Mustangs at the 1968 Riverside Trans-Am Race
While digging through the TEN photo archives in preparation for this month’s story on the history of Mustang in the SCCA Trans Am series of 1966-’71, we came across these totally cool shots of the Riverside race in December 1968. At some point during the event, organizers opened the track up for anyone driving a Mustang (only 3½ years old at that time) to make a few laps, and also park in a special Mustang-only lot inside the track. Check out all those Mustangs entering and exiting the infamous “esses” at Riverside International Raceway, located in the desert an hour east of Los Angeles. The aerial photo shows the parking area inside Turn 6, just after the esses.
This historic track should be known to Ford loyalists due to its incredible history in not just racing, but vehicle development; Carroll Shelby did a significant amount of his testing of the original Cobras here, and Ken Miles did thousands of laps of the place (and also tragically lost his life there). Since it was in Southern California, it was also used in a ton of television shows and movies throughout the years. Unfortunately, it was bulldozed in 1990 or 1991 to make room for a shopping mall—just what the world needs more of. For Southern California locals who never got a chance to visit the track, the aerial shot is looking northwest, and that divided road just past the grandstands is now the 60 Freeway.