(first posted 12/3/2011) NASCAR stock car racing sixty years ago – with “cars right off the showroom floor” – was a very different spectacle. The Dayton Beach course was a length of beach-front highway, and then just sand. Marshall Teague is by far the smoothest driver, which undoubtedly contributed largely to his success there, as well the torque of the big 308 cubic inch six. And here’s another one of the modified cars.
The Hudson Hornet Dominates The 1952 Daytona Beach Race – NASCAR Was Very Different Then
– Posted on December 13, 2014
Back when stock cars meant cars in stock at your dealer. NASCAR should go back to that. Might not be as fast, but might be a lot more fun.
Make Toyota race a CE-spec Camry with Continental tires and plastic wheel covers.
Same for the Impala.
NASCAR has lost all credibility; I would love for it to be like this again. Try taking today’s race car on that course!
Never mind today’s race car, try taking today’s showroom car over that course! Or getting today’s drivers to cope.
That took some serious balls to race under those conditions. No other way to say it. Yet the maximum speed the cars reached looks like around 70, and they were a lot slower in those turns with loose sand. Has tripling the speed of the cars really made for better racing?
And when someone had an off, other drivers were going slow enough to avoid them – if they weren’t going around a corner three abreast.
What fun! I wish we had the whole film. I love those old stock cars. Although the announcer tells us that these are just like the cars you or I could buy, I suppose that was true if you or I had access to the catalogs with the specially offered “export” (read as “racing”) parts that were certainly part of any of the factory backed teams.
Still, I wish that I had been around to watch that kind of racing. Can you imagine trying to run a race along Daytona Beach today? I am sure that it would be impossible for legal and environmental reasons alone. But I wish that they would bring a showroom stock sedan class back to NASCAR. That (and repeal of CAFE) would do more for U S auto design than about anything else.
Shockingly enough, I was taken for a drive on Daytona Beach just last year. There’s a good stretch of the beach that is still open to driving on the sand. It was crazy in my eye and let me tell you it was f’ing hot in a Z3 in the middle of August !!!
But I must confess that the view was ahem, nice.
…I guess especially from that angle… the view was particularly pleasing.
They charge Now don’t they? I use to go down there to visit my Grandfather and you could ride all day for free on that beautiful beach.
Gee That Ole Le Sabre ran great on the sand, he’d let me take the car out at night. It was a late town in the 70s, I’m lucky I never got into trouble there.
Showroom stock racing in Australia produced things like the GTHO Falcon E49Valiant Charger A9X Torana and many more and far more exciting racing. Unfortunately Aussie V8 supercars is going the way of NASCAR and will become boring once full silouette cars are introduced. Bring back showroom racing.
Nascar needs a new name as it doesn’t have a hint of a stock car. Perhaps specialty built racing cars but Nasbrcr doesn’t seem to roll off the tongue so well. I was a youngster but my mom used to read the sports page to me before I was able. I was excited when Lee Petty won because of the shared name. Later I went to the Jalopy races in town every friday night. This was standard fare for most people my age so nothing special.
I used to really be a fan. Now it’s a game for millionaires just like top level drags. These guys get my goat.
Today Nascar is basically a corporate wrestling match with cars.
The road part of that course still exists, built up some but not terribly so, because it’s significantly south of the commercial part of Daytona. If you go south on A1A from the center of Daytona a few miles, and stay on the beachfront road after A1A veers off, you’ll be on that road. I can’t remember if you can drive onto the beach down there still; it has been a couple of years since I was there. There is a restaurant that advertises it sits where turn 3 off the beach was.
NASCAR has indeed become a joke. The cars have always been “souped up” but they used completely stock bodies and many other parts. Using stock bodies created the Plymouth Roadrunner Superbird, Dodge Charger Daytona, Ford Torino Talladega, and several others. Car manufacturers no longer play any part in building the race cars. It wouldn’t work anyway, because nobody builds anything raceable. You cannot buy anything but 4 door cars now. The T-Bird and Monte Carlo are gone.
I am an amateur drag racer. Friday night “run whatcha brung” I gave up my NHRA membership years ago, and don’t even watch the pro stuff.
Oh, VERY nice video.
NASCAR back then was awesome. I would have been a big fan.
NASCAR now? Forget it. I don’t understand how it became so popular in it’s current form. Trans Am, Can Am, and American GT series look 1,000,000 times more exciting IMO.
NASCAR today is just a different breed of race. It was previously about pushing the limits of OEM components and engineering; now it’s about endurance, both human and machine lasting 200 laps at 200 mph. I can understand why those who grew up with “the good old stuff” don’t like it now, though.
I myself prefer a county fair Enduro race. There you know not every car’s going home in one piece.
That’s a race I’d actually go to see. Sand/tarmac lunacy.
Ditto the comments about NASCAR “stock car” racing being a fraud. The mob should have smelled a rat when NASCAR started trotting out things like a “Chevy Lumina” that was rear drive with a V8.
On the other hand, since a large portion of the mob is there for the crashes, driver safety has to be 1st priority, so the cars being custom built survival cages, surrounded by “silhouette racer” fake body panels isn’t a big deal. It protects the driver, while the mob gets it’s smash up spectacle.
Ear candy: 52 Hornet with 7X race engine, on public roads.