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Old 07-18-2009, 09:28 AM   #1
kurtis
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Default Auto racing 1894-1944

In July of 1894 a French magazine organized a trial to publicise the motorcar. It was not a race. Some months later a few competitors from this event would organize a race, the fastest car would be the winner. Motor racing was born.
In that same year it would spur on other countries and individuals to stage similar events in their own backyards. Just as sponsorship is an important part of sport today it was just as fundamental in the earlier years. Two such individuals and co-sponsors of that first race would change the face of motor racing some years later in England and America.
James Gordon Bennett would have a trophy in his name as would William K. Vanderbilt Jr., the latter being an architect of a famous American road race. Another wealthy man with grand visions would later build the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the annual Indy 500. A race that the French and Italians would be successful in it's earlier years.
Italy would hold it's first race in 1895 although surprisingly Germany would have to wait a short while longer, a headscratcher considering the first motorcar was built by a German but it wasn't long before they too would show the world what German technology had to offer. England wasn't lagging behind either, with the construction of the worlds first purpose built track it's auto industry took great strides forward. So it was these five countries that had and still do have the greatest influence in the way racing cars are built.

Kurtis.

Please post your pics or discuss anything related to this subject.
This includes: The early races, The Gordon Bennett Cup. The Vanderbilt Cup. The American Grand Prize, Indy500 or any other American races, Brooklands, LeMans, Grandprix, Voiturettes, Cyclecars, Mille Miglia, Targa Florio, Hillclimb, posters, stamps, art, clothes of the day{or lack of} and how it has influenced the manufacturers and the common guy. {the hotrodder}

IT DOES NOT INCLUDE MOTORCYCLES AND LANDSPEED RECORD RACING. THE LATTER DESERVING A THREAD OF IT'S OWN.

NOTE
I purposely made the cutoff year of 1944 for obvious reasons but i hope to start another thread some time later covering the time after WWII. A time when men came home with many skills and motor racing was a completely different animal.
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Last edited by kurtis; 11-28-2012 at 06:20 AM.
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Old 07-18-2009, 09:52 AM   #2
The37Kid
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Default Re: Auto racing 1894-1944

This thread is going to be GREAT! Here is Walter Christie in his V-4 Front Wheel Drive the first American built car & driver in a European GP June 2 1907. At that time the cars number had a letter preceding it to let the scorer and fan know what brand car just flew by them. Walter was WC-12
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Last edited by The37Kid; 07-18-2009 at 10:15 AM.
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Old 07-18-2009, 10:22 AM   #3
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Default Re: Auto racing 1894-1944

YES! Thanks for getting this going kurtis!

The quest for speed in these early days spawned the DNA of the "hot rod" movement in the US and abroad. Lightness by removing excess weight from production vehicles, increased torque and horsepower these prototypical Hot Rods set the stage for what the HAMB is all about.

IT BEGINS!

Last edited by miller91; 12-31-2011 at 07:30 PM.
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Old 07-18-2009, 10:31 AM   #4
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Default Re: Auto racing 1894-1944

I forgot to mention the Mille Miglia and Targa Florio.
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Old 07-18-2009, 10:36 AM   #5
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Default Re: Auto racing 1894-1944

all Library of Congress images

Last edited by miller91; 12-31-2011 at 07:29 PM.
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Old 07-18-2009, 10:45 AM   #6
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Default Re: Auto racing 1894-1944

Misc, including Vanderbilt, Targa Florio

Last edited by miller91; 12-31-2011 at 07:29 PM.
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Old 07-18-2009, 11:04 AM   #7
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Default Re: Auto racing 1894-1944

Todays Grand Prix races are run and won just like the ones from the beginning. By that i mean car setup and most importantly tires are the defining factors of nearly every race.
In the 1906 French Grand Prix Renault kept the same engine as the previous year but added a new chassis and hydraulic dampers,the first in the world,and Michelin created the first detatchable rims,cutting their pitstops from fifteen minutes to three.
Even though they won the race,the French authorities were getting increasingly worried about the Italian machines.

Last edited by kurtis; 07-19-2009 at 10:35 AM.
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Old 07-18-2009, 11:07 AM   #8
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Default Re: Auto racing 1894-1944

Some Indy, Savannah, American Grand Prize Santa Monica

Last edited by miller91; 12-31-2011 at 07:29 PM.
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Old 07-18-2009, 11:15 AM   #9
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Default Re: Auto racing 1894-1944

Man oh man, checkout the F2 Fiat. This is just hard on stuff.
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Old 07-18-2009, 11:17 AM   #10
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Default Re: Auto racing 1894-1944

Now these are special for me personally as they are rare photos of the Readville track south of Boston in what is now Hyde Park/Mattapan. My grandfather "Buck" Ryan, born in 1898 told me a story when he went for a joyride with some friends in a "borrowed" Cadillac and went storming around a racetrack in his neighborhood...you guessed it, I believe this track. They crashed heavily, tossing the occupants, killing at least one. My grandfather obviosly survived, but beat up with his tongue nearly cut off!

The third pic is of the Lowell Race in 1909, another great American road race shadowed by the Vanderbilt. I once lived in Lowell, and have spent most of my life in the Merrimack Valley of Massachusetts.

Last edited by miller91; 12-31-2011 at 07:29 PM.
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Old 07-18-2009, 11:22 AM   #11
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Default Re: Auto racing 1894-1944

Funny how you can look at a car number and remember were you saw it. That's a Chalmers-Detroit "Bluebird". May be driven by Matson, he won the Indiana Cup with that car.
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Old 07-18-2009, 11:26 AM   #12
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Default Re: Auto racing 1894-1944

Some oddballs including Corona, one of the Cactus Derby, Christie Front Drives, walking 4 Duesy

Last edited by miller91; 12-31-2011 at 07:29 PM.
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Old 07-18-2009, 11:32 AM   #13
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Default Re: Auto racing 1894-1944

Same Kulick Ford T chasing the Pullman driven by Ringler at Point Breeze in Philadelphia
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Old 07-18-2009, 11:33 AM   #14
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Default Re: Auto racing 1894-1944

Vanderbuilt Cup, American GP, Elgin road race and Oldfield
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Old 07-18-2009, 11:48 AM   #15
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Default Re: Auto racing 1894-1944

Some of the Great Eddie Rickenbacker one of America's true characters in Duesenberg, Mason and Maxwell rides. He took over the Maxwell team and campaigned the Prest-O-Lite Maxwell's after 1915, before he went off after the Red Baron in WWl.

Last edited by miller91; 12-31-2011 at 07:29 PM.
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Old 07-18-2009, 11:55 AM   #16
kurtis
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Default Re: Auto racing 1894-1944

Quote:
Originally Posted by miller91 View Post
Now these are special for me personally as they are rare photos of the Readville track south of Boston in what is now Hyde Park/Mattapan. My grandfather "Buck" Ryan, born in 1898 told me a story when he went for a joyride with some friends in a "borrowed" Cadillac and went storming around a racetrack in his neighborhood...you guessed it, I believe this track. They crashed heavily, tossing the occupants, killing at least one. My grandfather obviosly survived, but beat up with his tongue nearly cut off!

The third pic is of the Lowell Race in 1909, another great American road race shadowed by the Vanderbilt. I once lived in Lowell, and have spent most of my life in the Merrimack Valley of Massachusetts.
Geez man, that's a harsh story. I bet you didn't "borrow" any Cadillacs after hearing that.
I've read something on the Readville track. Think it was an army post before it became a track. Probably horseracing.
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Old 07-18-2009, 11:59 AM   #17
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Default Re: Auto racing 1894-1944

That is the Premier that is in the INDY 500 collection today, car may have started the drilled lightening hole trend.
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Old 07-18-2009, 12:02 PM   #18
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Default Re: Auto racing 1894-1944

Some FIAT, darracq hemi V8, misc.

Last edited by miller91; 12-31-2011 at 07:29 PM.
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Old 07-18-2009, 12:02 PM   #19
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Default Re: Auto racing 1894-1944

Was the Premier a HEMI?
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Old 07-18-2009, 12:03 PM   #20
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Default Re: Auto racing 1894-1944

Quote:
Originally Posted by kurtis View Post
Geez man, that's a harsh story. I bet you didn't "borrow" any Cadillacs after hearing that.
I've read something on the Readville track. Think it was an army post before it became a track. Probably horseracing.
Yes it was a horse track primarily. I also believe you are right with the military base association as well. And no we didn't "borrow" any cadillacs!
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