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History Auto racing 1894-1942

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by kurtis, Jul 18, 2009.

  1. T-Head
    Joined: Jan 28, 2010
    Posts: 3,935

    T-Head
    Member
    from Paradise.

    I found a press photo dated from 1932 showing the Penrose trophy that was in the photo ehdubya posted before take at Pikes Peak. It is quite an impressive site.

    'A woman posing with the Penrose Trophy and the 2nd place Graham Paige Special driven by Joe Unser Sr in 1927. Spencer Penrose purchased the silver and gold cup in England especially for the Pike's Peak trophy'
     

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    Last edited: Apr 27, 2010
  2. T-Head
    Joined: Jan 28, 2010
    Posts: 3,935

    T-Head
    Member
    from Paradise.

    I went back and studied the fence line in the first three photos. If you look at the fence back by the car following the Cutting in the second photo, it gets a second rail from there back. This is just like the fence in the third photo. It looks like the fence changed at different parts of the track. The vegetation in the second photo also looks the same in the infield of the third photo.

    I looked up my notes and the first photo, given to me by a friend is identifed as Banning and it is labeled on the back of the photo ( I guess this is why I thought it was taken there). So this tells us the Burman went there at least twice with the car. The great forth photo that ehdubya found of it at Banning with the wire wheels must have been from a different time unless he tried the different wheels while he was there?

    If you really study the photos it looks like the National in the third photo is right next to Burman in the forth photo judging by its weird high back seat as seen in the last photo I posted a while back.
     

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    Last edited: Apr 27, 2010
  3. psalt
    Joined: Apr 17, 2010
    Posts: 101

    psalt
    Member
    from nyc

    why were they called 300 inch cars?[/QUOTE]


    Mac,

    Engine size. 300 cu in displacement limit from 1915 until 1920 when it was dropped to 183 cu in (3 liters).

    Paul
     
  4. carl s
    Joined: Mar 22, 2008
    Posts: 741

    carl s
    Member
    from Indio, CA

    I've read they were made en masse from the original mold (titled Modern Speed?)you have pictured and amongst other uses adorned the frontage of Richfield service stations.
    Our WRA Club Member Tom Malloy has one displayed in his collection.
    [​IMG]
    addendum:
    Well I found the link to a past post on the subject:
    http://www.trackforum.com/forums/showthread.php?79166-Modern-Speed
    "Richfield was established in 1915 by the merger of two small oil companies in Los Angeles, CA. They entered a competitive marketplace that was dominated by the “Big 4” of the oil industry, Standard, Shell, Associated and Union.

    One of the ways that they chose to compete was to develop a more powerful gasoline. They were able to develop a gasoline with an octane rating of 75 which at that time was quite high.. To promote this more powerful gasoline they offered it to race car drivers around the LA area and by 1921 they were supplying their products for the racers at the Indianapolis 500. From 1921 to 1932 cars using Richfield gasoline took the top five places at Indy, which spawned there phrase, “Gasoline of Power”.

    To celebrate this success a statue was commissioned in 1926 and created by sculptor Finn Haakon Frolich. This large statue featured a dirt track racer sliding through a turn and was used as a monument at various Richfield stations to commemorate their racing successes. A scaled version of this same statue was used on top of the pumps at the Beacon stations, along with a sculpture of an airplane in flight, which symbolized Richfield’s role in aviation fuel. These small statues were incorporated in to covers that sat over modified Bowser Exacto Sentry clock face pumps.

    These statues were one of may of the minute and impressive details that were used on the Beacon stations. In California these stations celebrated the popular Spanish and Mission revival styles that were being widely visited throughout the twenties."
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2010
  5. T-Head
    Joined: Jan 28, 2010
    Posts: 3,935

    T-Head
    Member
    from Paradise.

    I've read they were made en masse from the original mold (titled Modern Speed?)you have pictured and amongst other uses adorned the frontage of Richfield service stations.
    Our WRA Club Member Tom Malloy has one displayed in his collection.

    Carl...Thanks for letting us know....I figured it was to important to not get saved. T-Head.
     
  6. ehdubya
    Joined: Aug 27, 2008
    Posts: 2,304

    ehdubya
    Member

    Those all look like the same track alright and it could well be Benning, my confusion comes from 3 different tracks all labeled Benning in the library of congress. I'd assumed that was more likely Laurel but now I'm thinking this one is which makes even more of their captions wrong including horse races.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This banner on the tower makes sense for Laurel

    [​IMG]
     
  7. carl s
    Joined: Mar 22, 2008
    Posts: 741

    carl s
    Member
    from Indio, CA

    cool
    here's photo of the one in Tom's Lobby
    [​IMG]

    addendum:
    Well, I just got a quick email back from Tom Malloy.
    The sculpture in his lobby is not the Froelich Richfield 'Modern Speed'

    Carl,

    Referencing the sculpture, you should know that the sculpture in my lobby is #1/10 in bronze by Steve Posson of Atascadero, CA. To my knowledge he has sold two in bronze, the others are in fiber glass. Another point of interest, Steve refers to the piece as the ‘1923 American Racer’.

    Thanks for the photo.

    Respectfully,

    Tom Malloy


    From Steve Posson's website"

    Art-Deco dust flies around this large dramatic sculpture as legendary driver Frank Lockhart steers his Miller 183 through a corner.
    “American Racer” is proudly old fashioned, inspired by the 1920’s “Richfield Racer.”

    In 1920 Harry Miller built his first straight eight engine a 183 cubic double overhead cam beauty. In Miller’s own meticulously designed and finished chassis, it immediately started winning races. Miller was a brilliant engineer and machinist. The 183 was the first in a family of Miller double overhead cam shaft engines to run in speedway competition, but not the last. The four cylinder Miller race car engine was manufactured as the Offenhauser, later Meyer-Drake, up into the 1970’s. Miller designed engines won top-line American speedway races for an amazing 50 years.

    “American Racer” is in the Art Deco style, with the “dust” tying all the visual components together into a lively sculpture. The whole work is leaned forward to give a “speed” look, similar to old focal-plane camera photos."
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2010
  8. T-Head
    Joined: Jan 28, 2010
    Posts: 3,935

    T-Head
    Member
    from Paradise.

    Quote.....ehdubya Those all look like the same track alright and it could well be Benning, my confusion comes from 3 different tracks all labeled Benning in the library of congress. I'd assumed that was more likely Laurel but now I'm thinking this one is which makes even more of their captions wrong including horse races.Those all look like the same track alright and it could well be Benning, my confusion comes from 3 different tracks all labeled Benning in the library of congress. I'd assumed that was more likely Laurel but now I'm thinking this one is which makes even more of their captions wrong including horse races.....

    That is interesting that you found that and thanks for taking the time. So you have found that some of their of their captions might be incorrect? That is good to know for the future as we now know that they are not always correct. I that is no surprise as the Library of Congress is part of the government and we know they are not to be trusted.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2010
  9. Michael Ferner
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 730

    Michael Ferner
    Member

    [​IMG]

    No, it's Front Drive Nr. 3, i.e. the third one built (Duray's were Nrs. 5 & 11). This one was owned and driven by Dave Lewis (1926-27) and Cliff Bergere (1928-29), later owned and converted to a two-man car by Bill White. The only trouble I have with the pic is that it apparently never ran #3, at least not in competition, but the movie thing may explain that.

    I believe the pic was probably taken in the US, it looks like a fair dirt track to me. First I thought I had seen the structure in the background in pictures of Ascot Speedway, but on checking I find I was mistaken. Driver could well be Bergere.
     
  10. txtom
    Joined: Sep 23, 2008
    Posts: 39

    txtom
    Member

    This pic showed up on another forum, and I am posting it to see if anyone knows anything about it.
    The pic was taken in the late 1920's at a 2 mile oval located in San Antonio, Texas. The track was the first in S.A. to be called "San Antonio Speedway".

    The driver's name was George Alexander, and he was a local.
    There is only this one photo, and we are interested if anyone might be able to identify the make of car and/or engine.
    It appears to be in the same class as the old Frontenac big cars.

    Thanks in advance,
    Tom
     

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    Last edited: Apr 27, 2010
  11. Cris
    Joined: Jan 3, 2005
    Posts: 805

    Cris
    Member
    from Vermont

    That Thompson Amilcar that Harley posted is great. Anyone know what happened to it?

    Cris
     
  12. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 24,113

    The37Kid
    Member

    It's still around, Joris at PreWarCar.com would know who has it.:)
     
  13. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 24,113

    The37Kid
    Member

    Here is a program to go along with the 1935 ticket!:D
     

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  14. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 24,113

    The37Kid
    Member

    The 1930 INDY 500 program.
     

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  15. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 24,113

    The37Kid
    Member

    The 1919 INDY 500 program. This is my favorite, someday I'd like to have Ira Vail's HUDSON to go with it.:D
     

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  16. Awesome programs. I'm drooling with envy...lol
    HG :cool:
     
  17. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 24,113

    The37Kid
    Member

    Thanks, The computer got an overhaul and I can edit photos again, so I can catch up with a lot of stuff I've wanted to post.:D
     
  18. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 24,113

    The37Kid
    Member

    Here's a nice engine from the 1925 INDY 500.
     

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  19. model.A.keith
    Joined: Mar 19, 2007
    Posts: 6,282

    model.A.keith
    Member


    Vitesse,

    Thanks for the info.


    .

    .
     
  20. model.A.keith
    Joined: Mar 19, 2007
    Posts: 6,282

    model.A.keith
    Member

    Sparke/Thorne BIG SIX


    [​IMG]


    .

    .
     
  21. model.A.keith
    Joined: Mar 19, 2007
    Posts: 6,282

    model.A.keith
    Member

  22. model.A.keith
    Joined: Mar 19, 2007
    Posts: 6,282

    model.A.keith
    Member

  23. Michael Ferner
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 730

    Michael Ferner
    Member

    [​IMG]

    The car was called the "Wells-Brooks Special", and apparently had a Model T Fronty engine, SOHC by the looks of it. Owned by M. T. Wells and M. L. Brooks, possibly from Abilene (TX). I don't have much on it, but it apparently won at San Antonio's two-mile track on January 2 in 1927, driven by Eddy Neve.
     
  24. Michael Ferner
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 730

    Michael Ferner
    Member

    It stayed in the US until the end of the year, and was then brought back to Europe. Somewhere I may be able to find some European results, but in the US it was driven by Russ Snowberger and Cliff Bergere, possibly others. I don't have any hard results, except for Snowberger failing to qualify it at the New York State Fair in Syracuse, August 31. It was apparently 17th in a field of 27, with only 14 getting to start the 100-miler that day. Bergere was second at Toledo (Aug 18), and Snowberger fourth at Detroit (June 9) and Woodbridge (Sep 29), but it's unclear whether these results were achieved with the Amilcar or other cars.
     
  25. Michael Ferner
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 730

    Michael Ferner
    Member

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    That's the engine of Pietro Bordino's Fiat 805/405, a 1923 Grand Prix car built in Torino (Italy). 8-cylinder 1979 cc (60*87.5 mm), Roots supercharger, two-seater body originally. It was brought to the US in November of 1924, then rebodied over the winter to get rid of the surplus mechanic's seat. I can't be sure, but I suspect the work was accomplished at Harry Miller's shop.

    The car was very fast, but in two-seater form it simply ate up its tyres at a prodigious rate. Its weight was claimed to be 680 kg, and in single-seater form it can't have weighed much more than the Millers and Duesenbergs, but it was not really competetive at Indy. Horses for courses, one presumes, as it was built for road racing, of course. Interestingly, it was the first car to use an intercooler at Indy, two years before Frank Lockhart came up with the same idea. The intercooler can be seen between the front frame horns.
     
  26. Michael Ferner
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 730

    Michael Ferner
    Member

    Pete de Paolo and his "Banana Wagon" Duesenberg. The year is 1925, and I'm guessing the venue is Baltimore-Washington Speedway in Laurel (MD). Pete is pointing at the baby shoe(s) he allegedly tied to the car's front suspension for good luck. It was probably just a gimmick for the press, and I doubt they were actually dangling there during the races, but one can see them sometimes in pictures of the car at the pits.
     
  27. Michael Ferner
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 730

    Michael Ferner
    Member


    Again, Baltimore-Washington Speedway in 1925, r-l: #6 Harry Hartz (Miller), #35 Pete Kreis (Duesenberg), #14 Bob McDonogh (Miller), and another Miller (I am guessing Frank Elliott #27). You wouldn't want to spin off into the infield there! :eek:
     
  28. gnichols
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 10,223

    gnichols
    Member
    from Tampa, FL

    And an AMAZING crowd! Does anyone know how the racing programs for these event were structured? Just like today with single car qualifying, heats, consy, and feature? More than one class of cars? "Joey Chitwood" style intertainment? Barnstormers and wing walkers? Gary
     
  29. ehdubya
    Joined: Aug 27, 2008
    Posts: 2,304

    ehdubya
    Member

    Catfish
     

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