Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A visit to the former Pittsburgh International Dragway!



 


1962 - runway of Campbell Airport, with a plane overhead.


May 26, 1967 - former runway of the original Campbell Airport after it had being reused as a drag strip.

1969 - Campbell Airport as PID

1980(?) - view of the abandoned airstrip

1993 - aerial view of both airstrips

The above photos courtesy of Abandoned & Little Known Airfields. Visit their site for more information:


We look at our stats pretty often to see what you folks like and view the most.  The Pittsburgh International Dragway is always near the top of the list.  Evan, Danielle, Remy and I headed out today to find the former dragstrip that served Pittsburgh and surrounding areas from 1964 to 1976.

Using Google maps and Evan's GPS, we found the road leading to the track pretty quickly, but thats where the "quick" stopped!  We were greeted by a locked gate and were unsure if this was the spot.
Fortunatley,for us, a gentleman was in his yard at the end of the lane near the gate and confirmed that this was indeed the spot.  He told us he remembers when the track was active and cars lined the road all the way to the track on the weekends.  He went on to say the gate was locked mainly due to ATV traffic and people sneaking up to race.  He was very nice and gave us the o.k. to head up for pictures (Whew!) "You can go up,but it's a ways!" Um...yea.
We walked....and walked...and walked.  When the man offered to find the key, we should have waited! What we estimated was about two miles, past old mining equipment and a slate dump (made us feel at home!) we crested the hill and there she was!

In the video, we begin to doubt if this was the track.  We were using a former airstrip as our guide.(see map on original post) and were confused to the location of the buildings at the end of the track.  Well as it turns out,the airstrip is right above the dragstrip(a fellow at the business confirmed this) but the "hilltop" strip wasn't the race track.  The one in the pics/video is the dragstrip.  So we were right...by accident!
This post will evolve with more pictures and video in the next few days,so stop back.be sure to check out the recently updated:


There are many great photos and info there!! So,  Happy late father's day,Dad! We found the track ( I got a chunk of asphalt for him!)

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The mystery of the two airstrips…

As we did our explorations yesterday, we ran into a little confusion because there are two airstrips basically right beside each other. Yesterday, by talking to some locals, we learned that the airstrip on the ridge was the airport(closed 1994-95) and the racing had happened on the second. By why were there two airstrips? Upon arriving at home and doing a little research, we discovered the reason. There were two Campbell Airports. The first opened sometime before 1958 and was closed and replaced by the second Campbell Airport, located to the south on the ridge, somewhere between 1962-1967. The first airport is the one that would later become the Pittsburgh International Dragway, which later closed in 1976. Mystery solved!

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The gate to PID

And down the road we go...

...as it turns to red dog...

...and then back again.

Maybe if we go this way...

Filming the action...

Filming...
And here it is, former Campbell's Airport and Pittsburgh International Dragway.

Various markings...started at 105, then to 90, 75, 60.

More of the markings...former light pole location?
and generator?
More markings...
Looking back towards the starting line.
Chip (and Remy) getting a chunk of asphalt to take home.
What's left of the guardrail and road leading up to the strip.

10 comments:

  1. Ahh Haa ... so that's what the mystery FB picture was :)

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  2. Back in 1971 and 72 when I raced there, the staging lanes were on a hill leading down to the starting line. you could literally coast down to the starting line before firing up your engine. The return road was on the left of the track and led back to the pits. What memories this brings back.

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  3. Rusty, It would have been good to have you there w/ us yesterday as we had a lot of questions about this site. It looks to have grown over extensively since the 70's. We plan another trip down there possibly i the fall when the greenery has died away some. We want to loo fo the older side roads and so on.

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  4. So now I see what the big secret was.... Nice bit of history

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  5. Guys, you have the right spot. It was Campbells Airport until the early 60s, then the airport was moved to its 2nd location up in the hill. Thats when this became PID.

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  6. Does anyone have a video or photos of the 1970 White Oldsmobile that said Tomsic Olds on the side of the car?

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  7. lots of pix here:
    http://www.pittsburghinternationaldragway.com/

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  8. I remember being there in the early 70's with my dad we pulled Roger Lindenmoods Color Me Gone funny on n off the track that night I was about 5 or 6 then and can still remember that like it was yesterday.i just wish the Kosky familt would be able to open that back up there would be such a response from not only the old timers but the younger gen also

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  9. For some reason, many of our photos are not showing up on this post.We will be fixing it ASAP! Stay tuned!

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  10. Sucks that the place closed...would be great to have a strip in the south hills,were not too fond of p.r.p.. so we go to ohio alot...btw most of the photos on here are not coming up but guess it could be my smart phones issue

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