With New Name, Auto Club Famoso Raceway Celebrates Rich History
|Aerial photo of Auto Club Famoso Raceway in 1964. All photos courtesy National Dragster.|
Now called the Auto Club Famoso Raceway, the home of the NHRA California Hot Rod Reunion, presented by the Automobile Automobile Club of Southern California has grown over the ensuing years without ever losing its place as a field of dreams for drag racers.
“Auto Club Famoso Raceway has deep historical significance as one of the
The tower at Auto Club Famoso Raceway in 1964.
“The Famoso site itself is so steeped in drag racing history and legend that it is almost a tangible presence during any visit,” says Vic Cooke of nitrogeezers.com.
Initially formed as the Bakersfield Coupe and Roadster Club, the organizers of racing at Famoso changed their name to The Smokers in 1948, putting their primary focus on drag racing. Their first event was held at Famoso in March, 1951, setting the stage for the well known March Meet that continues today at Famoso every spring.
Dragsters burn out at Auto Club Famoso Raceway in 1965.
In 1992, the NHRA California Hot Rod Reunion, thought at the time to be a
Crowds enjoy the action during the 2003 NHRA California Hot Rod Reunion, presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California.
“When we were looking for a place for our Reunion, there was no question that we would come home to
The Grove provides a setting for the street rod display that’s an integral part of the annual
In 1994, the March Meet at Famoso was resurrected as a race for nostalgic front-engined cars, with entries limited to pre-1972-style racers.
“In the world of front motor dragsters only one other event rivals the March Meet,” says Jim Davis of wediditforlove.com, “and that event is The California Hot Rod Reunion.”
Meanwhile, the track’s local events continued unabated, with a full schedule helping to fulfill its original mission of keeping the kids from illegal street racing.
Although California 99 has long since been supplanted by Interstate 5, it continues to provide great access to the track and the city of
Recent upgrades to the media/officials tower are hidden from public view. In 2004, the track debuted new and taller safety walls.
With the new Auto Club sponsorship, upgrades will continue without affecting the historical significance of one of the oldest venues in drag racing.
Since its inception in 1992, the NHRA California Hot Rod Reunion has offered hot rodders and racers the opportunity to reunite with old friends and reminisce about “the good old days.” The
Auto Club members will receive a $2 discount on daily admission when they present their membership card at the Auto Club Famoso Raceway ticket window and a $5 discount on a full-event credential.
Tickets for the NHRA California Hot Rod Reunion, presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California, are available by calling 800/884-6472. A full event credential is $55 for adults and only $10 for those under 16. Full event credentials include a “goody bag” that features the highly collectible Reunion Annual and a dash plaque. AAA members receive a $5 discount on a full event credential or $2 off on Saturday or Sunday daily tickets when they show their membership card. Camping passes are available with credential purchase at $50 and swap meet spaces are just $40 for a 20’ x 20’ space. Daily tickets may be purchased at the gate of Auto Club Famoso Raceway, north of
For the eleventh consecutive year, the Automobile Club of Southern California, the largest affiliate of the AAA, is the presenting sponsor of the NHRA California Hot Rod Reunion. The Automobile Club of Southern California has been serving members since 1900. Today, the Auto Club’s members benefit by the organization’s emergency road service, financial products, travel agency and trip planning services, highway and transportation safety programs, insurance products and services, automotive pricing, buying and financing programs, automotive testing and analysis and legislative advocacy. Information about these products and services is available on the Auto Club’s web site at www.aaa-calif.com.
Proceeds of the NHRA California Hot Rod Reunion, presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California, will benefit the
One of the best entertainment values in Southern California, the