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Three Bugatti pix.

Works driver Louis Chiron showing much panache in 1928.


A very famous image of Howe's T59 getting lotsa air on the "Bump" at Brooklands with the Barnato-Hassan Bentley in the background.


And lastly, the field at the 1934 Spanish Gran Prix, showing all kinds of exotic beasties.


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  • 3 weeks later...

The Studebaker racing history began in an alley on Indiana Ave. in South Bend several miles from the factory in 1930. An inspired group of young employees fabricated a

Two-man racecar powered with the 337 CID Studebaker President 8 engine mostly from parts off the shelf at Studebaker. Their car was named the “ROMTHE”. It was the first letter of the last name of each of the builders “Richards”; “Onishi”; “MacDonald”; “Tate” and “Hundley”. They added an “E” to make it sound melodic.


Notice the name Studebaker does not appear anywhere on the car. This is thought to be because the factory did not want its name associated with this project in the event it failed in any way that would reflect badly on its reputation for quality automobiles.


In the end the car as #35 with MacDonald as driver qualified at 98.95 mph and finished in 18<SUP>th</SUP> position in the 1930 Indy 500 race. Not bad for a bunch of kids several of who lived at the YMCA. The performance of the Romthe led to a factory-sponsored entry in 1931 called the “Hunt Special” named after George Hunt a Studebaker Engineering Mgr. who supervised its construction.


For 1931 the Romthe was purchased by William Richards and revised with body changes and entered at Indianapolis as #57 with Luther Johnson as driver where it qualified at 107.65 mph and finished 20<SUP>th</SUP>.


In the first photos you can see the Romthe posing for photos in the alley behind 217 Indiana Ave. where it was built.

The 3rd photo was made when a South Bend News-Times reporter interviewed the crew before it left for time trials in 1930. The News-Times went out of business in the late 1930’s and their photo archives were lost to history. The only source of this image is a bound volume of newspapers at the library.

The 4<SUP>th</SUP> photo is the Richards Special under construction in the garage under preparation for the 1931 Indy 500 race.

The last photo is the official Indianapolis finisher’s photo of #57 after the 1931 race.







Edited by stude8 (see edit history)
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In the previous post 377 the Studebaker factory racing history story started with 1930 car #35 called the Romthe built by several inspired employee’s on their own that did well at Indianapolis. That car returned in 1931 as the Richards Spl #57, qualified at 107.65mph and finished 20<SUP>th</SUP> driven by Luther Johnson.


1931 was the real beginning of Studebaker’s star rising in racing, besides the Richard’s independent entry another promising independent “The Russell 8” made its second appearance (Qualified at 104.55mph and finished 8<SUP>th</SUP> in 1930) driven by owner Russ Snowberger and qualified at 112.79mph and became the FIRST “Stock Block” powered car to win the pole position for the Indy 500 race, and he finished 5th.

This record lasted 54 years until 1985 when the “Brayton Buick” became the 2<SUP>nd</SUP> “Stock Block” powered car to win pole position.


Two other independent entries the Bardy-Nardi #42 and Schofield-Curlet cars failed to reach qualifying speed for the 1931 field.

Last but not least the factory sponsored “Hunt Special #37” car driven by Tony Gulotta qualified at 111.72mph and finished 18<SUP>th</SUP>. Later the Hunt car set a record time in the Pikes Peak Hill Climb in Colorado.


The Studebaker President 8 engines were showing they had the power to qualify and finish the 500-mile race so the next chapter will exhibit the 1932 five-car fleet entry.


The first image is the Snowberger car #4 pole position winner; next image is the engine used in the Richards #57 car (Typical inline 8 cyl with 4 down draft carbs, with a magneto ignition no generator is used, hence the long shaft to turn water pump).

Next image is #37 car with driver Gulotta, mechanic Riscignio, standing behind are George Hunt and Ab Jenkins who constructed the car for Studebaker.

Last image is #37 on Pikes Peak driven by Glen Schultz.





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After the good performance of Studebaker powered independents in 1930 and 31 some powers at Studebaker were confident an engineering coordinated effort behind Indianapolis entrants could succeed in a win that would make great advertising material for them in the tough times of the deepening depression economics. This enthusiasm was not likely to be shared by the outside bankers on the board of directors so a secluded room in the engineering dept was arranged to assemble four Indianapolis Special cars.

* A fifth car, the 1931 #37 then owned by Ab Jenkins was added to the team also.


Endurance racing was nothing new to the engineering dept; in 1927 a Commander sedan established a 77hour 40minute New York City to San Francisco Bay, 3302-mile transcontinental speed record.

In Oct-Nov 1927 on Atlantic City Speedway at Hammonton, NJ a team of drivers drove three Commanders 25,000 miles NON-STOP in 22,968 minutes! That is 15days 22hours & 48min at an average 65.31mph on the 1-1/2 mile banked wooden track.

Later in Aug, 1928 they went back to Atlantic City Speedway with cars equipped with the new President 8 cyl engines and this time ran 30,000 miles in 26,326 min’s (20 days and 19 nights non-stop) averaging over 68 mph.


The 1932 Indy race had 8 Studebaker powered cars at the start, in the end the best finishers were Cliff Bergere in #22 who placed 3<SUP>rd</SUP> and Zeke Meyer in #37 in 6<SUP>th</SUP> place.

The other factory cars placed 13<SUP>th</SUP>, 15<SUP>th</SUP> & 16<SUP>th</SUP>. The 3 independents did not finish 500 miles running.


The images show A- 1927 ACS endurance run start in the rain; B- 1928 ACS endurance run starting lineup; C- 1932 race car shop at South Bend, IN; D- 1932 factory 5 car team photo was color tinted for use in advertising brochures; E-“The Fleet” at the Indianapolis Pagoda in 1932; F- #22 Bergere 3<SUP>rd</SUP> Place; G- #37 Meyer 6<SUP>th</SUP> Place.








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The time for the major announcement you have all been waiting for is here. And before I go on I would like to thank the Madison Radio Shop for sending over their Norge Sound Car for the grand occasion.

And the big announcement is that first we want to thank all of you for helping make is thread what is with all of the photos you have sent in. For without your help none of this would not be possible.

Next I am announcing that the Benevolent Dictator of this thread, T-Head, is going to have regular photo contests when he feels here have been enough great photos sent in. He and his guys in his shop (they are working on that old junker of a Packard in the photo) are going to judge the photos by vote so it will be fair and impartial. The photos will also be judged on content and their freshness (originals or photos that have not been pilfered from another website).

The categories may change but for the first contest will be.

Best person or persons with an automobile, truck or motorcycle.

Best gas station or service garage.

Best photograph taken by a professional photographer.

The most entertaining.

And of course the Benevolent Dictator or T-Head's favorite pick

and whatever else he may dream up on the fly.

So later today, tune back in and see what they have come up with and thanks again to all of you for your photos.



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And just like most things, the only constant is change. T-Head changed the awards already. So our first is Best Motorcycle.

1st. MCHinson. A man with his two children.

2nd. 28Chrysler. A boy on his racing bike.

3rd. ModelTNick. His dad and his bike.




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Best person or people with an automobile.

1st. festanley. Two men in a Underslung.

2nd. twin6. Man with dog and gun.

3rd. Paul Dobbin. His Father and his Model A.

Note: in posting this something went wrong with the

pictures and even after deleteing the same thing

happens again.




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Most Entertaining

1st. StanleyRegister. Stanley climbing the roof.

2nd. mlongfield. Auburn Speedster getting airborn.

3rd. wilsonsk. Man muging with house moving truck.

4th. twin6. Men digging out an automobile.





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T-Head, the Benovelent Dictators Favorite photos.

1st. ChrisPaulsen. Young women sitting in a Velie Racy Type.

2nd. twin6. Jack McGee in his Old's Limited.

Again thanks to all of you for sending in photos and we will do

this again in the future, so send in as many of the best photos

as you can.

Best Regards, T-Head.



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Our second set of winners will be for Best Children.

1st. Steve_Heald. Child in a BrownieKar.

2nd. keiser31. His father in law on a radiator.

3rd. MochetVelo. Child in a Citroen toy car

Thanks! My father in law has just passed and he would be VERY proud to have been part of this forum and thread. He had that smile as an adult, too.



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OK, you hop in, and when we get up to about 20, just ease the clutch out. I think it'll start right up.

(Unknown coupe, Daniel Best steam tractor.)

OK, you hop in, and when we get up to about 20, just ease the clutch out. I think it'll start right up.

If not we can always stiff hitch it......................NOT! :o

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A very sporty mid 20's Pierce-Arrow with a California Top and added strips on the back of the body. It appears to be a new car that maybe the body builder or trimmer who made the top had finished and photographed before it left. The dealer would have added the spare and maybe a rack on the back along with a trunk.



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If you are of that mind it might be the time for a beer. At the left is a refrigerated semi, possibly pulled by a mid 30's IHC. The center truck I believe is also an IHC and it is from Labatt's Winnipeg Branch. The last truck according to Fotofan is a huge Sterling, it was loaded with two tanks that were going to a brewery in Wisconsin.




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This photograph is another racer I would like to identify. The photo was taken in the San Diego area and I believe that it maybe a twenties desert racer. It looks like a production car turned into a racer but I cannot place it. It could have also been run at Pikes Peak.

You may know what it is based on the lettering on the hood which appears to read ...... 6-66 special.


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Hey T-Head, how about a contest for the most people in a car? Here's a load of folks in a Great Arrow, Saurer truck and White Steamer. The first two were taken in Fairbanks and the third one in Valdez.

Nancy.... They are wonderful, thanks for sending them and please send more.

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Today I am going to do some garages. Let's start with Thompson Motor Service, who in addition to general repairing also were blacksmiths and did welding. This is generally where the first mechanical repairs were preformed early on, at the village blacksmith shop.


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Today for lunch we are going to the Pioneer Cafe in Grand Coulee, Washington. And if you have any teeth problems you can get it taken care of next door after lunch and it won't hurt at all, guaranteed.


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If you are of that mind it might be the time for a beer. At the left is a refrigerated semi, possibly pulled by a mid 30's IHC. The center truck I believe is also an IHC and it is from Labatt's Winnipeg Branch. The last truck according to Fotofan is a huge Sterling, it was loaded with two tanks that were going to a brewery in Wisconsin.

Top two trucks are C-series Internationals (1934-37), the stake body is probably a C-30 or C-35; have to check into the tractor.

I used to have a C-35 that once was a beverage truck belonging to the local Royal Crown distributor... neat trucks... in those years, IHC painted the frames bright red. They were also equipped with electric wiper !


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