Lakeland Raceway

Two Lane Blacktop

News! Two-Lane ’55 Returns to Lakeland: Click here and check it out!

“I work for these boys, I’m their manager. We race that 55 Chevy sittin’ outside.
We heard there’s a good race track down around Memphis.”, GTO (Warren Oates)

Traversing the old Memphis-Arkansas Bridge over the mighty Mississippi River.

Dig the daisies on the Javelin

Rick Hale, who used to work in this tower, tells me that the announcer in the movie is Tommy ‘Minor’ Smart. The girl in the foreground of the picture is Judy Turner, and the other girl, in the background, was named Patsy Briscoe. Rick says that Track Manager Jim McDonald moved him from the tower to the time slip booth as the handicapper on the day of filming. Bummer.

Here comes GTO.

This was a local racer sponsored by Poplar Dodge and Racing Head Service

Bill “Mr. Bardahl” Hielscher’s Corvette on the trailer.

The girl goes to the bleachers.

the girl goes to watch 302 Camaro vs. 396 Camaro Atlas vs. Irish ‘Luck,, barracudas barracuda top end charge

B fueler staging, B fueler at speed, An old B-fueler., B dragster crosses the finish line

The Bill Taylor-Pat Collins
-Stanley Wolf Super Duster Funny Car piloted by Larry Reyes that evening. That’s Bill on the driver side of the car. Bill Taylor-Pat Collins Super Duster Super Duster burnout

Bill was a track owner, car owner and owner of Torque Converters, Inc. (TCI)

the ’55 from the crosswalk

The Driver (James Taylor) poised for a burnout under the crosswalk., the ’55 aproaches the line

Approaching the beams. staged – staged…dump the clutch!

Wisps of tire smoke on the launch.

bangin’ the muncie

Monte Hellman’s commentary on the DVD states that they blew up the transmission on one of these runs.

nightfall the driver lines up a race
prepping the ’55
“I put up the tools against 300.”

I set it up. We’re goin’ against the ‘vette. I put up the tools against three-hundred.”, The Mechanic (Dennis Wilson)

adjusting the valves

the girl switches rides

The girl changes rides.

Here is some fun commentary to accompany the Lakeland race scenes shown below:
” My name is Cindi Hielscher McMillan. My father was Bill “Mr. Bardahl” Hielscher. I remember going to the premier of the movie with my family, Aunts, etc. in Chicago. Mom and Dad were “shocked” by the language. It was a movie of it’s time. Dad said that they had to shoot the final scene (racing against James Taylor) several times because Dad just kept outrunning him. In the final clip if you watch it Dad gives him a hole shot (not something that Dad let happen when racing) and still almost beats him. My Dad raced professionally for only 6 ½ years.”

Cindi McMillan
Texas Raceway

the big race
“Coming to the line, a little ’55 Chevrolet in the tower side.”

“Goin’ down against Bill “Mr. Bardahl” Hielscher in B/H1.”

the driver concentrates on the tree
“A little B Hot Rod ’55 Chevrolet. The lights come down and the little ’55 Chevrolet is out of the hole first.”

win light goes to the ’55 The ’55 grabs the win light! silence

“the tires didn’t bite”
“The tires didn’t bite out of the hole. I just barely got him.”

going after the girl leaving LIR in pursuit of GTO

Two-Lane ’55 Returns to Lakeland: Click here and check it out!