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Old 04-26-2011, 10:06 AM   #1
Jive-Bomber
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Default When Oldfield met Ford and the 999.



Bern Oldfield's first love was bicycle racing. In 1902, someone loaned him a gasoline-powered bicycle to race in Salt Lake City, where he lived at the time. This happenstance event led to a meeting with Henry Ford, who had prepared two unnamed rac...

To read the rest of this blog entry from The Jalopy Journal, click here.
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Old 04-26-2011, 10:08 AM   #2
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Default Re: When Oldfield met Ford and the 999.

Oldfeild was one of my childhood heros-did a book report on him in 7th grade
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Old 04-26-2011, 10:33 AM   #3
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Default Re: When Oldfield met Ford and the 999.

999 was certainly the first race car I ever heard of, my dad would talk about Barny Oldfield when I was but a lad.
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Old 04-26-2011, 10:56 AM   #4
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Default Re: When Oldfield met Ford and the 999.

A true Hero in the early racing world and many of the other things that Oldfield did in his life time ! Those early years in racing must have been one damn hairy ride ! Those guys had much bigger ones than I ever had when it came to racing . I did some really stupid things when I drag raced at the track and especially street racing back in the 1970's but those early racers just were more of a man than I would ever be ! They took their life and set them aside at the pits when they raced . Nothing scared them I don't think !
I can even think what it was like racing on a dirt track in that 999 race car ! Must have been one really crazy ride !
Hats off to a great man and Henry Ford !
Great story !

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Old 04-26-2011, 11:03 AM   #5
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Default Re: When Oldfield met Ford and the 999.

What a beast of a car. I'm with you guys on it must have been plenty scary for them to jump on that thing and just rip around. Especially with no driving experience.
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Old 04-26-2011, 12:21 PM   #6
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Default Re: When Oldfield met Ford and the 999.

Also in the early part of the of the twentieth century, Oldfield teamed up with Lincoln Beachy, one the early aviators; putting on automobile/airplane races. Beachy flew a Curtis pusher, bi-plane.

They performed for thousands, before Beachy, said to be the first pilot to accomplish a loop, plunged to his death in San Francisco Bay.
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Old 04-26-2011, 12:44 PM   #7
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Default Re: When Oldfield met Ford and the 999.

What a great piece of history. Thanks for the cool post Jive Bomber!
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Old 04-26-2011, 01:03 PM   #8
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Default Re: When Oldfield met Ford and the 999.

Wow! What a coincidence... I was just reading about this car last night in a book about the Ford Motor Company, titled "Wheels for the World" ... Cool post!
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Old 04-26-2011, 01:22 PM   #9
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Default Re: When Oldfield met Ford and the 999.

Grandpop was a mechanic in a car that raced against Oldfield... and lost badly.
Jive Bomber on top of his game with this one. Thanks for sharing it.
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Old 04-26-2011, 02:00 PM   #10
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Default Re: When Oldfield met Ford and the 999.

Many times it has been asked when did hotrods start. In general terms, this shows that hotrods were here before production of stock cars. Henry Ford was not making cars yet and he used the publicity of these racers to attract investors for his companies, and then, after two failures, went on to start the Ford Motor Co. and start manufacturing cars. The Model T came in 1908 and the assembly was perfected over a five year period from 1908 til 1913.
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Old 04-26-2011, 02:00 PM   #11
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Default Re: When Oldfield met Ford and the 999.

Now that's a speedster!
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Old 04-26-2011, 02:53 PM   #12
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Default Re: When Oldfield met Ford and the 999.

Snapped a couple pictures at the Henry Ford last year. I can't remember if this is the real deal or a replica? I think its the actual car, but either way here's some color pics of the 999.
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Old 04-26-2011, 03:06 PM   #13
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Default Re: When Oldfield met Ford and the 999.

It is the actual car in the Henry Ford - Greenfield Museum and she's a piece of work.
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Old 04-26-2011, 03:52 PM   #14
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Default Re: When Oldfield met Ford and the 999.

Ironic, I just found this ad on another site, featuring Barney, at a race here in British Columbia. He must have been one of the first "touring professional" race drivers. Back then this would have been seriously in the "boonies". Here's the site, it's interesting history. http://befastpast.blogspot.com/
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Old 04-26-2011, 03:54 PM   #15
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Default Re: When Oldfield met Ford and the 999.

Barney Oldfield had balls of steel.I wouldn't race that without a roll cage,too many interesting ways to die.My favorite car of his was the Benz Blitzen,which was way ahead of its time.
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Old 04-26-2011, 04:24 PM   #16
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Default Re: When Oldfield met Ford and the 999.

16.2ltr, 70-80hp @ 1500rpm.

(diecast model)
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Old 04-26-2011, 05:38 PM   #17
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Default Re: When Oldfield met Ford and the 999.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 29bowtie View Post
Ironic, I just found this ad on another site, featuring Barney, at a race here in British Columbia. He must have been one of the first "touring professional" race drivers. Back then this would have been seriously in the "boonies". Here's the site, it's interesting history. http://befastpast.blogspot.com/
Check out spirtoftomorrow.com Barney was a local fellow here on Vancouver Island. We even have an Oldfield road in Central Saanich. Just another local boy done good
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Old 04-26-2011, 08:34 PM   #18
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Default Re: When Oldfield met Ford and the 999.

Sorry Rex, But Barney was born in a log cabin on a farm in the small Northwest Ohio town of Wauseon, on Jan 29.1878. I have studied his life and times for the past 35+ years and I have amassed a huge collection of photographs, newpaper and magazine articles covering his career. Like others here have mentioned he was one of the first paid professional drivers in the U.S. if not the world. While his career may have never led him to winning the Indy 500, and some of the other big races during his time, he was most fortunate to have survived to the age of 68. He actually drove his last official race in 1918 in a fund raiser event ( to support the WWI war effort). That race was run in Independance , MO. with him driving the Harry Miller inspired/built " Golden Sub." against a local driver. Many, many, stories, be they fact or fiction, have been told about this man who brought automobile racing and exposure of the automobile to the masses.
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Old 04-26-2011, 09:51 PM   #19
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Default Re: When Oldfield met Ford and the 999.

Like others here, Barney Oldfield was a childhood hero of mine. I remember being enthralled by the story of him being the first to go a mile in a minute. I was amazed when I read how he was told that if he went that fast the wind pressure would crush him. I marveled at his courage to go that fast any way. I love the pictures on the blog. Thanks for bringing back some great memories.
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Old 04-27-2011, 02:20 AM   #20
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Default Re: When Oldfield met Ford and the 999.

The days when racing drivers really were 'men of steel'.......must have been something to see at full throttle


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