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This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Wed, Dec 31, 1969

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

The Real, True (and Frankly Amazing) Story Of the Inadvertent (and Almost Simultaneous) Invention of “Drifting” in the United States: BIG WILLIE’S TRACK Drifting, the burgeoning motorsports discipline of driving a sliding, tire-smoking automobile around a short, set course of turns, either solo or in tandem with another car, came to the United States from Japan in the late 90’s and has grown into a very popular spectator sport with a nation-wide, full-on, professional tour (Formula Drift) that features set of a hotly-contested championship events at venues across the country like Road Atlanta, Wall Stadium in New Jersey, Evergreen Stadium in Monroe, Washington, the Toyota GP of Long Beach, and which culminates each year with its series finale at “The House of Drift” ... Irwindale Speedway in southern California. Every single one of those nationwide professional drifting appearances invariably result in sellout crowds and the highly enthusiastic participation of a wide range of top automotive manufacturers, tire companies, and aftermarket suppliers along with other non-traditional sponsors who really want to align themselves with the sport’s remarkably strong fan demos. For example, sponsors like the United States Air Force, and BlackVue Cameras. ... So the recent information that has come to hand sheds some light a fascinating chapter in LA’s storied connection with the automobile. In point of fact, we now have evidence that (not unlike like bows and arrows being developed independently by civilizations that were widely separated by epochs, oceans and continents) there was a parallel version of Drifting being proposed right here in Los Angeles in the _______________. “Big Willie” Robinson (the gigantic, muscular, African-American military vet who was never seen in public dressed in anything but in sleeveless combat fatigues topped off with a special forces-looking beret) was the President of a loose confederation of drag racing aficionados named the “Brotherhood of Street Racers”. In the _______________ he talked the Los Angeles City Council into letting his group to use a large parking lot on Terminal Island to run drag races, ostensibly to get kids off the streets (yeah, the name of his organization did sort of belie the operation’s name). His organization ran events at that site for _________ years before the property (that was leased to his organization for a token amount) was needed for development at the harbor.
It never happened of course.

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