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What you need to know for 10/17/2017

1975 Altamont Fair featured careening cars and more

1975 Altamont Fair featured careening cars and more

The 1975 Altamont Fair had plenty of things to grab your attention. That included the “Hell Drivers
1975 Altamont Fair featured careening cars and more
Russell Case is all aboard an American Locomotive Co. '4-8-4' engine that was built in 1946. The engine made an appearance at the '75 Altamont Fair.
Photographer: Gazette file/Jim Cassin

Larry “Happy” Kramer was used to rides on the wild side.

As one of the “Hell Drivers” in Jack Kochman’s Thrill Show, Kramer had no fear of the fast and the furious. Larry proved he was death-proof on Monday, Aug. 11, 1975, opening day at the Altamont Fair.

During one of the team’s stunts, Kramer grabbed the roof of a speeding car and held on as the vehicle zoomed past the fair grandstand.

Jack and the boys were only fooling around in Altamont for opening day. Their tricks included weaving in and out of traffic and jumping ramps at high speeds. Driver Tony Peterson impressed the audience by riding around the car track on two wheels.

People came to the fair for other reasons. Animals and rides were on the grounds. The farm museum became a set for an old-fashioned wedding, with wedding dresses from 1850 on display. Wedding ceremonies were planned in the museum during the fair’s weeklong engagement.

An American Locomotive Co. “4-8-4” engine, built in Schenectady in 1946, was on display in the fair’s railroad museum. The engine had been built for Mexico’s national railway system and used for passenger and freight purposes.

Band concerts and talent shows also entertained. And while 1976 was still more than four months away, many exhibits were wrapped in red, white and blue paper — early preparations for the nation’s bicentennial.

This year’s Altamont Fair begins Tuesday and runs through Sunday. On the schedule are Circus Hollywood, Sherman’s Lumberjack Show, Disc-Connected K9s and Brigade FMX, among other acts.

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