Thursday, August 2, 2007

Go Retro: Malibu Grand Prix

Every so often, The Militant will have a sudden urge to get nostalgic, so periodically he will pull out the old photo album and show pictures of himself in his younger days taken at various SoCal locales. As expected, in order to protect his and anyone else's identity, any identifying facial features of The Militant or his relatives or friends will be pixelated out.

Today, The Militant's "Go Retro" edition for today takes you back to 1983. Back then, Prince might have sung a song about a little red Corvette, but a younger Militant took a spin in a little white miniature Indy car at Malibu Grand Prix, just off the 60 in the City of Industry. Not only was it a great place to drive a miniature race car, but it had a killer video arcade where the Militant played games like Millipede and Pole Position. The younger Militant never realized at the time that there never was an actual Malibu Grand Prix in the city of Malibu proper, and that such names were only created to propagate, for both better and worse, the "California mystique" of fun, sun and adventure. There are still Malibu Grand Prixes in other parts of the country, though, and the City of Industry location lives on today under the name "SpeedZone," which incidentally, despite its relative proximity to the actual place called Malibu, is the one of only two Malibu Grand Prix-owned facilities (the other is in Dallas) that do not bear the "Malibu" name. Considering the City of Malibu is a long-ass narrow strip of land along the coast, there probably was never room to have an actual Malibu Grand Prix in Malibu, unless some filthy rich dude took it upon himself to make a private one on his home property.

10 comments:

LA Bus Girl said...

That place is SO MUCH FUN! Ahh.

Valleypinoy said...

Dude...I loved Malibu Grand Prix. There was one right on Nordhoff here in Northridge. I remember spending many a birthday parties racing a go-kart around the racetrack when I was a kid. Eh...it's too bad it's not there anymore.

Militant Angeleno said...

valleypinoy: Where exactly was the MGP in Northridge, and what is there now?

&%; = lainey said...

there used to be a malibu castle in north hollywood. it's now an apartment building now. i remember a go cart track in the valley on roscoe. it's now just an empty lot.

Valleypinoy said...

The MGP in Northridge was across the street from the Northridge Mall on Nordhoff. I believe there is a car dealership there now. At least the land is still within the automobile family. =)

sleepy said...

Hey, we're always waxing nostalgic about pinball and games over at www.vpforums.com , home of Visual Pinball and VPinMAME, both free non-commercial pinball emulator programs, but this is not a plug. I found this blog while looking up Malibu Grand Prix/Golfland, and you might be interested in this thread. Although it is about the Daphne laserdisc emulator, I reminisce about the early days of Malibu Castle in Sepulveda, Ca. in the 1970's and their problems with pinball. I hope the link prints out o.k.
http://www.vpforums.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=43746

The Malibu Grand Prix in North Hollywood was on Whitsett Ave. and was originally a Golfland Miniature Golf and Arcade with the emphasis on pinball machines. Pinball games were illegal in Los Angeles until 1970-71, and after legalization the game enjoyed huge popularity among us young folks.
Golfland built the North Hollywood location with a larger Arcade in order to accomodate the pinball craze. The park, including the Arcade interiors, was designed with
an Old-West theme.

In the early 1980's Time Warner bought both Golfland and Malibu Grand Prix and combined the two companies.

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La Angelena said...

Must say, your GoRetro series has me nostalgic, and this one hit a soft spot. I loved this place as a kid. I was always too afraid to drive the Grand Prix cars, but loved the arcade (wasn't it inside an old fashioned steamship called ShowBoat?) There were two water slides, a miniature golf course and bumper boats. And across the street was Skate Country (where I once saw Tina Yothers, of Family Ties, skating here). Ahhh, good times.

Robert Brown said...

The MGP in Northridge was on Nordhoff. If you went past Corbin going east on Nordhoff, it was right past the Bob's Big Boy on the right hand side. I remember going to Bob's and begging my mom and dad to take me to MGP after. Sometimes I got lucky! Check out the old aerial photo from 1980 here and see MGP, that's the Bob's parking lot right on the corner of Nordhoff and Corbin with the entrance to MGP next to it and the tracks are clearly visable. http://sanfernandovalleyblog.blogspot.com/2014/12/582-residential-dwelling-units-coming.html