Drag Racing Online: The Magazine

Volume VIII, Issue 5, Page

  What was the first drag race you ever saw?  Not organized, just the first two  cars you ever saw drag racing?

PARKS: The first one was a street race out on West Manchester.  In fact, when Barbara and I drove out to the airport to come here, to LAX, I showed her the street, I said, “Down there was where I saw my first drag race.”  I remembered that Ron Shanks was out there with his car.  It was a touring car with the back seat out of it, (it had) a Chevy 4 (engine).  I was so fascinated with that car and  that's where I saw my first drag race. I was just out there, eyes big, just watching.

  What made you decide to organize drag racing?  What motivated you to do that?  Did your involvement with Hot Rod Magazine come first or…?

PARKS: No, the same things that CJ (Hart) was involved in, we had a situation where there was an awful lot of illegal racing and dangerous illegal racing, mostly out in the Orange County area where he (CJ) lived.  We had good relations with the California highway patrol and they were active in helping CJ getting Orange County going, setting up the drag strip.  But at the same time we were working with them (highway patrol) up in Oakland to get our clubs organized to help overcome the (illegal racing) problem so we were all coming from the same direction.

  

   And this was approximately what period of time?

PARKS: Early 1950s. 

  

What did you do during WWII?

PARKS: I was in a tank.  I was a tank tester.  Then I went into the Army and ended up in the South Pacific with the only tank battalion out there.