LA Adventure Specialist - 11:11 30 November 2009

The Beverly Hills Speedway

Beverly Hills Speedway was an American board track in Beverly Hills, California, USA. It was the home to speedingModel Ts and airplanes which cut through the airspace of Beverly Hills during the roaring 20s. Built in 1919 on what is currently Beverly Hills High School, the Regent Beverly Wilshire and many shops and homes on the 275 acres (1.11 km2) was then called Beverly Drive West. The track ran south of Wilshire Boulevard, between Lasky Drive and Beverly Drive and Santa Monica Boulevard. At a cost of $500,000, it was completed and ready for inauguration on February 28. The money for this project came from a group of actors and others in the industry. Together they were known as the Beverly Hills Speedway Syndicate and in 1919, they finally had enough money to go ahead with their project.

The majority of this money went to buying the land. The lima-bean farmer who sold the Syndicate the land offered it to them for $1,000 per acre ($2,500/ha). Using 2-by-4-inch (50 by 100 mm) boards since the material was cheap, the 1-mile (1.6 km) speedway was built by Jack Prince — famous at the time for his speed track constructions. Though not only cheap, the wood was better than the typical dirt race track since it didn’t have the dust flying into driver’s faces. While it is hard to believe Beverly Hills evolving into Nascar 90210, it is a fond thought that Beverly Hills entertained racing enthusiasts for a short period of time. Today, when you tour Los Angeles, you will see all of the the Ferraris and Lambos with so many RPMS and no place to go!

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