The “Killer Track” once attracted fans of cars and speed to El Sereno

El SERENO — From the early 1920s to the mid 1930s, thousands of Angelenos would head to a banked oval track near what is now Soto Street and Valley Boulevard to watch thrilling and often deadly motor car races at the Legion Ascot Speedway.

Hollywood celebrities were among the throngs who went to the The Legion Ascot Speedway to watch drivers from around the country zip around the dirt track at more than 8o miles per hour, according to an L.A. Times story. But while the El Sereno track, now covered by homes and schools, helped popularize motor car racing, it also developed a reputation for deadly accidents, earning it the nickname “Killer Track.”

How many people died at the races in El Sereno? About two dozen drivers, mechanics and bystanders between November 1924 and January 1936, when the Legion Ascot closed following a deadly crash.

Click here for more history and photos of the Legion Ascot.

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