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Emerald Empire Sports Car Club
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Featured Article
The Underground Grand Prix
Where One Racer Started His Story
By Jeffrey Fields

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The Underground Grand Prix
Where One Racer Started His Story

By Jeffrey Fields

I like to hear stories about how folks started racing and what got them into the sport.  As one of the “older guys” out on the course, I thought it might be interesting to see and read what things were like for me, 40 plus years ago.   In March of 1974, Hot Rod magazine did a nice article on my car club, Clandestine Racing Enterprises.
CRE was my family for the formative years of my racing. 
We claimed our circuit, on the street, and played there daily until every inch of that road was imprinted onto our souls.  The racing was serious, intense and very dangerous.  It was much like a hill climb, except at night and with two cars jockeying for the same real estate.
My weapon of choice was a 1972 Mazda RX-2 (bought it new).  Since minimal aftermarket parts were available, everything was custom made.   Springs for the suspension were coiled to my specs by a metal company in Hollywood.  There were no wheels that fit my car wider than 7 inches, so I had 2 inch bands put into 7 X 13 steelies (9” seemed about right) and the centers to the stock Mazda wheels welded in.  After three tries, they finally came out round and didn’t leak.  I ran Goodyear Blue Streak racing tires (21X12X13) on the street until the cord showed.  They weren’t intended for street use, but since the hot street tire in 1974 was a B.F. Goodrich Radial T/A (not really that hot), I decided a true racing slick was a better choice for the rarely rainy, Southern California hills.
The author, Cory Farley, understood our intentions and the article reflects that very well.   Here, for your vintage reading enjoyment, I give you, “The Underground Grand Prix."


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