How many people here grew up in the late 50's ?

For those of you that did, tell me…What in the world were “Submarine Races?” I hear that this was a very popular thing back in the Good old days of Rock and Roll. I myself grew up in the 70’s. I’m very aware of the Disco age, but this Submarine things really got me stomped. What exactly was this :dubious:

Assuming your’re not kidding, when teenagers drove to a local lake with their girlfriends for a makeout session, they said they were going to watch the submarine races. In Dallas, anyway.

I grew up in those years… but I never heard of submarine races. Parking was the word in my neck of the woods.

Well, due to terrorism concerns, the Submarine races are no longer held in the lake by the old Officers Club on base in New London.

Yup, they used to hold model sub raced on base so you could validly say you were going to watch the submarine races=)

I grew up in the 70s also (I’m 39 now), and I knew what submarine races were. We went out to the local reservoir to watch them. A(Actually, it would have been the early 80s when before I was old enough to go out there to hang out, but yeah, I grew up in the 70s.)

From a person who had his formative years in the '50s: It was as LouisB said.

I believe the phrase started on the West Coast. One would go out to a bluff overlooking the ocean in your '56 Chevy with a person of the opposite sex at about sun down and stay there with that person, let us saying “passing the time” together well into the nighttime hours.

Inevitably when you were back at school the next day, or the following Monday someone would mention that you were seen out there and they would say, “Whatch doin’ out there, huh, huh? Whatch doin’ out there?”

Believing that it was none of the questioner’s business or clearly if they had to ask, they wouldn’t understand, you would say, “Just watchin’ the submarine’s race.”

The idea being that since if submarines were going to race, one couldn’t see them any way, but by the time the stupid questioner figured that out you would be someplace else.

I believe it evolved from there to mean “going to park and make out.”


Yeah louis b and TV time are right

Ditto in New York. Cousin Brucie and Murray the K…disc jockies…would play songs ‘for all you submarine race watchers out there’. :cool:

I vaguely remember Dick Dale and the Del Tones having a minor hit on the West Coast with something about “Going to the Submarine Races” or just the “Submarine Races”. I remember it was an instrumental and kind of romantic in that “Surf Sound” manner.

It could have been the Astronauts or Ventures I suppose, but I always want to attribute all early “Surf Sounds” to Dale.

Yep, that’s what “submarine races” were.

Here’s another expression but it didn’t achieve the same popularity - “lobster fights”.
Yes, sometimes, submarines would have to leave our shores to defend our country but luckily, here on the East Coast, lobsters would emerge from the sea (always on weekend nights) and spar with one another.

Oh…(LOL) :smack: :smiley:

Yep, it meant “necking.” Also because of the similarity between a speeding submarine and a, well . . . you know.