WHERE IT ALL BEGAN
The timeless look of dry-lakes racing.
HOT ROD dispatched Tex Smith to El Mirage to cover the seasonending SCTA meet in November 1963, some 15 years after Lee Hammock took photos on the lake for our cover story. Yet there’s a timeless quality to photos of roadsters racing on the lake bed, so much so that one year’s photography could almost pass for earlier shots.
Almost. There were no Hemis in 1948, of course, and the station wagon at left and Chrysler sedan in back were years away from production, too. But the sight of two gearheads working to make an old Ford go faster could be from any time, be it 1948, 1963, or even right about now.
This shot served as the lead photo for “Dry Lakes,” Tex’s story in the January 1964 HRM. “The course was rough that day,” Tex wrote, “and most everyone was off ” the record speeds they hoped to attain. That included Lyle Anderson, whose Hemi-fied ’29 Model A, at 177.86 mph, came up just 17 mph short of the D/hot Roadster class mark.—drew HARDIN