Official Start of First NHRA Drag Racing Meet, Great Bend, Kansas, 1955

Summary

This is a scene from the National Hot Rod Association's first national championship drag racing meet in 1955 on the concrete runway of the Great Bend, Kansas Municipal Airport. The official starter leaps high while waving the checkered flag to signal the start of the race. The car to his right is driven by Calvin Rice. To the left, out of the picture, is Rice's opponent. Drag races are run like tournaments: cars at a time face off; the winner advances to the next round, the loser is eliminated. Rice won all his races at this meet to take home the championship trophy and the title of Top Eliminator. In another decade the leaping starter would be replaced by a safer but less spectacular system of electric lights.

This is a scene from the National Hot Rod Association's first national championship drag racing meet in 1955 on the concrete runway of the Great Bend, Kansas Municipal Airport. The official starter leaps high while waving the checkered flag to signal the start of the race. The car to his right is driven by Calvin Rice. To the left, out of the picture, is Rice's opponent. Drag races are run like tournaments: cars at a time face off; the winner advances to the next round, the loser is eliminated. Rice won all his races at this meet to take home the championship trophy and the title of Top Eliminator. In another decade the leaping starter would be replaced by a safer but less spectacular system of electric lights.

Artifact

Photographic print

Date Made

circa 1985

Subject Date

1955

Creators

Rickman, Eric 

Petersen Publishing Company 

Creator Notes

Photographed by Eric Rickman. Published by Petersen Publishing Company in Hot Rod magazine.

 On Exhibit

By Request in the Benson Ford Research Center

Object ID

2006.54.1

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford.

Material

Resin-coated paper

Technique

Gelatin silver process

Color

Black-and-white (Colors)

Dimensions

Height: 7.875 in

Width: 10 in

Connect 3

Discover curious connections between artifacts.

Learn More