WHERE IT ALL BE­GAN

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Wet salt at Bon­neville, circa 1959.

Dave Wal­lace’s self-im­posed rule to not run pre­vi­ously pub­lished pho­tos in our “Back­stage Past” se­ries gives us the op­por­tu­nity to browse his cut­tin­groom floor, dig­i­tally speak­ing, for im­ages that de­serve a sec­ond look. Of­ten these pic­tures were cropped or tiny (or both) when orig­i­nally pub­lished, rob­bing them of the dra­matic pre­sen­ta­tion they de­serve, and which we now have space for.

Such is the case with this photo of the Quincy Au­to­mo­tive-loros & Price Gas Road­ster shot by Bob D’olivo at Bon­neville in 1959. Ray Brock’s ac­count of the 11th run­ning at Bon­neville (“Speed Par­adise,” HRM Dec. 1959) notes that “heavy sum­mer rains flooded the lake bed dur­ing the mid­dle of Au­gust,” just weeks be­fore the SCTA ar­rived. The wet salt caused “only a slight de­lay in set­ting up Otto Crocker’s tim­ing lights.”

Dur­ing the week, con­di­tions im­proved as the hot sun baked the salt. Runs early in the week, how­ever, were held on a mushy sur­face that “plas­tered the push cars,” as the cap­tion for this photo read.

The Model A came to Bon­neville with a pair of blown Chrysler en­gines and ran in both A/ and B/gas Road­ster. It fin­ished Sec­ond in both classes and reached a “best speed” of 176 mph.

Sev­eral en­tries at Bon­neville in 1959 bore the Quincy

Au­to­mo­tive name, in the Lakester, Gas Road­ster, CX Road­ster, and C/al­tered Coupe & Sedan classes. That last en­try was driven by one Craig Breedlove. Quincy’s ad in the 1959 Bon­neville pro­gram billed it as the “Largest Speed Shop” in the West Los An­ge­les/santa Mon­ica area, with lo­ca­tions in Santa Mon­ica and Pa­cific Pal­isades.

Breedlove was just one of many to race un­der the Quincy ban­ner and go on to achieve fame. Co­in­ci­den­tally in 1959, John Peters and Nye Frank built a twin-en­gine drag­ster that was known as the Quincy Au­to­mo­tive Spl. be­fore it earned its “Freight Train” nick­name. —DREW HARDIN

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