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History Auto racing 1894-1942

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

  1. MickeyD
    Joined: Feb 8, 2009
    Posts: 45

    MickeyD
    Member

    Here is today's offering, from the Imperial Fairgrounds AAA races on the mile. The date shows 4-34, which I believe is from the March 1934 races. I know it's a distant photo, but if anyone has any info on the drivers, I'd love to hear it;)
     

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  2. hddennis
    Joined: Dec 20, 2008
    Posts: 36

    hddennis
    Member
    from Georgia

    Here's 2 new Maxwell pictures. The plate is 1918 but I think the car is a 1915 Maxwell model 25 set up by Maxwell for setting promotional records. Note the obscured Maxwell markings on the hood and cowl. This shows Walter V. Lord Sr. of Lord Motor Co. wearing a Ventura Gasoline uniform about to set off on a timed run on Mount Wilson

    Anyone have any other pictures or information on Mount Wilson races, The car or Mr. Lord.


    Thanks, Howard Dennis
     

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  3. MickeyD
    Joined: Feb 8, 2009
    Posts: 45

    MickeyD
    Member

    The last racing photo I have from the 1934 Imperial Fairgrounds AAA race on the mile. Not sure if this is the feature event or not.
     

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

    carl s
    Member
    from Indio, CA

    Sorting things out Question re: Francis Quinn's 1931 rides in AAA Pacific Coast.
    Reference:<!-- / message --><!-- sig -->
    http://www.oldracingcars.info/marques/indy/sprint-cars/1932-aaa-pc/ and<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    #8 Quinn car portrayed and discussed in posts #7641,7645,7650.

    I understand that in 1930 Quinn drove the #8 Dayton Thorobred Special which he purchased from Harry Schmidt.

    From the above mentioned link to Michael Ferner's oldracingcars.info it seems that in Feb 1931 Quinn had 'a newly constructed #8 built upon a discarded Miller 91 frame and using parts from an LJ8 as well driven by Quinn until Dec 1931'

    also from the same link:
    'New in Sep 1931, #1 white (old) apparently built on the frame of the 1926 Indy winning Miller and driven by Quinn and a few others but from October on exclusively by Triplett'

    Is this (1931) the Gemsa Car mentioned in post #7645? Or is The Gemsa Car another?
     
  5. hillbilly4008
    Joined: Feb 13, 2009
    Posts: 2,917

    hillbilly4008
    Member
    from Rome NY

    Does anyone have info on fairground racing in the North East? I saw a photo dated some time in the early '30s of two race cars lined up infront of the Boonville Fair Grandstand in Boonville, NY. One of the cars had Erie, PA painted on the side. I'm still trying to get a copy of the pic, it is actually hanging on a wall in the local McDonald's.
     
  6. Michael Ferner
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 779

    Michael Ferner
    Member

    I have incomplete results of the Imperial/El Centro races in the thirties, and I will post them here when I find the time, probably later this week. Just a little patience... :)
     
  7. kurtis
    Joined: Mar 13, 2009
    Posts: 1,989

    kurtis
    Member
    from Australia

    Very nice photos Howard.

    My early Motocycle News magazine tells me the gravel road of just under 9.7 miles with over 140 curves had an average grade of between 10 and 18 percent.

    Ralph de Palma won the Mt. Wilson Hill Climb Trophy offered by the Los Angeles Express on July 24, 1924 driving a Chrysler Six. {a slight connection with Maxwell.} :)

    Other than this little information and the photos you posted that is all i have.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2012
  8. Michael Ferner
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 779

    Michael Ferner
    Member

    Yes, the feature line-up: on the pole is Al Gordon in the Sparks-Weirick/Miller, outside Ernie Triplett in the White/Miller (his last start :(). Second row Al Reinke (Stapp=McClurg/Miller) and Herb Balmer (Garnant=Vance/Cragar), the eventual winner. Third row Kelly Petillo (Gardner/Miller) and Jimmie Wilkeson ("Atlas Chrome Special"), fourth row Rex Mays (Haskell=Blauvelt/Miller) and Pinky Richardson ("Corona Special"), then Swede Smith (Rasor/McDowell), Mel Kenealy (Harris=De Paolo/Miller), Guy Deulin ("Deulin Special") and Frank Wearne ("Stewar Special") somewhere in the dust.

    Twelve cars started, and seven were still running when the race was red-flagged after a multi-car pile-up on lap 23. Swede Smith along with car owner Hap Hafley didn't live to see the sun set, and Triplett died before sunrise the next morning. Balmer was dead within a week, and Reinke (who finished second) little more than a month later (both in unrelated accidents). Gordon and Mays would also die on a race track. Different times... :(
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2012
  9. Michael Ferner
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 779

    Michael Ferner
    Member

    Carl, I believe the Gemsa car is the one I listed as '2609' on http://www.oldracingcars.info/marques/indy/miller/1926/. There is some confusion about the correct lineage, but this is my best shot at the moment.
     
  10. Michael Ferner
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 779

    Michael Ferner
    Member

    Post away what you have - I have lots of info about NE races, although by the sound of it, this should be a fairly obscure local event. But, always worth a try!
     
  11. MickeyD
    Joined: Feb 8, 2009
    Posts: 45

    MickeyD
    Member

    Thank you so much in advance, Michael! I look forward to seeing them:)
     
  12. MickeyD
    Joined: Feb 8, 2009
    Posts: 45

    MickeyD
    Member

    Great info, Michael! Here is the final photo from the 1930's from my collection. I believe it is Ernie Triplett. Would this be from the 1934 race? If so, it would be one of the last photos of him in the car just prior to the accident:(
     

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  13. Michael Ferner
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 779

    Michael Ferner
    Member

    Yes, it is! A poignant picture...

    Ernie looks worried. After losing the 1933 Pacific Coast title, mostly due to injuries, he had announced his retirement from Ascot competition, which he had dominated for the past three or four years. He was the leading racing driver in America at the time, but his luck at Indianapolis and elsewhere in the East had been appalling. He had, quite rightly as it turns out, sensed that even though all his success in California had earned him the accolades of his peers, the general public only seemed to remember the Indy winners or National Champions, and 1934 was going to be the year to put the record straight.

    In preparation for the National Championship races on the dirt miles in the East, he had entered the one race in California on a mile track, and showed that he'd forgotten more than most of his rivals ever knew. After qualifying second, only 0.02" behind Al Gordon, his successor as the Pacific Coast Champion, he took the lead at the start and held it for 14 miles, until Gordon scrambled by; then the two of them staged a battle royal for the win, leaving everyone esle far behind. The best of friends away from the track, but bitter rivals on it, Gordon and Triplett crashed together when they tripped over an accident by a couple of backmarkers, with fatal results to Ernie - the end of an era! :(
     
  14. gilmore
    Joined: Apr 28, 2009
    Posts: 89

    gilmore
    Member
    from Missouri

    Nice! You saved the best for last, IMO. As Michael said, "A poignant picture."

    Mr. Ferner- Is that Reinke in the #10, behind Triplett? Am I right that the car was known as the LASCO Spl?

    Thanks again, Mickey, for sharing all the pics with us. Thanks should go out to Michael Ferner, as well.
     
  15. carl s
    Joined: Mar 22, 2008
    Posts: 741

    carl s
    Member
    from Indio, CA

    You guys are the best! This 389 page thread is chock full of selfless sharing to the betterment of our motorsports heritage.

    As for Mickey and Michael: Steak dinner at Brownies in Brawley for the former and anytime Michael shows up again at The Millers At Milwaukee Mile he has another guaranteed ride in the #15.

    fwiw I have catalogued this series of Imperial Raceway photos and commentary
    scroll down to Imperial:
    http://s1011.photobucket.com/albums/af233/carl44s/preww2motorsports/?start=all
     
  16. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 27,649

    The37Kid
    Member

    Michael, If I understand things correctly Ernie Triplett's widow would later marry West Coast Midget Champion and INDY 500 driver Bob Swanson. He too would loose his life in a race car wreck.
     
  17. MickeyD
    Joined: Feb 8, 2009
    Posts: 45

    MickeyD
    Member

    I'll take you up on it, Carl! I really enjoyed all the tremendous knowledge that this board presents. It has been a pleasure to have brought these photos forward and to read the history that all you gentlemen have posted. I look forward to continuing to learn racing history from each of you. Thanks so much:)
     
  18. MickeyD
    Joined: Feb 8, 2009
    Posts: 45

    MickeyD
    Member

    I kinda did save the best for last. I counted on this being Ernie and a pretty good shot as they were prepared to start his car for what turned out to be this final race. It has been a pleasure to post these photos and get such tremendous response from so many. Thank you so much:)
     
  19. Michael Ferner
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 779

    Michael Ferner
    Member

    Yes, that's Al Reinke, and the car was known as LASCO, or Lassco Special, owned by Elbert Achilles Stapp, better known as The Babe.

    Carl, I'll take you up on it. Better buy some qualifying tyres, next time I'm going for the TRACK RECORD!! :cool:
     
  20. Michael Ferner
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 779

    Michael Ferner
    Member

    Didn't know that. Yes, some girls have all the "luck"... :(
     
  21. noboD
    Joined: Jan 29, 2004
    Posts: 7,433

    noboD
    Member

    Will the REAL Bob Swanson please stand up?
     
  22. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 27,649

    The37Kid
    Member

    Here he is standing in by his stretched Hogan Offy Midget in the 1936 Vanderbilt Cup race. If someone would please tell me were the car is I'd like to buy it and stand along side of it too.
     

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  23. Michael Ferner
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 779

    Michael Ferner
    Member

    Bob, did I ever tell you that I found a note saying that Jack McAfee ran the car in WRA Sprint Car events in California (Carrell Speedway, Oakland) in the late forties?
     
  24. gyronaut
    Joined: Dec 16, 2010
    Posts: 197

    gyronaut
    Member

    Please help ID these people. You guys are the experts on this, one of the best threads on the web...

    Here's what I know of the people and the car: The photos are dated "June 1938". That's Alex Tremulis on the right (without the goggles) in the first pic. This was his very first car, and of course, it had to be hot rodded. It has one of the failed 1935 Miller-Ford twin intakes on the engine from the 1935 Indy 500. I don't yet know which effort it came from. He said he couldn't afford a Duesenberg, so he took the pipes from a supercharged Duesy (he was chief stylist at Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg in 1936/37), and put them on his car. He may have been working at GM's Oldsmobile division when this pic was taken, but since this car blew the doors off his boss' V8 Olds at a company picnic, his GM career came to an abrupt end. It's possible that he may have been at Briggs at this time, just prior to his Chrysler Thunderbolt creation.

    So does anyone recognize these other two gents with Tremulis??? I guess I'm assuming that they are either drivers or builders... Any help is appreciated!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  25. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 27,649

    The37Kid
    Member

    I don't think so, but I'll add that into to my Bob Swanson files.:) On another cars history can you confirm that that is Ira Vail on the left taking delivery of his new 122 MILLER? Is it in fact new or a rebuilt Durant team car? I've read through your MILLER car histories and I'm not sure what number you have given this car. Vail ran it as #6 in the 1924 INDY 500, then sold it to H.D.Carpenter for $6,500 with a spare block. The car was repainted light blue in Stamford, Ct. and Vail raced it at INDY with a #19 in 1925. I've got all the paperwork on the car for the 1925 season, Carpenter would later sell the car to M.A. Yagle.
     

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  26. ZigZagZ
    Joined: Oct 24, 2011
    Posts: 243

    ZigZagZ
    Member
    from LA

    I've seen a number of posts lately (and great photos) of the beautiful machines of Harry Miller. In the mid 30's he partnered with Preston Tucker in building race cars for the Indy 500.

    For X-Mass I got Dick Wallen's boardtrack book, and in it is a letter from Tucker to Art Chevrolet (see attached). In the letter Tucker offers a job to Art in New Orleans, but what I found interesting is the reference to Harry Miller.

    Did Art ever work for Tucker or Miller in the mid 30's? What do you think would spawn the comment we see in this letter?

    Much obliged,
    ZZZ
     

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  27. indyrjc
    Joined: Nov 8, 2008
    Posts: 968

    indyrjc
    Member
    from Indiana

    A very interesting letter, indeed. Somehow I had missed the fact that Preston Tucker had been involved with Andrew Higgins and Higgins Industries and their famous WWII landing craft. Here's some Wiki info on Higgins industries; not a small operation at all at the time the letter was written.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Higgins_Industries

    As for Arthur Chevrolet it would appear that he took the job being offered since he ended up committing suicide in Slidell, Louisiana on April 16, 1946.
     
  28. psalt
    Joined: Apr 17, 2010
    Posts: 101

    psalt
    Member
    from nyc

    Did Art ever work for Tucker or Miller in the mid 30's? What do you think would spawn the comment we see in this letter?


    ZZZ,

    Jealousy ? Just a guess. They were competitors. The Chevrolets were on top at Indy with the Van Ranst Frontenacs at the start of the 1920's. Miller came along with many of the same features and stole their show. They both were in the business of racing heads for Model T, dirt track engines. Tucker used Miller's name to entice and promote the Miller-Ford debacle in the mid 30's, and to entice the military into contracts during WWII. He probably wanted to use the Chevrolet name in a similar way. It is sad how these guys wound up their careers.

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

    carl s
    Member
    from Indio, CA

    Good response Paul.

    I recall from past readings (hopefully with some degree of accuracy):
    Arthur struggeled to make a living in the Depression and somewhere in the 30s worked for (groan) Tucker in designing? and r&d the 'Mighty Miller' midget engine.
    The Miller-Tucker collaborations over the years are well documented including the planned adaption of the Ira Vail Miller-Gulf four cylinder (255?) engines for Tucker Aviation and Marine's proposed 'Peashooter'.

    When Tucker wrote the letter in question (a time of tremendous WW2 industrial anticipation and hype-ideal for folks like Tucker) Arthur I believe was rotting away at Cummins Diesel, Miller was very ill and wasting away in a tiny office in Detroit and Tucker's Aviation&Marine business had just been purchsed (March 42?) by Higgins with Tucker staying on as VP of Something or Other.

    Within a year Tucker was gone, Miller passed away and Arthur remained at Higgins-Slidell LA until his death a few years later.
    [​IMG]


     
  30. ZigZagZ
    Joined: Oct 24, 2011
    Posts: 243

    ZigZagZ
    Member
    from LA

    Indyrjc - The World War II museum in New Orleans has a lot of exhibits, and records on Higgins. Unfortunately they have nothing on Art Chevrolet.

    Paul - This explanation makes sense. The Bow Tie Boys and Miller were fierce rivals. I can also envision Tucker using Chevrolet in a similar way that he used Miller.

    Carl - A few years ago I wrote to Gaston Desnoyers (Grand Nephew of Louis, Art, & Gaston Chevrolet), and inquired about Art's career during the 30's & 40's. Mr. Desnoyers sent me a lengthy reply, and mentioned Art's stints with both Cummins & Higgins, but made no reference to Miller.

    I have seen a couple passing references to Art Chevrolet and the Mighty Miller, but nothing concrete.
     

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