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Local Drag Racing

Southern California was a booming metropolis for budding car culture due to the availability of dry lake beds to the east of Los Angeles, eventually allowing the development of “legal” drag racing or "hot rodding" to begin.

Dry lakes were ideal for racing as they were secluded and provided a hard, flat surface where creative car folk could get together to share ideas, learn from the masters, and compete to be the fastest for the weekend.

The Ralph De Palma Racing Test Camp, located on Rogers Dry Lake (also known as "Muroc" and the current site of Edwards Air Force Base), was used to test race cars and set speed records from 1926 to 1933.

Over time, Muroc played host to many racing events including the Southern California Champion Sweepstakes (1927) and one of the first known amateur speed trials, named the "Muroc Roadster Races," sponsored by the Gilmore Oil Company of Los Angeles.

Before the season ended in 1931, the "Muroc Racing Association" had formed which helped formalize the meets; the association was complete with officers, a race program, and an electrical timer to clock speeds.

Courtesy of MOAH Collections and The Glen and Forey Wall Photo Collection


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