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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Palm Springs Road Races - March 1955

The source of this footage, John McClure, was a member of the San Diego Jr. Chamber of Commerce and sports car fan and driver. His position with the Chamber put him in a position to combine his passions as part of the team that developed the Torrey Pines Race Course. Thankfully, John also carried a camera around with him for races up and down the West Coast.

This footage is from the March, 1955 running of the Palm Springs Road Races. This race is particularly interesting for pop culture fans as James Dean brought home 2nd place in his Porsche Speedster for the under 1500cc class—this was mere months before purchasing the Spyder he would die in. Sadly, while there are a few very fleeting shots of Dean's white Speedster here (bearing number 23 for this race), there isn't a clear shot of the man behind the wheel.

The rather grisly rollover accident of Ray Sinatra's Darrin resulted in nothing more serious than a dislocated shoulder.

Ultimately in the main event, Jack McAfee took top honors in his Ferrari 375 MM (#211) after a long battle with Bill Pollack in the Baldwin Special Mk II Mercury (#20).

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