Monday, January 18, 2010

1960 Columbus, Ohio Trotters: NHRA; African-American Dragster Team/Club


Hi folks-- Recently I picked up a book at my local library in Centerville, Ohio entitled Middletown Pacemakers: The Story of an Ohio Hot Rod Club, by Ron Robertston (Arcadia, 2002). I was interested in this book because it is a grassroots history of hot rodding in middle America. The narrative isn't particularly compelling and much of this tends to be a sort of broad family history. But there are plenty of photographs in this book, and one of was of enormous interest to me. For some time I have been interested in African-Americans and the automobile. My student, Peter, Cajka, won the SAH Scharchburg Prize in 2008 for a study that he did of African-Americans, Ebony, and the automobile. There is very little out there on this important topic.
So in this book by Roberson there is a photo from 1960 that depicts the Trotters from Columbus. Does anyone know more about this group? Any survivors one could interview? African-Americans and automobile clubs are a topic of great interest, and particularly when they got out into the competitive arena during the late 1950s and early 1960s. If you do run across this post and have knowledge on the topic, please contact me.

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