Video: NASCAR Convertibles at Langhorne, 1956

1956-dodge-letnerThe treacherous one-mile dirt circle in Langhorne, Pennsylvania is the scene for some thrilling NASCAR Convertible Division action from 1956. Pull down your belts and hang on for some vintage stock car excitement. 

 

 

He’s not credited for the voice-over in this awesome three-minute highlight clip, but you’ll recognize the smooth baritone instantly. Here’s none other than broadcasting legend Chris Schenkel calling the action at the NASCAR Convertible Division race at Langhorne Speedway on May 20, 1956.

Langhorne, just outside Philadelphia, was the kind of track modern NASCAR fans could hardly imagine. One mile of dirt laid out in a near-circle, the track was 360 degrees of corners, no straights at all. One section was so bumpy that drivers called it “Puke Hollow,” and the treacherous configuration claimed at least seven lives between 1926 and 1971, when the facility was bulldozed to make room for a K-Mart.

On the pole for the 150-mile event was Frank Mundy driving a mighty Kiekhaefer Dodge, but California’s Danny Letner claimed the lead in another ’56 Dodge at lap 20 and had the 26-car field covered for much of the day. A crowd of 20,000 saw Letner take the checkered flag with an easy one-lap lead over Jimmy Massey in second. The Convertible Division was a fascinating chapter in early NASCAR history we’ve covered before at Mac’s Motor City Garage. (See our feature here.) This brief film provides an excellent sense of the action—watch the cars bob and slide on the rough, slick surface. Video below.

 

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