Catalina GP Film Funding Deadline Approaching

| 22 June 2015 3:57 pm

The Catalina Grand Prix Movie

Submitted by Tami Greenhill/
NORCO, CA, JUNE 19, 2015

A new documentary about a once-in-a-lifetime event is in the works. We need your support to make it happen!

Catalina GP Movie Flyer 2015 590 0001

In 1951, the first Catalina Grand Prix was held on the tropical island located (as the song made famous) “26 miles across the sea” from Los Angeles. The event became the most prestigious race in the nation, attracting professional racers, movie stars, and the average Joe who wanted to “run with the big dogs” over the hundred-mile circuit.

The likes of Bud and Dave Ekins, Ed Kretz Jr., Chuck “Feets” Minert, Keenan Wynn, Lee Marvin and Steve McQueen all took their positions at the starting line in Avalon. But for one reason or another, the race would end after 1958 and the island went on with its existence, being a place for weekend getaways, boat outings and bird watching.

Then came Vinnie Mandzak, a local dirt-biking club racer, who successfully convinced the principals of Catalina to allow him to produce the race again in 2010. The race that was never supposed to happen again did, in fact, happen.

Racers of both sexes and all ages and levels of skill signed up in droves for a starting spot in this legendary, once-in-a-lifetime race. The event attracted some of the world’s top racers, such as Kendall Norman, Kurt Caselli, Ricky Johnson, Johnny Campbell, and the wild motorsports legend Travis Pastrana.

This 2010 race would be very special for one man who could not afford to race it back in the 1950s but who went on to become one of the most well-known off-road motorcycle racers in history, Malcolm Smith. Malcolm would finally get to race the Catalina Grand Prix, but it would also be his last competitive race… ever.

Producer and director Todd Huffman’s Pipeline Digital Media shot the 2010 event for three days with a crew of 20 for another project that never materialized. The footage has sat on the shelf for more than four years.

Now, a completely new film will be created from that footage, along with new interviews that are being shot all over Los Angeles and on the island of Catalina itself. The film will cover the history of the early years as only motorcycle documentary filmmaker Todd Huffman can do.

To view the trailer and get involved by making your pledge today, please go to

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Category: Announcements, Gran Prix

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