Got this email today, sounds great!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LIONS DRAG STRIP VIDEO DOCUMENTARY TO BE RELEASED THIS WEEKEND DURING NHRA HOT ROD REUNION IN BAKERSFIELD, CALIF.
(October 3, 2006) – The long awaited release of an in-depth video documentary covering one of the sport’s more famous racetracks will occur this weekend, when “LIONS – THE GREATEST DRAG STRIP” is made available (on DVD) during the NHRA Hot Rod Reunion in Bakersfield, California (October 6-8).
Part One chronicles the first half of the legendary Long Beach, California facility, from its inception with speed king, Mickey Thompson, as first manager in 1955, through mid-1962, after lifting of the infamous “fuel ban” – and a return to nitro drag racing.
Nearly two hours in length (1-HR., 55-MINS.), the documentary was created and produced by Don Gillespie, a 30-plus year drag racing photojournalist who got his start at the infamous quarter-mile facility.
“As a youth, I experienced Lions during its heyday, but was never been able to let it go from my emotional rear-view mirror,” Gillespie began.
“Given the track’s magical atmosphere and important contributions, I made the decision years ago to capture and share its stories and powerful imagery for the benefit of all who experienced it firsthand, plus those who’ve simply heard about this marvelous, iconic drag racing temple.”
The massive project required several years of careful research, interviews, materials archiving and digital transfers, with many rare and seldom seen photographs, plus novice and professional films uncovered. Among the unique “finds” is 16mm footage of the track being built in its earliest stages, plus the sport’s first “live” TV broadcast, which was seen in thousands of Los Angeles area homes from Lions on station KTTV in September, 1961.
All told, more than 30 racers and key figures are either interviewed, or make on-camera speaking appearances, such as C.J. Hart, Art Chrisman, Fritz Voigt, (Mickey’s 1st wife) Judy and (son) Danny Thompson, Larry Sutton, Chet Herbert, “TV” Tommy Ivo, Frank “Ike” Iacono, Joe Reath, Ed Iskenderian, Gene Adams, John Force, plus (from the KTTV show) Allen “Lefty” Mudersbach, Mickey Thompson, Bob Muravez, Jack Chrisman, Gary Cagle, plus many others.
While this weekend’s attendees in Bakersfield will have the first opportunity to acquire the video, the “Lions – The Greatest Drag Strip” DVD will be available to consumers on a combination of Internet sites,
, immediately thereafter.
For more information, please contact Don Gillespie at; email: Dgillespie02@hotmail.com
, or via phone: 276-386-9120, or write to: Lions DVD, 111 Charleston Street, Weber City, VA
Drag Racing Heritage Foundation