Perhaps no racing name is more closely linked with the Indianapolis 500 than Offenhauser. This venerable engine manufacturer was a dominant force at The Brickyard from the early 1930s up until the 1960s. Offenhauser remained a force to be reckoned with until 1983, rounding out a spectacular half-century run as America’s most advanced racing engines.
If you are a racing fan you likely already know all about midget car racing. Many racing car drivers start out their professional careers with midget cars or at least quarter midget cars and this form of race car driving can be exciting. Of course, it does not quite have the sponsorship or coverage of NASCAR or F1 events, but it certainly does have a large following of fans and racers of all ages.
Ever since the invention of the wheel, mankind has been searching for better ways to travel faster and more effectively. This process has taken many thousands of years yet one competition has helped to speed it up rapidly: The Great Race which took place nearly a century ago. It spawned a generation of auto racing events that have captured the imagination of car enthusiasts in the United States and internationally.
NASCAR and the Automobile Racing Club of America (â€œARCAâ€) started at about the same point-that is towards the middle of the last century. ARCA has not been able to match the scorching growth of NASCAR, but it does have a devoted following. Why is this?
Imagine making a grand living from your interest in car racing! Well, love for automobiles can spawn an international business. There is a huge and a growing demand for restoring and carefully preserving classic models and famous cars. Collectors are willing to pay the kind of money that you can use to turn an auto racing hobby in to a multi-million dollar business.
By the time Easy Rider was released in 1969, three full years had passed since The Wild Angels hit the nationâ€™s drive-in movie screens. In the sixties, three years was a very long time indeed. The Vietnam War was entering a critical phase and division within the country regarding the war was never more clear-cut. Morally, the pendulum seemed to be swinging back towards the viewpoint of the â€œunder 30â€ generation. It was in this fevered climate that Easy Rider made its stunning debut. In stark contrast to its progenitor film, The Wild Angels, the motorcycle riders were now portrayed as tragic heroes instead of undisciplined thugs. Perhaps the filmmakers had run out of ways to frighten parents and instead sought to identify with the growing youth market. Regardless, Easy Rider stands today as a quintessential film, a snapshot of America at a pivotal moment in its history when the baton was handed from one generation to another.
In 1966, the widening generation gap was about to split the country wide open. The older generation who had lived through and fought World War II could neither understand nor relate to their freethinking, “flower power” children. As everyone knows, misunderstanding can quickly change to fear, and certain filmmakers played off that fear by creating motorcycle movies like “The Wild Angels”.
You might be forgiven for wondering what the Soap Box Derby has to do with auto racing – the “racers” have no engines after all! Yet a race is a race, and since its inception way back in 1933 it’s likely that more than a few of today’s superstar racecar drivers first experienced the thrill of victory by competing in the All-American Soap Box Derby.
In 1951, Wally Sparks created the National Hot Rod Association to spotlight the sport of drag racing. Starting in the California, Wally and a few friends roll up their top fuel dragsters and created a true American icon of sport. In 1965, Maynard Rupp was crowned the first National Champion and for the past 40 years, a new winner has been awarded the prize of fastest driver in America.