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Old 07-25-2017, 04:36 AM
 
Location: West Los Angeles and Rancho Palos Verdes
13,385 posts, read 14,031,863 times
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I watched King of the Mountain recently, and for the first time heard of this Grandstand section of Mulholland where people park. Anybody know here this is? I've driven Mulholland through The Snake section many times from Las Virgenes down to PCH, but cant recall where this Grandstand section is -- it doesn't seem to be any of the usual parking areas people use these days such as the overlook where the fuzz watches for centerline crossers or the Rock Store.
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Old 07-26-2017, 06:13 PM
 
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Former Mulholland racer here. Grandstands was between Coldwater and Laurel above Studio City, just west of Bowmont Dr. on the valley side of the road. There is a small paved turnout there now but it was a large dirt turnout with a low hill or berm on the backside.

Last edited by CaptainSlow; 07-26-2017 at 06:30 PM..
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Old 07-26-2017, 09:08 PM
 
Location: West Los Angeles and Rancho Palos Verdes
13,385 posts, read 14,031,863 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainSlow View Post
Former Mulholland racer here. Grandstands was between Coldwater and Laurel above Studio City, just west of Bowmont Dr. on the valley side of the road. There is a small paved turnout there now but it was a large dirt turnout with a low hill or berm on the backside.
Thanks. No wonder I couldn't find it -- it's way east of The Snake.
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Old 07-26-2017, 09:16 PM
 
Location: West Los Angeles and Rancho Palos Verdes
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Found it:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Mu....3981951?hl=en
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Old 07-26-2017, 09:18 PM
 
Location: West Los Angeles and Rancho Palos Verdes
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I've always been apprehensive about racing out that way because of the higher population density. Out by The Snake the cops never bother us unless they spotted one of us crossing the centerline.
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Old 07-26-2017, 09:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainSlow View Post
Former Mulholland racer here. Grandstands was between Coldwater and Laurel above Studio City, just west of Bowmont Dr. on the valley side of the road. There is a small paved turnout there now but it was a large dirt turnout with a low hill or berm on the backside.
We need racing stories. Bet you had some great times and memories.
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Old 07-27-2017, 11:32 AM
 
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Yes, the area is very built up now. I was up there in the mid-late '70s. It was very different. Population was much smaller, much less traffic overall. Back then there were no houses that fronted Mulholland from Skyline until Coldwater. The houses behind Grandstands off of Summit were not there. We ran at night, usually after 10pm. You could sit up there sometimes and no cars would go by for a half hour or more. We ran at night because if a car was coming the other way you could see the glare of the headlights coming and back off and stay on your side of the road.

I haven't driven through there in a couple of years. I don't have family in the Valley anymore so I rarely go out that way. Last time I went through the road was in terrible shape and there was a lot of traffic, people in the turnouts enjoying the view and bicyclists. I guess the whole area is part of a park or preserve and I've been told there are Rangers that can and will pull you over and write you up for the smallest thing.

There were lots of groups that ran up there over the years going way back. These were informal groups that sometimes had names like MRE, CRE, MRA, TVL and ACR. The whole thing became sort of famous when an article was written in Hot Rod magazine about 1974 called "The Underground Grand Prix". The group they wrote about was called CRE, Clandestine Racing Enterprises. There is a great photo in there of the whole group with their cars lined up in Grandstands with them standing in front, all wearing masks. There's another photo of a guy barreling through at night in a racing go-kart with lights.

The part we ran between Skyline and Coldwater we called "The Hill", some called it the "Racecourse". The part from Coldwater to Beverly Glen we called "West". The part from Topanga to the beach we called "Mul Highway". The trick cars back then were Datsun 510s, Capri V6s, Mazda RX2s and 3s, and original Mini-Coopers.
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Old 07-27-2017, 08:46 PM
 
Location: West Los Angeles and Rancho Palos Verdes
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Thanks for the info -- very interesting stuff. I recall Jay Leno talking about the various groups, and how some disappeared around the same time others emerged with successive generations of canyon runners.

As you probably know, the west portion of Mulholland is still good for runners, though I'm not aware of competitive races at night and I don't think there's enough visibility ahead due to trees, canyon walls, etc. to back off in time. These days we go out in daytime clubs, though, breaking down into groups of around 10 cars each. It's not an official contest with most groups, though we like to see who can pull whom, which can be a lot of fun if you're in a group with cars and drivers all in a similar ability level. There are also a lot of good off-shoots of Mulholland in the Malibu area and we can pretty much drive as fast as we want since the police know they can't catch us.
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Old 07-27-2017, 10:17 PM
 
Location: Retired in Malibu/La Quinta/Flagstaff
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Every once on awhile, when I'd pull PM watch on the weekends, I'd get detailed to the enforcement task force and play tag with the racers. This was the late 70s-early 80s. We'd assemble at the fire station at Coldwater and Mulholland, since it had a helipad for the copter. It seemed I always got assigned to escort the LAFD when a racer would go flying off of Carl's Curve between Coldwater and Laurel Canyon.
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Old 08-01-2017, 02:56 PM
 
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Patrolman, you and I probably talked back in the day. I never went over the side but I know guys who did. Some guys kind of made a game of getting the cops to chase them and then losing them but that didn't seem like fun to me. Sometime in the late '70s (maybe 1980) there was a big bust up there. Multiple black and whites, helicopter, the whole nine yards. Cars impounded, people carted off to the station. I think by that time I was working nights and almost never had time to go up there. After that, life went in a different direction.
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