Green Trees! Blue Ocean! White Knuckles!

20 May

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.

7 Responses to “Green Trees! Blue Ocean! White Knuckles!”

  1. Diane Walsh May 26, 2011 at 11:37 AM #

    Dave,

    Great pictures! Looks like a lot of fun. Hope
    we can make it next year….prior commitment
    kept Tom in the garage that weekend!!!

  2. Dave May 21, 2011 at 9:18 PM #

    Hey Gary — Yes it is, and still in the family. For you guys not familiar with the coupe, check the Mike Russell article in TRJ #36. Dave

  3. Phill Laursen May 20, 2011 at 3:29 PM #

    Wish I’d known, I spent lots of money and time going to a run in San Luis and busted some rear springs because of an unmarked bump by Atascadero … had to limp home.

  4. Art Fortin May 20, 2011 at 1:07 PM #

    Dave,
    Great writeup on the event. Love the history part of your story as well. I knew about this, but we had a prior commitment last weekend and were out of town . . . maybe next year.
    Hope to see you on the Woodie Spring Cruse tomorrow.
    Art

  5. Gary Monnich May 20, 2011 at 12:52 PM #

    Hey Dave is that the old Floyd Williams coupe from
    Santa Cruz.Floyd and I used to hang out a bit in
    about 1963 ish? Went to HalfMoonBay in that coupe
    several times befor Floyd went in the service ?
    Never seen him or the coupe again.
    Talksoon
    Gary

  6. Lynn pew May 20, 2011 at 12:45 PM #

    Dave,
    Looks like a lot of fun. I will try to make it next year if I have something that runs…HA!
    I don’t know when the PRC is going to hold another run down here but I hope soon.
    Stay Tooned!
    Lynn
    Pewsplace

  7. Paul Bradley May 20, 2011 at 12:12 PM #

    Dave, what a cool run….I love a group of cars like these on the road. The ’35 is apart in my garage waiting for a bit of work on the frame horns, then brakes in, flathead back in, gas tank and a whole bunch of small stuff. Probably finish this next Fall. Can’t wait to go a run like this.