Oct 01

Ralph De Palma, pioneer race car driver

Ralph and Marion De Palma with Ralph's Miller special race car, picture taken at rear of the Hal Roach movie studios in Culver City, California in July 1932, shortly after Ralph timed Marion driving this car, 120 mph, around a 5 mile circular course, on the Muroc Dry Lake. Photos courtesy George Shyavitz

PFTV reader George Shyavitz met Ralph De Palma’s wife in 1981. The famed racer was featured in an earlier post on the San Luis Obispo racetrack at Exposition Park. George kindly shared these images with us. De Palma’s resum√© is quite impressive. He also shared this link to the history of dry lake racing. Muroc will forever be associated with speed. Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier for the first time over Muroc Army base, later Edwards Air Force Base.


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  1. Racing at Exposition Park
  2. 1965ish Pioneer Day Parade
  3. Great Biplane and Automobile Race at Pizmo Beach
  4. 1965 Space Race
  5. Great Race 1964