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Period RACE CAR Images to Relieve some of the Stress

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"Cars receive harder usage in racing than imagined" says Harry F. Grant, who drove the Alco, a two-time winner of the Vanderbilt Cup. "It is the general impression that a racing car receives strains only rounding corners. Every little stone that protrubes through the surface of the road, every little ditch or imperfection in the course causes extra strain on the car. Upon hitting these imperfections, the car has the tendency to rise and leave the course."

"At Elgin there was a ditch on the back stretch, a straightaway. Every time we went over this ditch, it became deeper and deeper. This ditch finally extended from one side of the course to the other. When our "Old No.18" Alco, of Vanderbilt Cup fame, would hit this ditch both the front and rear wheels would leave the ground. Upon landing, first the front wheels would strike the ground and then the rear".

"To hold the car to the course it was necessary to brace my hand against my knee to take the strain off my wrist. One can imagine the consequences if a steering knuckle should break or the front or rear axle or any other part at such a critical moment. Of course, there are no such strains in ordinary touring."

"No one need to be afraid to invest in a stock car that can resist the strains of racing. This is one of reason that I am so proud of my "Old No.18" Alco. It is strictly a stock car and has withstood the strains of two Vanderbilts in succession. You will remember that the 1909 Vanderbilt was a stock car race. Should it had been a high powered racer, I would not have the feeling for "Old No. 18" that I have."

Vanderbilt Cup Races - Blog - Mystery Foto #22 Solved: Harry Grant ...


Harry Grant driving an Alco 6.

Edited by AHa (see edit history)
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Hazards like this are a real concern. Not only is there a tendency for the engine to overspeed , but also the shock loading on the entire drive train is considerable once the rear wheels make firm contact

with the road once again. Broken axles and drive components can be a catastrophe at racing speeds.

Harry Grant and all the other racing drivers of this era were truly Men of Iron.

The Alco he speaks of is a  treasure ! I still find it hard to believe that as recently as the late 1980's it sold for something in the $70,000.00 range. I was just about to take a plunge on a house but the Alco sure was tempting.





Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)
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I pulled these from the Mercer forum. They are  of a 1911 Mercer. The location was not supplied. This year Mercer is extremely hyped and I don't want to add to that but you can't deny they made a great looking car! I know a guy who has four of these under restoration. I wonder if I could talk him out of one. Hmmmm.



Edited by AHa (see edit history)
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