- Written by webmin
If you’re a Hemmings reader, we know you appreciate all kinds of history, including the type that’s peripheral to running on wheels. The purpose of this post at its most basic is to let you know that in Atlantic City, two nights of indoor racing will be run on Friday and Saturday, January 28 and 29, featuring several classes of lightweight oval-track cars led by TQ Midgets and 600cc Micro Sprint Cars.
The larger issue here is that, besides the fact that the event is a blast, the Atlantic City Indoor Gambler’s Classic is welded to the shore resort’s glorious past, the kind fictionalized in the current HBO hit, Boardwalk Empire. The races are held in Boardwalk Hall, an incredibly beautiful and historic exhibition hall built in 1929 and first named Convention Hall. With Romanesque architecture, it has a 137-foot barrel vault ceiling, and what’s still the world’s biggest pipe organ. Boardwalk Hall hosted the very first indoor college football bowl game (1930), was home to the Miss America pageant for generations, put musical legends from Duke Ellington to Madonna on its stage, and even was the location for the first indoor helicopter flight.
These photographs by the late Walter Chernokal show Boardwalk Hall races on its fifth-mile oval around 1970. Various winter meets were held at the hall from 1939 to 1941 and then from 1946 through 1981, when serious talk actually started about razing the hall during the Atlantic City casino boom. Instead, the hall got a major renovation and a new name. It’s a glorious place to be, especially for some really intense racing with a host of northeast oval stars on hand. Call 609-888-3618 or visit www.aarn.com.