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July 6, 2016

The Dragettes: Pictures of the Kansas City’s All-Girl Hot Rod Club in the 1950s

These photographs were taken by Francis Miller for LIFE magazine of an all-girls hot rod club called “The Dragettes” in what appears to be 1950s Kansas City.

Unfortunately, we didn't find anything relevant about these ladies, but there is a newspaper article about the KCTA- Kansas City Timing Association which conducted the drag races at that time.

It all began in 1955 when Eugene M. Pond, then Kansas City’s chief of detectives who now is chief of police in Wichita , became alarmed at the menacing hot-rod situation here. Motorcycle patrolmen were having a tough time coping with wildcatting, illegal drag racing, on city streets. High speed chases of 100 miles an hour or more were common occurrences.

Pond held a series of meetings with motor-happy youngsters that resulted in formation of the timing accociation. The Kansas City Southern Lines offered a plot of land for $2 a year. A loan of $70,000, to be repaid from profits of the strip , was obtained from a patron group and a contractor agreed to contribute half the cost of grading and paving.

Caught in a swirl of public enthusiasm, the strip was finished two months sooner than planned and suddenly, nocturnal cat and mouse episodes between dragsters and police largely disappeared. The situation has remained relatively the same ever since.

(Images: LIFE Photo Archive, via Kansas City With The Russian Accent)



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