Green Trees! Blue Ocean! White Knuckles!
In late 1946 Bay Area promoter Charlie Curryer was looking for a way to spice up the racing card at Oakland Stadium. He invited a group of local street rodders to stage an exhibition in their T and AV8s at his track one evening – and the crowd went wild. The era of the Roaring Roadsters was underway.
Following this burst of popularity, the Northern California Roadster Racing Association was born. NCRRA events were well organized, the purses substantial, and the drivers were even offered insurance. The NCRRA paid out nearly $130,000 in prize money that year and, with that kind of financing, the roadsters rapidly evolved. But the money also bred competition and in an attempt to cash in on the NCRRA’s success, other organizations soon crowded the scene. Too many races, too many sanctioning groups, and the introduction of stock car racing all contributed to the demise of the roadsters. By 1950, it was all over.
Awhile back, a friend of mine found an original NCRRA Rule Book and decal under the seat of a Model A roadster he’d bought. A little research and a few beers later we decided to revive the organization. We’ve been collecting history and photos that we’ll eventually publish on a website. We’ve re-popped a decal, offered memberships, and rallied support. We’ve also been fortunate enough to connect with some of the drivers and car builders from the era.
But to be honest, we rather be driving our own cars. So we organized a reliability run last weekend. Starting and finishing at the Santa Cruz Moose Lodge, the 112 mile course wound its way through the Santa Cruz mountains, up Skyline Blvd, and back down to the coast for a final blast down Highway One. 31 cars participated, we thought you’d enjoy some photos.