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50th anniversary of Surfers Paradise International Raceway

Article Date: 17 February 2016

Sunday, April 10, 2016


Drag racers will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the opening of Surfers Paradise International Raceway on April 10 at the site formerly occupied by the Gold Coast race track.

The historic occasion also marks 50 years since the ground-breaking appearance of six American Dragfest cars, as well as the date that Willowbank board member John Winterburn began an unmatched half century of continuous service to drag racing.

The day revolves around a display of vehicles and memorabilia and is expected to turn into a seriously nostalgic bench racing session as racers, officials, and fans of the sport gather to commemorate its rich history in Queensland, in particular, the first 21 years at a permanent facility.

The display will be held at Lakeside Drive Parklands, Carrara, on Sunday, April 10, the date of the track’s opening event in 1966.

The parkland chosen for the celebration is close to the original location of the drag racing start line on the main straight of the former Surfers Paradise International Raceway.

The restored Courtesy Chevrolet Special dragster, driven by American Bob Keith in 1966, will be on display, as well as other vehicles from the Surfers Raceway era of the sport. John Winterburn, who began his involvement as a drag racing official at the opening event will be in attendance, as well as drivers who competed, such as the legendary Jim Reed, and race team members, including Dennis Calkin, crew chief for Ash Marshall’s “Vandal’’.

If you participated in the first event at Surfers as a competitor, race crew or official, or can put the organisers in contact with any of these participants, please let us know by emailing John Winterburn at jwinterb@bigpond.net.au

If you would like to put a vehicle and/or memorabilia on display on April 10, please email John Winterburn at jwinterb@bigpond.net.au with details.

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