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Ohio Drag Strip Staging Lane Late-1960s

Muscle cars and drag racing do not get covered on The Old Motor all that often, although this late-1960s image of the staging lane at a drag strip located in or near the state of Ohio recently caught our eye.

The photo appears to have been taken in the springtime on a nice sunny day when the trees were just beginning to bud. Young men who had been working on their cars all winter or had just purchased a new muscle car out of the showroom, flocked to this strip to test their mettle and run their car against the clock and challenge the driver in the other lane.

Share with us what you find of interest in this picture via This Was Americar, the name and location of the track and your experiences with muscle cars or trips to the drag strip back in this period.

30 responses to “Ohio Drag Strip Staging Lane Late-1960s

  1. If it’s Ohio It could possibly be Kil-Kare Raceway in Xenia. I raced there in 1960. I remember I was one of a very few that showed up to drag race, me with my Dad’s ’60 Mercury. Was beat bad by a ’60 Pontiac.

    • Agree that this looks like the staging lanes at Kil-Kare in Xenia. From this point they make a 180 degree turn to the water box and starting line.

    • A funny follow up. My Aunt Cora got wind that I was going to race the family Merc at Lil-Kare. So unknown to me at the time, she went and watched, She then turned me into my Dad. Things did not go well rom there. LOL. The good old days for sure.

      • No it was a dog . I was just a stupid high school kid then. I did have a Ford later on with the 460 Ci Merc engine option . Nice ride but couldn’t get over 7 MPG. ( 1974)

  2. That looks a lot like a Renault 8 between the ’67 Camaro and ’68 Firebird. A ’61 Chevy, probably a Biscayne, beside it followed by a ’62 or ’63 Falcon.

  3. Very interesting David. Now that cars from the 60’s and 70’s are getting older , it would be fun to see them featured more often on your excellent site.

  4. Seeing the picture and reading the comments reminds me of a neighbor kid whose father was a Chevrolet salesman.
    This was late 1962, I was way too young to drive but was always glued to anyone working on a car. This older kid was probably 18 or 19 and was busy swapping a left rear axle on a new 1963 Biscayne Coupe from another Biscayne Coupe. Two 1963 Chevrolets both jacked up in the driveway…irresistible to me. Of course I asked why, as I curiously memorized every step he took, and the reply was that he broke his left rear axle drag racing and he was swapping a new axle from another new 1963 that his dad brought home from the dealer. I pressed more…he said his salesman dad would take the “new” car back like nothing was wrong and eventually the dealership would find and replace the bad axle. He claimed he did it once before. Whoa…really the wrong thing to do and if my parents knew what he did and was doing again, I’d be banned from being around him, so I kept quiet…until now..lol

    • Hi Frank, anyone from the midwest knows that saying. His name was Jan Gabriel and used the “Sunday, Sunday, Sunday” to promote the US 30 dragstrip in Hobart, Ind. Great Lakes Dragway had a similar theme with 2 announcers yammering back and forth.

  5. LOL….My eyes gravitated immediately to the little Renault 8 sedan. Is he sure he doesn’t just think he’s caught in a traffic jam, and has no inkling of embarrassing himself?!

  6. Doug, if it’s like the little strip we raced at in East Tennessee, the a is probably for automatic, and the m for modified…our strip put modified on the window if you had ANYTHING besides pure stock, even the hubcaps off, and if it was a Ford, they’d bump it up to modified anyway and claim something was not stock, ha !

  7. Soon dragstrips themselves might be a thing of the past because of development.
    Has anyone out there heard of any new dragstrips opening up in this country?

    • Sadly drag racing is a dying sport, just tune into the next NHRA when it is on TV and you can see the empty seats. For the sportsman, it’s now a grey beard sport with fewer new young racers coming out. In the 60’s-70’s this picture was typical of most drag strips, full of young men in the staging lanes and pits. When someone says too bad about the strip closing I always ask “when was the last time you went out?’ and they standard response is “I dunno, back in the 90’s”. That doesn’t pay the bills.

    • Hi John, not in this crowd. I read, the 1968 Renault R10, even if it was a Gordini, did the 1/4 mile in 21.6 seconds@ 60 mph, barely getting it out of 3rd gear, non-Gordini, even longer. Be one heck of a handicap start,,

      • I did not say why the eyebrows may have been raised.Possibly at the very high premium Renault tried to get for the mods.But at this time in Europe you had to have a bolide in the range.The real target of course was rallying.) 16 seconds 0 to 102 kph.I think in over the desk form.

  8. Would have been spring of 1968 before April 15th. The 68 Road Runner has 67 plates, which would have expired 4/15.

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