was one of the best of the Playland drivers, and certainly one of my
favorites. From 1967-72 I lived just blocks from him. I went
to school with his oldest boy, Dave.
Ron was also involved in one of the best Playland stories that I've heard. See the Bob Matson page for more on that!
Enjoy these pictures from Ron's scrapbook:
This story is from Ron's oldest son Dave. It is the story behind the #47 Camaro pictured below, and a good insight into Ron's protective nature.
In Dave's words:
The last year of Playland park was my brother, Ron Hoden Jr's first year of racing. Dad decided to hang it up the year before and wanted to give us the Nova, his last Playland super, to race. At the time we didn't want to race so Dad sold everything. The last season started at Playland and we got the bug to race again. Dad bought a cherry 68 Camaro to restore that didn't have a motor. We cried so much about wanting to race, Dad gave it to us to build. My three brothers, Ron Jr., Tim and "adopted brother", Bob Hansen, put bars in it. I had a worn out 327 that I put rings, bearings and an old race cam in. Dad still had his 650 2 barrel carb from the 2 barrel days at Sunset. We found a used Holly intake and a beat up set of headers I had to patch.
The season was almost half over when we got it finished, Ron Jr. and I were working nights so we would work on it during the day and Dad would work on it in the evenings. The first night out this thing was a Dog! We got it home and checked it out. Come to find out,, dad set the throttle so we were only getting about 3/4 throttle. Also, in them days we got our gear ratios thru 2nd gear in the tranny. We had 1.33, 1.54 and 1.68 ratios. We found that dad had slipped the 1.33 on us. Ron Jr. and I put the 1.68 in and fixed the throttle so it went wide open. Not telling Dad that we did. Sat. night came with a bang! Ron Jr. hot lapped the car and dad was flagman on the north corner. Ron was twisting some R's when he went by Dad! After hot laps, Dad came down to the pits and asked what the hell we did to the car. I said "We made it fast Dad". He just smiled, shook his head, and went back to his flag corner.
The coolest thing about this car guys, there was only about $300 in it and it won three A features in a row. Boy, those were the days!
proud mechanic of my Dad's last cars and my brother's whole racing career.