The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by kurtis, Jul 18, 2009.
1925 Indy winner DePaolo and Bordino 10th
Michael, thank you for the Bordino Fiat info along with your other replies. Now that I have my computer repaired I'll be posting more photos, and look forward to your replies, you must have one fantastic library of racing information. Best wishes, Bob
Bob Burnam in his OHIO Racer, Ohio Motor Car Co, Cincinnati, Ohio. Looks like the gas tank is mounted under the chassis, unique for that time.
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.
A Fiat in Miller's shop.... Do you know if this was the first time he was exposed to the Fiat 400's ? I have always been curious about Miller's switch from 4 valves to the two valve hemi, the Milton- E.J. Hall story. The Miller 122 design was summer of 1922, Bordino had a Fiat at Cotati in May 1922. These ideas seemed to get around pretty quickly back then, maybe Harry really did invent the internet.
Here is a nice clear photo of a couple of Model T Fords on a fairgrounds track. I have no information about the location but maybe the grandstands and tower will jog someones memory. The bobed T in the foreground has an overhead on it.
First off, let me say what an AWESOME thread this is! You folks have found some incredible stuff, and I feel very fortunate to have found it. From reading it, everybody here seems exceptionally nice and friendly, which makes me feel like I'm already amongst friends!
Secondly, I have a request, and I have a feeling that you folks can help.
I'm looking for pre-war photos from Lakewood Speedway in Atlanta, photos from the Atlanta Motordrome (1909-1911) and the Atlanta Speedway (1929-1930). The Atlanta Speedway I'm speaking of was a high banked, half mile dirt track located on Paces Ferry Road. It was shaped like a circle, much like Langhorne in Pennsylvania.
I work as a volunteer historian and media person for the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame. We are always on the look out for information on racing that makes up this history and heritage of our state.
We have a lot of information on Lakewood, but mostly post-war. I would love to find any photos from the teens, especially the first auto race there, which was one of the famed match events between Oldfield and DePalma in 1917 (July 28, 1917, to be exact). Also, any info on that or any other pre-war Lakewood event would be very, very much appreciated.
The Atlanta Motordrome is a bit of an enigma, as we've only found a couple of photos of this incredible track. We know it was built by Asa Chandler, the father of Coca-Cola. We know it operated for only about two or three years before it was all but abandoned. What we don't know is why. Everybody says it was a financial failure, but one of the few photos we have from 1910 shows an absolutely jam packed grandstand, so that doesn't seem to wash. We do know two drivers lost their lives there in 1910, and we've begun to wonder if that didn't play into it. The track now lies under Hartsfield-Jackson Airport south of Atlanta. Anyway, any information and certianly photos, would be very, very much appreciated!
The Atlanta Speedway was built in 1928, and was AAA sanctioned. The IMCA controlled the racing at nearby Lakewood Speedway, and locked the AAA out, so they arranged for the half mile, high banked Atlanta Speedway to be built just northeast of town. Several times the tracks went head-to-head in 1930, both claiming "capacity crowds". In 1931, the AAA finally broke into Lakewood, and the Atlanta Speedway was abandoned. A high dollar gated community now sits atop the track. We have no photos of this track, save some surveyors' aerials, so any photos or info that you can throw our way would be very, very much appreciated!
You can see some more on Lakewood and the Atlanta Speedway in the Lost Tracks section of my website, Georgia Racing History.com.
Thanks again, and again I have to say, what a great thread!!!! Awesome stuff!!!
Before I forget, I noticed somebody several pages back was asking for information on Pete Craig.
Racing historian Mike Bell did a great story on Pete a few years ago, and I have it posted over at my website.
You can read it by clicking here.
Engine size. 300 cu in displacement limit from 1915 until 1920 when it was dropped to 183 cu in (3 liters).
305 cu in.
305 cu in.[/QUOTE]
Actually, 301 cubic inches!
Spot the baby shoe!
Very basic programme: qualifying was normally held on the weekdays preceding the race, and on the day there would be a warm-up session in the morning, a band playing a few jaunty tunes, perhaps the mayor doing a speech and then the cars roaring off! No heats or support races, just the main event. On but a handful of occasions there was a "semi-professional race" for local dirt track cars and drivers, usually coming right before or after the championship race.
Here's an example of the programme for the 1927 Altoona Flag Day race:
I'm only doing this for 35 years now, but yes, there's quite a bit of "stuff" as I look around here.
Looking forward to your pictures!
Thanx for the quick reply! Very interesting. I guess these guys WERE the main event when they rolled into town! And Rickenbacker's appearance couldn't hurt the attendance either, eh? Gary
Sorry, Paul, no information. Just speculation on my part. I know that Bordino was based in California during both his stays, and Harry's shop was the hub of California's racing scene. Adding two and two together, and hoping to get... two pairs!
Yep, definitely! Those board speedway races were HUGE events, regularly attracting between 50,000 to 100,000 butts in the stands. The cars were shiny, and the drivers real stars - some of them made $100,000 per annum, when you could have a pound of roast beef for 10 cents. It REALLY was the Golden Age...
Welcome Brandon, nice to see you here!
Thanks Michael, good to see you as well!
Do you know of a good book that covers Fiat racing in the US ? I think two and two is eight and something Italian was left behind in California. Maybe just an idea or two.
Brandon, welcome as well. Hopefully you can dig up some pics of the Sub vs the 299 at Atlanta back in 1917. I have some pics of the two cars at Milwaukee and Sheepshead as part of the 1917 match races but have never run across the two cars at Atlanta.
Do you have or know of any other pics of the match races between these two cars at any of the other tracks?
I always thought I would try and find something of the Atlanta match races in the local Atlanta papers but so many other things seem to get in the way. Did they do any credible reporting on the event?-Jim
Brandon..... I posted this photo earlier but I do not recall where I found it. It was captioned, start of a race at the Atlanta Motordrome 1909-10, so based on your info it might be from the first year of the track. I guess you might be able to give it a positive ID if you have another photo of the grandstand to compare it to.
It looks like there were some good cars there.... possibly two Vanderbilt Cup Renaults and the car on the pole maybe be a Buick team car.
This photo while being a just an average 30 HP, 1910 era, quickly put together fairgrounds special is a favorite of mine.
A good friend gave this photo to me and on the back of it is the following; This car won three races and lost one, came within two-seconds of taking the track record for the best time ever made in Spokane.
I assume that this is the same track that I have posted photos of "DR. HAHN" in his Essex special on.
What I like about this photo if you take the time to study it, is the human element. The driver looks like he has a bandage on his forehead from a wound he maybe suffered during the race. I am guessing that the guy in the seat next to him might be the owner. The rest of them look to possibly be part of the effort or friends and they all look to be having a great time, just a wonderful photo.
Reed32, Welcome to the HAMB, thanks for the Georgia racing info. Here are two photos I've had for years of the 1940 INDY 500 Refinoil Motor Oil car that were taken before the #44 was added. Al Putnam drove it, Anthony Gulotta entered it. The Adams chassis had a 255 Offy, car was green and white qualified 28th flagged at 179th finishing 19th. It is a twoman car so it must have other 500's under its belt. Nice looking car that I'd like to fine in a barn somewere.
Mechanic Frank Fabian on the right working on the Ira Vail driven MILLER 122 in 1925.
Bennett Hill MILLER Front Drive that did not qualify for the 1925 INDY 500. Note the outside front brakes.
Not even a good book about Fiat racing in general, 'cept maybe in Italian.
Not only that, it even won in 1936!
Thanks for these wonderful pictures! Do you have more info on "Whispering Frank" Fabian? He later worked in California, and is probably best known for his involvement with the Wehr rotary valve cars.
Just a brief correction, the car did qualify at 105.7 mph, but Bennie Hill chose to drive his old rear-drive instead, and no other driver could be found willing to give it a try. This was the first year of front-drives at the '500', and most drivers were a bit wary about the peculiar handling characteristics. Amongst those considering to take over the job were Ralph de Palma and Ora Haibe.
I do have one of his business cards, and a bill he submitted to car owner H.D.Carpenter for running the 122 MILLER at Altoona. I'll try to get a good scan or photos of them. Thanks for the Refinoil car history. If my memory is correct the car is still under restoration, and a fellow HAMB member works in the shop or is good friends with the owner.
Found this, captioned as '' Auto racing in or near Washington DC 1922''
Separate names with a comma.