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1912 Continental 'Shark' racecar

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Need any information on this old bird! 1912 Indy 500 entry by Continental motors. Failed to qualify (1 of 5 entries that FTQ that year)& the factory never pursued auto racing again!

Big 4cyl. continental engine & unusual body work that blatantly copied the Marmon Wasp from the previous year. (Too bad they couldn't copy the performance!)

Photos desperately needed, along with any news clippings or articles. Anyone who can help me document originality of this car gets a free ride when it is restored!!

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Your ID doesn't say where you are located but I can suggest you might do what I did researching Studebaker Indianapolis entries.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum maintains an incredible photo archive that goes back to the beginning of racing there. It is open to anyone who wants to look through the albums. A "Browser" set of 8x10 prints of the photos are kept in albums arranged by year of the race (1929; 1930; 1931 ETC)in a free library on the second floor of the museum. If you locate an image you present the negative number and they will make a photo print to order for a reasonable price like $10 for a 8x10, the cost may be higher now but they are fair about it.

The problem is and it isn't their fault, they are not indexed, there are just too many images!

They can't say for sure what they actually have on file. They are identified by Kirkpatrick image number etched on each negative. For the prewar period Kirkpatrick Studio in Indianapolis was the photograher for the Speedway. They have a small staff of people who are VERY helpful, but a 21 year old college gal wouldn't recognize Tony Gulotta sitting in a Studebaker President racer if she were looking at the photo.

I have spent several days at the archive and have only covered 1929 to 1937 so far but I have prepared an index of every Studebaker related photo they have and I am at 112 images. I am fortunate to be fairly well schooled on this subject and can recognize a wrecked car upside down in a ditch for what it is like the Doc MacKenzie wreck in the 30's, many observers wouldn't and the images have no details in many instances.

The early period of 1912 presents an even tougher problem, photography was a science not widely practiced as it is today so there simply weren't many photos made. At the Speedway there are not many photos of DNQ's but again sometimes they did qualify in other years, or if it were an unusual car it got a lot of attention like the Cummind Diesel car in the 30's.

I have had good luck going through microfilm records of newspapers in the towns where certain race car activity took place like Elgin, IL and the 1910-20's Elgin Road races. If you can Identify a time period just go to the local library and view their newspaper records of those dates on a film viewer.

There are other resources of early images like the Chicago Daily News newspaper archive maintained online. They have many images back to 1904 of racecars at the many Chicago area tracks of the time. See attached image.

In South Bend, IN one newspapers files were destroyed when it went out of business in about 1938. They had made some photos of an independently built Studebaker racer in 1929 and then I learned the Northern Indiana Historical Society had bound volumes of the original papers. I was permitted to make a digital photo from what is undoubtedly the last remaining 1929 newspaper in existance.

You will have to do your own legwork on something like this especially because it is a rare vehicle with little known history. Good luck, Stude8

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I have contacted the Speedway museum & they have very, very little information on the car. However, I have been fairly successful using other sources, including a local newspaper article about the car. At this point, there is only one known photo, which is very difficult to base a restoration on.

The problem with the Continental Shark is that it failed to qualify for the race. No race... no photos (so far). The Continental Teledyne company is less than helpful at this point, but I am continuing to hope i will find the right person there who is able to help.

As for my location, currently I am in California. I will soon be moving back to the midwest, which will make trips to Indy a lot easier.

I have to say that your Studebaker is a beautiful car! I really enjoyed filming you & your father in it as we drove around the Speedway a few years ago. (My father has the red 1932 Hudson "Martz Special") If you ever want a copy of the film, despite its poor quality, let me know!

Thanks for the tips & I hope to see you again at a vintage event!

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Could we see some photos of the remains of the Continental 'Shark'? Is the Martz Special the car that ran Indy in 1933?

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I suppose I should clarify my position with the #34 car, I did some restoration work on the car in 1996 when it was owned by the Brooks Stevens Museum. Reward was I got to drive in the Miller Meet that year.

It was subsequently purchased from the Stevens estate by August Grasis of Kansas City, MO. Augie junior actively races the car in vintage events like the Miller Meets where you must have seen it. My only relationship with Grasis is an abiding interest in the #34 car.

By the way it will be at Elkhart Lake "Road America" track Sept 19-21 this coming week. Stude8

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I'm actually trying to put together a website on the Continental, hoping that it will also generate the information I need. (At least it will be fun!) My computer skills are growing, so I anticipate that I will indeed be able to get something together soon. When I do, I'll post an anouncement here along with a link!

Yes, the Martz ran at Indy for several years. The drivetrain was actually in the Hudson factory car in 1932 and removed & sold to Martz, who was a big Hudson dealer. He ran the car at Indy in 1933 & 1934 as the #29 car. Also ran the Elgin Road Race.

That car has been restored & has been running at vintage events for a few years now. My father is a little computer-challenged (even more than I) so I plan to include photos of his car or a link to a seperate site. (It would be easier to create a website for the Martz since there are a lot of great period photos & even a video)

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Is your Hudson Indy car the same one that was in England in the 1970's? The survival rate of 1930's Indy cars is pretty good.

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Attached is a photo of the Martz Hudson on track at Milwaukee Mile. It is from www.lookinbackracin.com site. Look under open wheel and click on one of the prewar images to see other Miller entries. Stude8

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[color:"red"] *UPDATE*

[color:"black"] The "Continental Shark" was built by the Indiana Motor & Manufacturing Company of Franklin, Indiana. The production car they offered (1910-1914) was called the "Continental" and used a Continental 4-cyl engine built by Continental Motor & Manufacturing, a completely different company.

Indiana Motor & Manufacturing went out of the car business & in 1916 evolved into the Continental Auto Parts Company, who specialized in parts for "orphan" cars.

Again, if anyone has any information on Indiana Motor & Manufacturing or the "Continental Shark" please let me know.

Thanks!

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