monica from across the country. The course (which can be run today) ran from Ocean & Montana to Wilshire Boulevard, uphill to San Vicente and back to Ocean. Barney Oldfield, Ralph DePalma, Eddie Pullen, and Terrible Teddy Tetzlaff competed in what were the biggest race meets in the country at that time.
Here's a good trivia question for you to lay on your buddies: Who was the first woman licensed by NASCAR to race against the men on the West Coast?
That's her in the jalopy, Hila Paulson (Hila Sweet today). It was December 1956 at Gardena Stadium and she proved a very worthy adversary. Car builder Ummie Paulson had hotshoe Rufus "Parnelli" Jones driving his racer before he moved on up to Indianapolis, Baja, and auto racing immortality. Hila created the Lady Leadfoots racing squad and tore up the tracks of Southern California for many years.
The Ganzer, Palmquist, Weeks dry lakes roadster represents innovation at it's best. There are ten carburetors attached to the front-mount blower. Ganzer says that at idle it sounded like a Model-T and wide open it sounded "...like ten thousand of them."
Ah yes, Silvergate Speedway in San Diego. The site is now home to Sea World. But from 1933 to '36, Silvergate hosted big car races on a 5/8-mile oiled dirt surface. Rex Mays won the opening event on May 7, 1933.
Where They Raced TURN3 includes ovals, drags, the big tracks at Ontario, Riverside, and Fontana. From Bakersfield to Los Angeles, and San Diego, TURN3 has it.