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History Auto racing 1894-1942

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

  1. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 27,890

    The37Kid
    Member

    Thank you Joel, I never knew that bit of racing trivia. Best wishes. Bob
     
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  2. jimdillon
    Joined: Dec 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,080

    jimdillon
    Member

    Joel I have read the account that he pushed the car two laps but have read he pushed the car back to the pits just to see if he could figure a way to do a quick repair. I am not sure I believe he pushed the car two laps. Jack Fox in his book indicated he pushed the car to the pits and Gary Doyle in his work on De Palma Gentleman Champion also indicated he pushed the car to the pits. Pushing that car two laps would be quite the feat but I am not sure that it ever happened.
    I believe he led from lap 3 to lap 197 and finished with 198 laps-2 short of the 200. He finished in 11th place some 41 laps ahead of the 12th place finisher,so not sure what he would achieve.
     
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  3. sliceddeuce
    Joined: Aug 15, 2017
    Posts: 2,982

    sliceddeuce
    Member

    Great to see this thread active again.
     
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  4. Agree. I worried that it had been deleted for some reason.
     
  5. jimdillon
    Joined: Dec 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,080

    jimdillon
    Member

    Joel, the problem with answering this stuff is I can go on and on and put some of you to sleep. Griffith Borgeson was a very good writer and wrote several books. I have two copies of the Golden Age book and really enjoy the book as well as his Classic Twin Cam book. I spoke to Borgeson back in the 80s at the suggestion of Fred Usher and he seemed to be nice a very nice guy-enough said. Griff really did a lot of research and spoke to some that could give first hand accounts but I am not sure firsthand accounts are always 100% accurate. I spoke to a number of those that could give first hand accounts and that were not always 100%.

    A funny example is back in the 80s when I spent a considerable amount of time researching and speaking to people myself, I placed an ad in Hemmings asking for any parts of a 1916 Frontenac racecar. I received one call from Chuck Davis who had collected some of the finest old racecars and he asked what I had and I told him nothing but I wanted to find something. He told me he may have a chunk of a cylinder head and used it as a paperweight and did not want to sell it. He suggested though I speak to this local in Chicago who raced Frontenacs in the 20s. Well I call this guy and figure what a great lead and he starts telling me stuff that I know is not true but I proceeded and asked him about the 1920 Indy cars and he tells me "they were beautiful cars all in French blue" and I tell him they were burgundy and green and he told me I did not know what I was talking about. He told me "don't you know Louis Chevrolet was French" and I told him "actually he was Swiss" and he got so mad at me and told me I did not know anything so I wrote on my interview notes that he was full of total BS and called Chuck back and we had a good laugh.

    The reference above is the 1921 race when they paid OK money to finish but the earlier reference was about De Palma pushing his Mercedes in the 1912 race when I do not believe they made much money.

    As to the record they are referencing in the above scan you posted is that De Palma led more laps than anyone until Al Unser Sr passed him in 1987. De Palma had led 613 laps and Unser I believe now holds the record with 615. Ralph led a number of the races but only won once that being 1915 in one of the 1914 Grand Prix Mercedes he brought back to the U.S. on the eve of the first World War. He also led the first half of the 1919 Indy race and I own that engine, a SOHC Packard V-12.

    I know you are into drag racing and it was drag racing in a sense that got me involved in this old history in the first place. My grandfather who was a car collector dating back to 1938 saw a 1957 Vette with stack injection back in 1969 that I was a member of the team and he told me he was involved with racecars when he worked in the experimental department in the teens at Packard. All of the racecar stuff was done in the experimental department and my grandfather worked on a number of the racecars including the 1915 Indy winner which was rebuilt and prepped for the big race. This Mercedes was rebuilt in the experimental department a number of times during it's racing career. The work he did was not in regards to the Indy race but when they played with the Mercedes engine in developing the Packard Liberty aero engine. In any event it got me started on a quest to find any racecar stuff my grandfather spoke of and I ended up buying the 1919 race engine sadly nine months after my grandfather died.

    If you look at the engine the stack injection on the big block in the 57 Vette may have jarred a memory of this old Packard racer.
    299-8.jpg

    Here is another racer that my grandfather worked on during this era and it has a Packard 12 and not an aero 12. This car was located in the jungle of South America in 1998ish and came back to this country not long afterward and was restored. I had more than a few scary rides in this car and my wife kept making me promise to not go for anymore rides. That is the wife and I at the Amelia Island car show in 2006 I believe. Cool car and now resides in the Gilmore Museum.
    100_2000r.jpg
     
  6. ehdubya
    Joined: Aug 27, 2008
    Posts: 2,313

    ehdubya
    Member

    I too am glad to see this thread alive. It's so much easier to research this stuff today with digitized news archives although they too are sometimes unreliable.
    Jim I note reports of $20,000 top 10 finish money as early as 1914.

    The Richmond palladium and sun-telegram. [volume], May 31, 1912
    The Richmond palladium and sun-telegram May 31, 1912.jpg

    Illustration from a 1914 retelling
    https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1914-07-03/ed-2/seq-24/ 1914.jpg
     
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  7. ehdubya
    Joined: Aug 27, 2008
    Posts: 2,313

    ehdubya
    Member

    A little off topic but I wonder if you caught this one Jim Dillon that turned up recently from the AACA archives for identification. I believe it featured in the lost 1919 movie 'It Pays To Advertise' and those are the stars Bryant Washburn and Lois Wilson. 1919 Bryant Washburn Lois Wilson .jpg
     
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  8. jimdillon
    Joined: Dec 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,080

    jimdillon
    Member

    I believe that car is the Packard 2 man racer built in 1917 and originally carried a 905 SOHC Liberty racing engine. In Jesse Vincent's diary (Packard Chief Engineer) he noted they sold the car for $10,000 (I believe 1921ish without the 905 race engine-probably a 452 standard Twin Six). I believe the side pipes are not really utilized for exhaust. Some have said the notation in his diary was a mistake since they kept the 905 one man car and it was still at Packard (1923 or more) long after this car went west (to Hollywood-I believe). The problem is some historians who shall remain nameless believe that Packard ran their experimental department like a discount shop by just moving parts and engines from one car to another. Nonsense IMO. I have other pictures of the car buried somewhere-it was alleged to go to Hollywood although I forget to whom off hand and I buried my research material on this as I am on another research quest and don't have anymore room on my desk or in my brain for this old stuff, at the present time.

    Also if you ever researched this stuff some people liked to weave stories. It was before there were TV sets or even talking movies and so some stretched yarns that had little truth IMO. The race recaps are more accurate possibly than some of the special interest stories where they get carried away to an extent.

    You may be correct on the $20,000-I may have it buried somewhere but that seems a tad high. Some events may have paid decent money but others were paltry.
     
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  9. noboD
    Joined: Jan 29, 2004
    Posts: 7,546

    noboD
    Member

    Ehdubya, shameless plug here. I scanned those pictures for AACA library. Any help you guys can give to help ID any of the cars would help.
     
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  10. jimdillon
    Joined: Dec 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,080

    jimdillon
    Member

    It may have been sold in 1919 instead of 1921 (that Packard sold it). If I run across my notes on it I will try and update it. The car body is too similar to the 905 2 man car. It may have been another car that they pieced together using some 905 body parts but the length of the hood seems to indicate that it was from the 905 car. They did have quite a few racecars in the experimental department though.
     
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  11. Hemi Joel
    Joined: May 4, 2007
    Posts: 945

    Hemi Joel
    Member
    from Minnesota

    It seems that I have inadvertently mixed up the facts. My apologies. So as not to spread confusion, I'll delete my post. Thanks for setting the record straight!
     
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  12. ehdubya
    Joined: Aug 27, 2008
    Posts: 2,313

    ehdubya
    Member

    Joel I wouldn't have bothered, thanks for bringing it up, it's interesting regardless.
    Jim thanks for some interesting thoughts, I thought of you as soon as I saw the hollywood Packard.
    noboD that's the work of saints, amazing effort, I was overwhelmed.
    Another lobby card shot on Wikimedia
    File: It_Pays_to_Advertise_(1919)_-_Wilson_%26_Washburn.jpg

    It_Pays_to_Advertise_(1919)_-_Wilson_&_Washburn.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2020
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  13. ehdubya
    Joined: Aug 27, 2008
    Posts: 2,313

    ehdubya
    Member

    When Buicks were bugs and goats Buick 1910 Indy Goat.jpeg 'Dr. Wadsworth Warren and Buick goat mascot during the 1910 races at the Indianapolis Speedway in Indiana'
    Detroit Public Library photo
     
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  14. jimdillon
    Joined: Dec 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,080

    jimdillon
    Member

    Joel I would not delete your post as you helped knock some dust off of this thread. Here are some photos for whatever they are worth. Here is a side picture of the 905 two man car in a magazine with different hood sides of course.
    img003-2.jpg
    Here is a picture of the same car when it was on loan in 1917 at Earle Anthony's Packard showroom in California.
    905-2-Anthony-1.jpg
    Here is a picture of the street rodded version in California when it was owned I believe by Jesse Lasky who drove the car around Hollywood and probably loaned it to studios.
    Jesse Lasky-31.jpg
    Here is a picture of the 905 one man car setting the speed record (actually this pic may have been a practice run) with De Palma at the wheel at Daytona in February of 1919.
    905 Daytona-6.jpg
    Here is a picture of the one man car alongside the 1923 Packard racer in the Packard plant in 1923. 1923_Packard_race_car_with_1919_Packard_race_car,_three-quarter_rear_view.jpg
    Here is a picture of the 299 Packard at Sheepshead Bay board track that shows the hood to be much shorter.
    Sheepshead.jpg
     
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  15. As long as "The dust is Off the Thread". I'll impart the news that some of you might already know about the current state of vintage Racing and other events. The "Monterey Car Week" for this year is all but cancelled. The only events left are the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion and the "PreReunion"! The stalwart new management of the events are risking big bucks to try to "Make a Go of It"! Those of us that are NOT going to Monterey are participating in a small event the middle of this month at Buttonwillow Raceway!
    BE2019(2).jpg
    L to R Larry Ayres'Morgan Trike; Chas. Test's 1916 National; Bernard Devereux's J2 Allard; Brian Blain's 1920 Sturdevant (w/ V8 Aircraft engine) and my Miller-Schofield Ford!
    BE2018.5.jpg
    The event has been in memory of the late Peter Giddings, as this was the last race that he ran.
    Luca'sBug.jpeg
    Luca Macheschesqu who bought this Bugatti 35(?) of Peter's may bring it all the way from New Mexico!
     
  16. ehdubya
    Joined: Aug 27, 2008
    Posts: 2,313

    ehdubya
    Member

    This car has been bugging me again lately, captioned '1910 Miller sitting with an unidentified man in a Warren-Detroit' The only race entry I can find is 1910 Indy #26 and I'm guessing this is Atlanta.
    1910-IWarren-Detroit Arthur Miller.jpg


    Irving Barber Laurel MD 1912
    Barber-Warren-1912.jpg

    New owner Eddie Voigt Washington DC 1915 or 16, Barber's and Carter Bros custom work on this one off race car I assume.
    Washington, D.C., banker and bon vivant Eddie Voigt.jpg

    Back to the original pic Carter Bros reported they had a win with a Washington at Atlanta 1910??? I wasn't aware they raced.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2020
  17. I'm not too sure the "Miller" with the car shown in the first photo had anything to do with Harry A. Miller. Harry Miller worked with engines until years later when Bob Burman brought a damaged engine into Miller's carburetor shop to see if Harry and his men could do any thing for the broken engine; a 4 Cylinder, D.O.H.C. Henri designed Peugeot. Burman never came back for the repair engine. He was killed at a race at Corona Calf. In the 20's Ira Vail, it is said, convinced Miller to build a race engine. Leo Goossen who had recently quit his job at the Buick Motor Company, In about 1920, began work for Miller in the Los Angeles shop. Leo drew up plans for an 8 Cylinder D.O.H.C. engine. The rest is history!
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2020
  18. Hemi Joel
    Joined: May 4, 2007
    Posts: 945

    Hemi Joel
    Member
    from Minnesota

    Does anyone know this car? joes garage racer.jpg
     
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  19. Michael Ferner
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 783

    Michael Ferner
    Member

    Yep. Duesenberg Model A engined special from the New York area, as I recall. The name was Joe Savage, if I'm not mistaken, but I will have to check that when I'm home.
     
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  20. Michael, do you know any more about the car's history?
     
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  21. THE FRENCHTOWN FLYER
    Joined: Jun 6, 2007
    Posts: 3,436

    THE FRENCHTOWN FLYER
    Member
    from FRENCHTOWN

    How about this one, from the 'automotive weirdness' thread?
    [​IMG]

    EDIT: UPON FURTHER READING I SAW THIS -
    As best as I can gather, the car on the trailer is the Effyh F3 of Robert Grier, who was either heading to, or returning from, the Bridgehampton races of June 9, 1951. It was entered in the Hayground Cup, which was the first U.S. race for the 500cc F3. Unfortunately, Grier spun on the first lap and could not restart.

    So if this is too O/T as it is post '47 feel free to delete.

    Cool, nonetheless. It looks awfully big for a 500 cc displacement. Midget? TQ??
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2020
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  22. Joe Blow
    Joined: Oct 29, 2016
    Posts: 493

    Joe Blow
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    The Leslie brothers and Bill Kenz. 407887_216529888436135_642995740_n.jpg
     
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  23. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 27,890

    The37Kid
    Member

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Great looking car, any details on it? Bob
     
  24. THE FRENCHTOWN FLYER
    Joined: Jun 6, 2007
    Posts: 3,436

    THE FRENCHTOWN FLYER
    Member
    from FRENCHTOWN

    Wow, that must be the same guys as the LSR Bonneville, etc, racers. I did not know they went back that far with a big car.
     
  25. noboD
    Joined: Jan 29, 2004
    Posts: 7,546

    noboD
    Member

    Is it still around?
     
  26. Joe Blow
    Joined: Oct 29, 2016
    Posts: 493

    Joe Blow
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    I did some research several years ago and couldn't find anything on the car but found background info on the car's sponsor. Not sure it was a K&L car. K&L did go into business together in 1938.

    "BK Sweeney was founded in Denver in 1901.

    Originally, the company sold tools for auto repair, doing business with auto-repair stores throughout the state. The company was originally at 13th Avenue and Broadway and later moved to 23rd Street.

    In 1935, the company began distributing General Electric appliances. Sweeney’s son B.K. “Barry” Sweeney III of Conifer remembers unloading refrigerators and stoves from railroad cars.

    Later, the company manufactured tools for aircraft repairs. The company closed in 1977."
     
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  27. ZigZagZ
    Joined: Oct 24, 2011
    Posts: 243

    ZigZagZ
    Member
    from LA

    I found this picture of the #37. I believe it is from the Elgin Road Race. Love the headers!
    1910 Elgin Road Race.jpg
     
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  28. Michael Ferner
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 783

    Michael Ferner
    Member

    Sadly, no! For some reason, I was sure we had discussed this very car on the pages of this thread, but can't now find my notes on it, and no evidence of it having appeared here, either! Hmm. Getting old is a drag...
     
  29. Michael Ferner
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 783

    Michael Ferner
    Member

    That's Walt Killinger with the (Harvey) Ward/Miller. Looks like Pikes Peak, where he ran this car a couple times, finishing third in 1934 and fifth in '35. It's a bit difficult to be sure which year, because Killinger ran other cars with the same sponsor.

    The car was originally built in 1932 for Legion Ascot Speedway and the AAA Pacific Coast circuit, by "Man Mountain" Harvey Ward, former mechanic of Ernie Triplett with the Guiberson Special at Indianapolis in 1930. In the winter of 1931/'32, Ward was one of the lucky ones to be the recipient of generous sponsorship money by the Gilmore Oil Company, and went to Harry Miller's shop to purchase one of the very new 16-valve four-cylinder engines, the forerunner of the Offy - I can't be 100 % sure about this, but I figure he got engine #7. The car he built was a beautiful and compact 4-springer, named the Gilmore Speedway Special and carrying #5. It was debuted by driver Arvol Brunmier at Oakland Speedway on March 6, but retired in the main event. A week later it finished third at Ascot, then after a few more good placings it finally won at Ascot's first night race of the season, on April 20, and repeated there a week later.

    Brunmier retired from racing a short time later to get married, and was replaced by Kelly Petillo, Nick Martino, Wilbur Shaw, Babe Stapp, Mel McKee, Les Spangler, Bob Carey, Lloyd Axel, Bryan Saulpaugh and Art Boyce. Martino and Stapp each won two more races with it on the Pacific Coast, and Shaw another one, while Axel won twice in Colorado. I'm not exactly sure when Killinger bought it, he may already have done so in the summer of 1933, in which case his runner-up finish at Pikes Peak that year should probably also credited to this car. Apart from running up the hill in Colorado Springs, Walt also brought the car to the Midwest and the East to compete in AAA regional Big car races: Milwaukee Mile, Jungle Park, Langhorne, Lakewood, Roby, Dayton Speedway etc. Apart from Lloyd Axel again, Ken Fowler, Ben Shaw, Buster Warke, Myron Stevens, Jimmy Snyder and Ray Pixley are those of which I'm pretty sure they drove for him, but I don't think the car won another AAA main event. At some point (1937 I think), Killinger apparently sold the engine and installed an old Cragar from a car he'd run before this one, and a couple years later the trail runs cold on this one.
     
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  30. Michael Ferner
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 783

    Michael Ferner
    Member

    Good catch! That's Arthur Miller in one of the original 1910 Warren-Detroit racers (4" bore * 4" 1/2 stroke = 226 CID, rated at 30 HP), and ZigZag Billy's right, it's from Elgin that year where Miller finished second in class (and Old Dawg is right, too: no Harry Miller connection at all). This car and one or two others of the same design were campaigned by the Warren Motor Car Co. of Detroit for a couple of years in all parts of the USA, with a fifth in a 24-hour race at the Playa del Rey board track in April of 1911 probably its biggest success.

    Irving C. Barber from Washington/DC bought one of these in early 1912, and drove it on local dirt tracks for a couple seasons, without remarkable success. In 1915, however, he appeared with his very own ICB (or: Eye-See-Bee) Special, which was very successful in local independent events for another couple of years. Turns out he had put a 1912 Stutz-Wisconsin 390 CID (4 3/4 * 5 1/2) engine into the old Warren chassis. In the fall of 1916, he sold to ICB to generate funds for the purchase of a proper Indy car: the 1914 Beaver Bullet Special, built by Charlie Keene of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania.

    There is, however, one more episode about which I'm not exactly sure: the Carter Motor Car Corp. of Washington/DC, manufacturers of the short-lived Washington marque, appear to have sponsored a P. G. Stamm from New York, who entered a Washington Special for the 1914 Indy 500 - only, by this time production of the Washington car had long since ceased! Not much is known of the Washington Special, which did not qualify, and my best guess is it had a Pope-Hartford engine, of the same type used by the Pope-Bullet entry in the same race (which did not start, as it qualified too slow). I have a note saying the ICB Special used the chassis of the 1914 Washington Special, for whatever it's worth, and unfortunately I don't even remember the source for that note.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2020
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