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PART TWO of the acclaimed video documentary. “Lions – The Greatest Drag Strip” is now available on DVD.
The latest installment on the revered Long Beach, Calif.-based track, by veteran motor sports journalist, Don Gillespie, picks up speed, literally, in 1962, when nitro-burning cars returned after a five-year ban under founding manager, speed king Mickey Thompson.
The 1 hour and 50 minute presentation concludes near the end of 1968, with the sport’s explosive growth in everything from dragsters and supercharged coupe match race wars, to early funny cars, etc.
This historical DVD was put together by photo-journalist Don Gillespie, who has signed our copies.
The massive project required several years of careful research, interviews, materials archiving and digital transfers, with many rare and seldom seen photographs, plus novice and professional films uncovered. Among the unique finds is 16mm footage of the track being built in its earliest stages, plus the sport’s first live TV broadcast, which was seen in thousands of Los Angeles area homes from Lions on station KTTV in September 1961.
All told, more than 30 racers and key figures are either interviewed or make on-camera speaking appearances, such as C.J. Hart, Art Chrisman, Fritz Voigt, Larry Sutton, Chet Herbert, “TV” Tommy Ivo, Frank “Ike” Iacono, Joe Reath, Ed Iskenderian, Gene Adams, John Force, plus many others.
Racing superstar John Force is the winningest Hot Rod driver of all time. These days, with the three Force daughters following in Dad’s tracks, reconnecting with family is John Force’s number one priority.
DRIVING FORCE chases after 22-year-old Ashley, 19-year-old Brittany, and 16-year-old Courtney as they burn serious rubber in the male-dominated world of drag racing. But once their helmets are off and they’re back at home, the Forces are a family like any other.
From the turmoil of a terrifying crash to the excitement of a high school dance, and the sweetness of helping Dad get ready for a date with Mom, life is never slow when you’re the fastest family on the block. 2 Disc Set
Reviewed by Jeff Burk
Okay, fans of match racing, Don “The Snake” Prudhomme and Tom “The Mongoose” McEwen, this DVD is a must have! I sat down to watch this DVD and was pleasantly surprised by both the quality of the product and the content.
The DVD is all about Tom McEwen and Don Prudhomme and their days back in the ‘60s and ‘70s as funny car racers sponsored by Mattel Hot Wheels. There is a 35-minute photo archive set to music of literally hundreds of color and black and white images of both men’s career and cars. Some I’d seen before but many of them I had never seen.
There is also a very well filmed and current interview with both Prudhomme and McEwen that explains much about their careers and includes segments with John Force and Mattel designers.
Lastly and without a doubt the best part of the DVD is a vintage 1970’s film sponsored by the Coca-Cola folks that follow the pair on a then-typical Friday and Saturday night match race at two different Midwest tracks. The pair are “miked” and the result is an absolutely authentic look into the long gone world of the touring match racer and lives of two of drag racing’s premier young racers, drivers and promoters. The night racing footage alone is worth the price of the DVD.
I can honestly say I’ve never seen anything anywhere that showed the true personality of these two legends like this DVD does. Buy it, plug it in, turn off the lights, turn up the sound and take a trip in the way-back machine. You’ll dig it man!
Relive the glory days with this exciting vintage recording of the 1963 NHRA Nationals at Indy. From the cheers of the crowd, to the voice of the announcer, and above all, the roar of the cars, it’s all here in stirring stereo. Even when the cars aren’t running, you can enjoy the thrill of the races at home, or in your car.
THRILL TO! the cackle of the nitro.
CHILL TO! the blasting cars tearing their way out of your speakers!
Includes both the Stock and Dragster classes Elimination rounds. Approx. running time: 55 minutes.
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