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Arlington Downs Hollywood Style


quadsquad

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The last champ car race at Arlington Downs in 1950 was actually staged to please Hollywood, or more to the point, To Please A Lady. Babe Stapp couldn't make a buck with the races there, but the movie makers needed some racing footage for their new movie, so they talked him into staging a race there in April. M.A. Walker, from Oklahoma City, had a brand new Kurtis 3000, and they contacted him about bringing the car to Arlington to "star" in the sequence. Chickie Hirashima came in, along with Cecil Green and a young gofer mechanic named Bill Jones. They didn't have dirt tires or shocks for the car, but they bought a set of Riverside passenger car tires and Cecil drove around and around while a camera car, driven by Manny Ayulo, filmed him. Hirashima and Jones got to rub on the car and get familiar with it while getting paid $25 per day as extras. If you watch the movie, To Please A Lady, the hands making the spark plug change on Clark Gable's pit stop are Jones and Hirashima.....wrong car, but hey, it's a movie. At the end of the sequence, Johnny Probeck in the Walker Special wins the Green Grove 100 with Gable a close second. They did actually run a race, and a little of it shows up in the movie, but it was a mix of champ cars and sprint cars and not much of a show. Duane Carter beat Bill Shindler, Jimmy Davies, and Andy Linden after 30 laps. That did it for Arlington Downs. Clark Gable and Barbara Stanwyk, the stars of the show, didn't come to Arlington, but were very much in evidence at Indy that year.

Attached is a picture of M.A. Walker, his wife Bea and daughter Ruth with Stanwyk at Indy that year.

 

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That gofer mechanic you mentioned named Bill Jones is the same one here in San Antonio who owns the Checkerboard Dreyer Midget and the Blue #51 Kurtis Offy that are both shown in the Midgets in Texas thread. He also owns about anything left of the Smith-Jiggler conversion, including molding bucks.

 

Last time I was at Jone's shop, he and my dad talked about this very film. My dad was familiar as my grandfather was good friends with both Babe Stapp and Fred Lockwood, who co-promoted the AAA races from I think 1947 to 1949.

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One of the first racing movies I saw as a kid. I enjoyed it, and would love to see it now after this update. Especially since the 2nd place driver in the race wasn't even at the track. But hey, in those days, racing movies were quite few. There was a stock car movie made a few years back with very big name actors, and in my opinion it is a piece of ....uh, I mean I didn't care much for that one.

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One of the first racing movies I saw as a kid. I enjoyed it, and would love to see it now after this update. Especially since the 2nd place driver in the race wasn't even at the track. But hey, in those days, racing movies were quite few. There was a stock car movie made a few years back with very big name actors, and in my opinion it is a piece of ....uh, I mean I didn't care much for that one.

Hey Larry, Was that the movie we were in? No actually, that wasn't a movie but a pilot for a TV series that never made it. Go figger........................ :D:D

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