Martin Hill's Falcons

Martin tells of racing his Ford Falcons in 1970 and his previous experience street racing on Sunset Blvd. in Los Angeles.

From Martin Hill:    Got a call from Ray Wolfe at Hi-Po Motors and he said to come down and bring my race car savings. I had $1000 total.  A couple of buddies and I went to see him and he asked me how much I had saved (typical car salesman).  I told him.  He said I have been saving this for you Martin and we at Shelby believe it should be yours.  He took me out in the lot and there was a cherry 1964 Comet Caliente: a Holman-Moody Bill Stroppe East African Safari Rally car. It was on the cover of Hot Rod magazine and was an official Homoglated racer with all the papers. I was in. They gave me things to go with it and I outdid Rex Ramsey at the Willow School and they were forced to concede after only a couple minutes that I was entitled to my license to drive a "Big Bore" Sedan.  I was very very blessed to get that perfect running and strong racer and shortly to take it to the Santa Barbara Road Races."
"Here is my first race in the red-white-blue ex-Bill Stroppe Eastern African Safari Comet set up for road racing. I got up to 2nd place and then the wheel snapped and the tire went under the car and flipped it up and around at 80 mph towards the crowd.  Strangely enough because I had put up a hard fight to get there and had to come from behind I got a standing "O" on the hook on the way back to the pits. The Comet was a red-white-blue patriotic-looking crowd  pleaser and the largest car taking those corners and giving nothing up."


From Martin Hill:   

"I was training and saving myself and my pennies for a race car and insisted on a V8. I was almost 21 at the time and was getting prepared to get my SCCA license. (I went to Willow Bog Slow Formula Ford School) to get time in. They taught me nothing.  I felt I had bigger things coming anyway. I knew it. So I took a minimum course and zinged the tach the first day to see if I would ultimately like the car at the sharp end and found it had none. 

I had been training myself on Sunset Blvd. From the freeway to the ocean and back and sometimes a run into Hollywood if the coast was clear and it was late enough. We normally went out at 1 or 2 AM in a train consisting of a '69 GTO lowered and tires up to 55 lbs.; a Galaxie 500XL, lowered with NASCAR tires and wheels; a '69 SS Chevelle, and an odd Falcon or Tiger or Mustang. The GTO with myself up was always fastest. We also had a four pack of Mini Coopers and would use them on other nights.  I beat Rusty Hamer's (the actor) brand new Series 2 289 Cobra into the ground going through the Palisades and down Sunset to the ocean. We street raced quite a bit and I have to say God was Looking out for us morons as we never had an accident or even got a ticket while racing on Sunset.  The GTO owner managed a Texaco station on the corner of Bundy and Wilshire and that was base for the shoot out and run back.   This was high speed training. By the time I got to Jim Russell school to get my license I was already "velocitized".  It was my dream since seeing Riverside in 1960, to do what I could to build up speed and get my license.

From Martin:  

"My second car the Blue Falcon had fiberglass fenders, doors, hood, trunk.  Very light and drove flat like a kart.  It was a fiberglass paneled version of Monte Carlo Rally winner Falcon with a Shelby experimental motor  (Relocated spark plugs) and it was never passed by anyone. Won my first race at Riverside with the Continental Accessories Falcon."

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