John Dobbins was a young racefan when he came to Saugus from 1971 to 1975 and took some souvenir pictures that turned into history all these decades later.
Dobbins grew up around racing; his uncle owned Empire Auto Wrecking at 723 Arroyo Street in San Fernando, just west of the San Fernando Airport (which closed in 1985),
and his father later became a business partner. They put together 13 or 14 cars for racers who would come to the yard.
All photos are from 1971-1975; some (as indicated) are from the first "Saugus 330," which was an epic, three-day event culminating in a 330-lap (110-mile)
race for the biggest guaranteed purse ever offered on a short track in Southern California.
On August 14-15, 1975, more than 150 drivers from all over the country participated in qualifiers for 32
positions in the main event on Saturday night, August 16. The race on the 1/3-mile track was run in three 110-lap segments with mandatory pit stops in between. A total of $15,000 was given out:
$5,000 to the overall winner; $1,000 for second place; lesser amounts for the remaining positions; and $3,300 in lap money ($10 to the winner of each lap), with a guarantee of $50 starting money.
The winner was none other than a Saugus favorite, "Roarin'" Oren Prosser of Agoura, in a Don Johnson 1968 Chevelle with unusual new high-performance, English-made tires. Prosser took home $8,070 ($5,000 plus lap money), followed by
Don Hood of Grants Pass, Ore., in second; another Saugus regular, Jimmy Insolo of Mission Hills in third; and local Bobby Kauf of Pacoima in fourth.
Hood took the early lead. Kauf passed
him at lap 16 before Prosser pulled ahead at lap 23. By lap 80, Prosser had a half-lap lead and never looked back. It was Prosser's biggest prize win to date.