Cal-Neva Dry Lakes

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In this evocative image from The Milt Mallory Photo Collection, a group of hot rod enthusiasts gather around a custom-built roadster at the Cal-Neva dry lake races in the early 1950s. The desolate backdrop and the camaraderie captured here exemplify the spirit of early hot rodding, where resourcefulness and creativity drove the quest for speed. The collection, marked simply with "Nevada," offers a rare glimpse into the formative years of this American cultural phenomenon. Photo from The Milt Mallory Photo Collection.

Racing at the Cal-Neva Dry Lakes

The Cal-Neva Dry Lakes, located near the California-Nevada border, were a significant site for hot rod racing during the 1940s and the 1950s. Organized by the Cal-Neva Timing Association (CNTA), these races attracted car enthusiasts from all over the region. Participants, including notable car clubs such as the San Francisco Ramblers, would gather to test the limits of their custom-built vehicles among other notable figures such as Gene Winfield. These events were characterized by the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the racers, who often modified their cars using whatever parts they could find. The races were not just about speed; they were about the camaraderie and culture that defined the hot-rodding community.


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