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Ron Hoden
Car #65

Ron 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:

  hoden01.jpg (41601 bytes) Ron Hoden and George Snow ready for the Playland 300 in 1959 hoden02.jpg (59547 bytes)  hoden03.jpg (58886 bytes) Go on Ron! Give her a little kiss!  I think this car only lasted one night.  I was at Playland when this happened,  Seems like the back was pushed in too.

hoden05.jpg (34894 bytes)  Miss Omaha  hoden07.jpg (193062 bytes)  Ron and Dave Hoden.    No. I don't believe Ron won the trophy dash from her! Ron in 1976 (I think).  His last car.

 

He wasn't afraid to kiss this one!  I think he's done this before. hoden-sweep.jpg (96757 bytes)  Ron probably had several racing jackets.  The 1968 Playland 300 (I think) with Elvin Heiman.  hodenday.jpg (23277 bytes) 

  

 

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.

Ron Jr.  in 1977.

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!

Dave Hoden

proud mechanic of my Dad's last cars and my brother's whole racing career.