Flashback! Mopar® Vehicles at Pomona!

1 year ago Gallery Heritage

With the upcoming National Hot Rod Association “Auto Club NHRA Finals” event November 10-13, it makes for an ideal time to look back at the rich Mopar® history at the well-known quarter-mile drag strip, with a nostalgic eye back to the 1980s and ’90s timeframe.

The Pomona Raceway, now known as “Auto Club Raceway”, was first opened in 1952 at the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds, and the story for this famous drag strip ties into Pomona Police Chief Ralph Parker, who was a hot rod enthusiast himself. He was instrumental in getting permission by LA County to allow a track to be built. The general idea was to keep racing off the streets. The first Winternationals came in 1961. The World Finals came to Pomona in 1984. One thing that the NHRA did a number of years ago was to erect a street sign on the track named “Parker Avenue” to honor the man that did so much in the early days to give birth to the dragstrip in Pomona, Chief Ralph Parker.

A scheduling note for Pomona 2023: The Lucas Oil Winternationals will take place March 30 – April 2, 2023, now being the third national event on the NHRA circuit to best deal with team travel logistics. Here’s a selection of vintage 35mm slide film images I shot at numerous Pomona events from 1984 to 1999 as a credentialed starting line photographer. There’s no question that Mopar cars provided the speed, performance and visuals for an exciting era!

Author: James Maxwell



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