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Period RACE CAR Images to Relieve some of the Stress


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On 1/7/2021 at 4:16 PM, Steve Moskowitz said:

I hate to be a tease but I am! :)  Two boxes of personal papers and photos from Ralph Mulford have just been discovered and given to me.  Many of you know the story that some claimed he really was the winner of the Indy 500 in 1911 but that theory has never been proven by historians.  In any case there are some amazing photos and letter after letter from him.  I have no time at all to go through them now but I looked at a few of the photos and just about wet myself!!

This is very interesting.   Can you post something for us to see?

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I have had little chance to go through the Mulford material...we are still burning the midnight oil with our move in to our new building.  However, some of the photos I definitely posted before as they were in our library collection.  Others brand new to me.  The bulk of the letters wee between Mulford, Peter Helck and Charlie Betts.  It culminated with a several part story in our magazine.  They tried to get a book published but the one publisher skewered their writing, a rather biting criticism of their literary style.  He told them they should have emulated Roger Kahn's book "The Boys of Summer."  I will try over the weekend to publish a few photos.

 

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On 1/14/2021 at 7:06 PM, AURktman said:

I absolutely love these photos!  One day I want to scratch build a car that would be similar to these.  

 

Doesn't everybody!

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Well I promised to send some this weekend  but only grabbed three off the top, I am not sure if any are previously on this thread but I do have the luxury of identifying the cars and drivers.  The first photo with #3 at the bottom is from Sheepshead Bay in 1916.. Puegeot #3 Aitken, Peusun# 12  Franchi, Maxwell #11 Rickenbacker, Hudson #21 Vail and Peugeot #9 Mulford.

 

Photo#2 Is Ralph Mulford in the #9 Frontenac and Tommy Milton in the #7 Deusenberg at Uniontown, PA May 16, 1918

 

Photo#3 is the #10 Duesenberg with Jimmy Murphy, #12 Meteor (Duesenberg) and the #9 Deusenberg with Tommy Milton on 2/28/1920 250 mile race at a 1 1/4 mile track in Beverly Hills

 

Once again, I did not take these pictures and was not in attendance!

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Thanks Steve! I got this shot off a Google search for Ira Vail Hudson, may be the same car in your photo. Not the Hudson he raced at INDY in 1919 and later spent its life in Philadelphia until D. Cameron Peck found it on a used car lot. Bob 

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Steve, This is the ex Ira Vail 1919 INDY 500 Hudson when H.D. Carpenter owned it. We will never know if that is Mr. Carpenter or one of his drivers in the photo. I have all the related paperwork on the car while it was in Philadelphia. The car is in South Korea today in the Samsung collection, I lost my chance of owning it when the Harrah collection sold it for around $24,000. Bob 

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Bob, I "lost" my chance of getting a bunch of cars I was drooling over at those auctions.  I had the desire just not the money.  I need to find someone locally to post more of these pictures.  Hard to find the time but I will try to weed out some of the better ones.  Most of the  8 X 10's are identified but the smaller ones are not.

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Photo 1-1920 #33 Mulford Special driven by Ralph Mulford.  On the scales at the Indy 500

 

Photo 2-Ralph Mulford racing up Pike's Peak cog railway in 1920

 

Photo 3-1912 Knox with Ralph Mulford and Billy Chandler at Indy

 

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Yes, Bob I believe there are quite a few but can't handle that right now.  Good eyes, I missed seeing that.  In the actual photograph it appears they are offset so the driver can see...really interesting.

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The cockpit of that Knox is quite cozy. We are talking about a completely different period of history but I, for one, would be very uncomfortable with a man cuddled up next to me like that.

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50 minutes ago, Steve Moskowitz said:

Yes, Bob I believe there are quite a few but can't handle that right now.  Good eyes, I missed seeing that.  In the actual photograph it appears they are offset so the driver can see...really interesting.

 

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50 minutes ago, Steve Moskowitz said:

Yes, Bob I believe there are quite a few but can't handle that right now.  Good eyes, I missed seeing that.  In the actual photograph it appears they are offset so the driver can see...really interesting.

I looked for another photo in the Jack Fox INDY 500 book but they used the same photo. 

 

Bob 

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On 1/19/2021 at 6:04 AM, Steve Moskowitz said:

 

Mulford0002.jpg

 

 

The story behind this photo is quite interesting, and quite obscure. I won't claim to know all the "facts", as I have read so many different things from different sources. 

When I was in high school, my dad bought the 1927 Paige I now have to be the 'great family project'. I did as much research as I could at that time about the Paige automobile and their history. One story, I found in a couple of automobile history books back then, was that Paige had held the Pike's Peak hill climb record for two years! I, a few years later, found out that that story wasn't exactly true. When I found the actual records listed in a couple books, Paige was not on those lists. For at least fifteen more years, I looked for the real story. I even searched the early days of the internet. No real story. I found mentions that Paige had made it to the top of Pikes Peak in the fastest recorded time. But not the official race record. And it was well recorded and reported that they went up on the "cog railway". But no reason was given.

Finally, only a few years ago (and unfortunately shortly before a computer meltdown lost the link to the source of the story), I found a story that made some sense.

 

For those not familiar with the "official" Pikes Peak Hill-climb, a bit of background. Somewhat more than a hundred years ago, back in the days of horses and buggies still, a road was cut winding around the rough rocky and wooded side of the mountain. In the early days, horse teams, stage coaches and buggies would trek up that mountain, for a nominal fee to the builders of the road. Of course once automobiles came around, they also had to prove their mettle. Racing of course was tried, but discouraged due to the risks of blind curves. Eventually, that was accommodated.

Once a year, the road is closed to "normal" traffic. And a well organized race is held. Even in the 1920s, a lot of automobiles took part in that race. The cars begin, individually, at short time intervals. The idea is, that as long as the cars are grouped to allow for time differentials to hopefully keep some space between them all the way up.

 

According to the story, Ralph Mulford started out on schedule in his Paige on the day of the race. The new Paige 6-66 was an incredible car. Although Harry Jewett (president of Paige Detroit) would not allow the company to race their cars (years earlier, a friend of his was nearly killed in a company sponsored race), other people did race them. And Harry J did allow time trials occasionally. The new 6-66 already held a few speed records, including one sort of "fastest production automobile" (some caveats). Ralph Mulford started out doing great. Official and unofficial timers alike were clocking him ahead of every other car! Some distance up the mountainside, unbeknownst to Ralph, one of the other racers skidded and spun his car around. No real details given, but apparently, the driver did not or could not turn back around where he was. So he proceeded down the hill a short ways tying to dodge the upcoming cars! A collision ensued, and the road became blocked. Ralph Mulford became stopped, and lost so much time that he could not recover from it. It was said that Ralph Mulford was able to continue once the road was cleared. It was also said that he raised objections with race officials, either to restart, or have his time adjusted to allow for the delay he was not responsible for. 

However, the reality was, there was no way to get his car down from the hill to restart until all cars had started and passed his point. Too late in the day for him to restart. And it was said, that race officials were not willing to adjust his time. It was also not acceptable to close the road an extra day for him to retry later.

Ralph Mulford was not a happy man! Several timers had told him that he was well ahead of all other cars time-wise at the point of the accident and delay. And he was told he had no recourse.

I do not know offhand just when this happened? A day or two or more? Ralph Mulford took his Paige 6-66, and between cog railroad trains, ran up the railway right-of-way, a significantly shorter, but significantly much more difficult way up the mountain. And he beat the hill-climb record time. By how much? I never found out.

 

So this is a photo of the famous not-so-famous run up the cog railroad!

 

 

Thank you Steve M for posting this great picture!

Edited by wayne sheldon
I hate leaving typos! (see edit history)
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THANK YOU WAYNE! If you hadn't taken the time to tell the above story nobody would have known this interesting piece of history. We drove up Pikes Peak in the family wagon back in the 1990's, a trip everyone should take at some time. 

 

Bob 

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Austin Clark drove his 1929 Lincoln model L phaeton up and down Pikes Peak twice. He made a post card of it at the peak from a photo he took. 

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THANKS HOWARD! This car is restored and well, saw in in the Briggs Cunningham collection back around 1975. I hope it is in the Collins Collection now. There was a photo of it on a trailer behind a tow car with a lot of debris around it  during the hurricane of 1938 somewhere in New England. Now I have to find some of her cars that Bob Swanson drove for her. Best wishes for 2021! Bob

 

 

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The car today in the Revs Institute in Florida, Fred Frame once owned the car. 

 

 

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Edited by 1937hd45 (see edit history)
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Howard, I think the "Air Cooled Douglas" in the above link may have been a Ranger aircraft engine. It was common to turn them 180 degrees with the cylinders on top and power race cars with them. Bob 

 

 

 

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59 minutes ago, 1937hd45 said:

THANKS HOWARD! This car is restored and well, saw in in the Briggs Cunningham collection back around 1975. I hope it is in the Collins Collection now. There was a photo of it on a trailer behind a tow car with a lot of debris around it  during the hurricane of 1938 somewhere in New England. Now I have to find some of her cars that Bob Swanson drove for her. Best wishes for 2021! Bob

 

 

 BAS.L.37F.jpg

 

 

The car today in the Revs Institute in Florida, Fred Frame once owned the car. 

 

 

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I love these two photos, it really shows the size of those cars. I think they appear small with no human frame of reference, almost like a small shoe until someone sits in it or stands next to it.  They are a lot larger than they appear alone. 

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^^^^^^ That restored blue #4 is a huge car, there was a magazine feature on it back in the 1970's with a cut a way drawing. Based on former INDY 500 car it was rebuilt in the mid 1930's with that body. I remember it had a Bugatti GP car rear axle.

 

Just spent some more time with Google, here is the history on the car.  Bob 

 

1930 Fred Frame Duesenberg | Revs Institute

Edited by 1937hd45 (see edit history)
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Vanderbilt Cup race of 1904. the first race ran through Floral Park on long island before it was incorporated and they had to have a village historian ( NY State law says you have to or be in violation of state law) I am the appointed historian for that village and have been for several decades. The photo of the bridge shows some of the crowd gathered to see the race that was held all on public roads!

In the photo with the rail road bridge you are looking east , the road is Jericho Turnpike ( turnpike was the name for a toll road when used by horse drawn carriages) which is a state road. The railroad bridge was removed 6 decades ago when Jericho Turnpike was widened by the state in 1960-61. The area to the right of the bridge (south) is now a parking lot and level with the road. the early touring car was part of the race committee . the road in the foreground is Tulip Avenue.

The second photograph was taken of Jericho Turnpike looking west, and was taken by someone standing on the railroad bridge in the other photo. The cross road to the left is Tulip Avenue and to the right is Queens County , one of the five boroughs of New York City. At that point the road is named Little Neck Parkway. Note the tall poles lining the north side of the road - these were for telegraph communication as telephones were still mostly in ones imagination. All roads were not paved and kept in good order by frequent use of oil to keep the dust and dirt down. the number on the race cars radiator core is 18.

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It is a real shame this epidemic occurred simultaneously with the AACA move. I have to believe the AACA has a treasure trove of early race car pictures that could be loaded if anyone had the time to do so.

 

Here is one of the factory Buick race cars. This is one of the underslung models and I don't believe it is a widely distributed photo. I had not seen it before in my google pictures search. As such, it is an important period photo. Ed Minnie posted it in the other period photo thread.FFF85132-EE1F-4547-83BC-FB8AB00B5C23.png

Edited by AHa (see edit history)
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