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Thread: Las Vegas Air Races ??

  1. #1

    Default Las Vegas Air Races ??

    Where were the Air Races held in Las Vegas? I think it was in the 70's or 80's

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Las Vegas Air Races ??

    There have been two Unlimited class air races held in Las Vegas, both at the Boulder City airport. The first was in 1965. The second was in 1989.

    The '65 race was a legitimate race and was won by Chuck Lyford in the Bardahl Special. The 1989 race was the Wayne Newton Angelplane race, and was promoted by Russ Francis. There was something kind of fishy about it and it never really was a 'real' race, as there were only a handful of planes that showed up. David Price in Dago beat Rick Brickert in Dreadnought. Gary Levitz showed up in the original Precious Metal (though in different markings, and he left over a dispute with Francis).

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Las Vegas Air Races ??

    Didn't Russ Francis buy Bob Loves P51. I don't think he ever really raced it himself.
    Lockheed Bob

  4. #4

    Default Re: Las Vegas Air Races ??

    Thanks for the info. I've always thought that Boulder Airport would be a great place to hold an air race. It looks to the south over a huge area of open desert, that is lowering terrain, offering a great view to spectators. Looks like there's a new freeway that will bypass the town of Boulder that will traverse just south of the airport..........probably a spoiler for any chance of future air racing at this spot.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Las Vegas Air Races ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Lockheed Bob View Post
    Didn't Russ Francis buy Bob Loves P51. I don't think he ever really raced it himself.
    Russ Francis never raced Bob Love's P51. He sold it to Bill Daus at The Lodi Parachute Center. Daus took off once without locking the canopy, which proceeded to depart the aircraft. The P-51 was sold to Eddie A. who had it fully restored to a beautiful aircraft. I do not know what Eddie's estate did with the aircraft.

    Frank C.

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    Default Re: Las Vegas Air Races ??

    The big problem I remember with the Boulder City site (other than Russ Francis) was power lines. Remember that the dam is just a few miles away and the airport right on the way from the dam to LA. There are huge towers and high electrical transmission lines right across that valley, and the guys said they were pretty much invisible against the desert from the air.

    That thing was promoted at the time as a race, but the airport was half built, there were no pylons that I remember, and no timing or anything in place as far as I know. I enjoyed the weekend, and was pleased that they used a photo of mine for the poster and promo materials, but it was really more of an exhibition than anything. There were very few spectators. It was Price's debut in Dago, and I think Lockwood's debut with Price. The most entertaining part of the weekend was probably the argument at the foot of the stairs in the Hotel between Levitz and Francis. The next morning Precious Metal was gone.

    Neal

  7. #7

    Default Re: Las Vegas Air Races ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank C. View Post
    Russ Francis never raced Bob Love's P51. He sold it to Bill Daus at The Lodi Parachute Center. Daus took off once without locking the canopy, which proceeded to depart the aircraft. The P-51 was sold to Eddie A. who had it fully restored to a beautiful aircraft. I do not know what Eddie's estate did with the aircraft.

    Frank C.
    And then there was that youtube video with the crazy woman laughing when Daus ground looped it at the Lodi airport with the woman's husband in the back seat.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Las Vegas Air Races ??

    Quote Originally Posted by badman View Post
    And then there was that youtube video with the crazy woman laughing when Daus ground looped it at the Lodi airport with the woman's husband in the back seat.
    I believe he got the prop in that video too. That was one botched landing. Reminds me of someone that once owned a P-63 near the same location, more airplane then capability. Was that Bob Loves Mustang too?

  9. #9

    Default Re: Las Vegas Air Races ??

    Quote Originally Posted by supercub View Post
    I believe he got the prop in that video too. That was one botched landing. Reminds me of someone that once owned a P-63 near the same location, more airplane then capability. Was that Bob Loves Mustang too?
    Yes-the all black Daus Mustang came from Russ Francis who in turn got it from Bob Love. My wife was a big 49er fan in those days and we went to the Bob Love wake at Livermore. When she saw Russ Francis she asked him if she could get her picture with him and he was kinda a jerk about it. Oh well. These days we are both "Former NFL Fans".

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Las Vegas Air Races ??

    I went to the 1989 race there, I'll have to dig out my pictures from the event.
    On a side note, my first warbird ride was with Russ Francis at Reno in 2002 in the Mustang Dove of Peace.
    Jason
    Jason Schillereff

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