Jump to content


Photo

First organized Midget race in 1933


  • Please log in to reply
19 replies to this topic

#1 sramoa

sramoa
  • Member

  • 339 posts
  • Joined: March 08

Posted 11 May 2010 - 19:19

Hi all!

I read everywhere it was in June 4th ,1933 Hughes Stadium in Sacramento,CA was the 1st organized midget race where raced "Big Cars" replicas and there won by Dave Oliver.
I don't have any info this race, and if I have an info Dave Oliver was a stock car driver this time...

Advertisement

#2 hansfohr

hansfohr
  • Member

  • 573 posts
  • Joined: February 10

Posted 11 May 2010 - 21:31

Hi all!
I read everywhere it was in June 4th ,1933 Hughes Stadium in Sacramento,CA was the 1st organized midget race where raced "Big Cars" replicas and there won by Dave Oliver. I don't have any info this race, and if I have an info Dave Oliver was a stock car driver this time...

The race on the quarter-mile oval inside - what was then known as Sacramento Stadium - lived up to the pre-race hype offered by promoter Charlie Curryer, who offered each driver $15 in show-up money. The Sacramento Union, one of the city's two daily newspapers at the time, described midgets as 'one-seat autos of various colors that look like toys, but they burn up gas to the tune of 50-60 miles an hour'.

The crowd, estimated by some at 3000-5000 and others at 1500, saw Dave Oliver of Oakland set the quickest qualifying time on the flat quarter-mile at 24.20 seconds.

For a 55 cent ticket (including a 5 cent tax) fans saw 13 entries and 10 events billed as the 'Australian Pursuit Race'. Most entries were from the San Francisco Bay area or Los Angeles. Only one was from Sacramento, Al Laurer, an accomplished motorcycle rider who had raced on the oval many times on two wheels. Ten of the machines took the green flag for the main event. The victorious Oliver - starting last in Bob Allinger's Overland-powered No. 2 - was the only driver with previous racing experience.

Edited by hansfohr, 11 May 2010 - 21:41.


#3 Michael Ferner

Michael Ferner
  • Member

  • 2,164 posts
  • Joined: November 09

Posted 12 May 2010 - 08:59

It should also be mentioned that it wasn't the first Midget race, not by a long chalk...

#4 David McKinney

David McKinney
  • Member

  • 14,156 posts
  • Joined: November 00

Posted 12 May 2010 - 16:23

But did it mark the birth of the movement?

#5 Michael Ferner

Michael Ferner
  • Member

  • 2,164 posts
  • Joined: November 09

Posted 12 May 2010 - 16:56

Possibly. The problem I have with this statement is that it was directly taken from "promoters talk", and has subsequently been copied by every man and his dog. I even saw an article once, illustrated with a picture of Bryan Saulpaugh in a Midget, and still the caption claimed that the first Midget race was run in June of 1933 - everybody interested in US racing should know that by then Saulpaugh was already dead for two months! I have never looked too deeply into this subject, but I'm sure you could find dozens of Midget races before that date, and also before the year 1933. And, to be really consistent, one should mention that Midgets were in effect an evolution of the Cyclecar movement, introduced to America in the mid-teens.

#6 Michael Ferner

Michael Ferner
  • Member

  • 2,164 posts
  • Joined: November 09

Posted 12 May 2010 - 17:39

To answer sramoa's question about Dave Oliver, I don't have much info on him, but he also raced Big Cars for a time. In 1935, he even appeared in several AAA races at Oakland Speedway, but didn't do very well - I have him finishing once in 9th and once 11th. Some secondary sources insist on listing him as a relief driver for Fred Frame in the 150-mile Indy Car race at Oakland on Jan 12, 1936 in the "Catfish", but I suspect he was merely the riding mechanic - his palmares so far hardly qualified him for the job as a relief driver for an Indy winner! Riding mechanics, on the other hand, were often recruited from the ranks of "lesser" drivers, hoping to get a foot in the door. His hometown was listed as Oakland or Alameda.

#7 sramoa

sramoa
  • Member

  • 339 posts
  • Joined: March 08

Posted 12 May 2010 - 19:52

Thanks these good answers!
hansfohr!Do you know who were the entries?
Michael!I think this was the first organized race,but I heard it was some midget races in about 1920s years in Wisconsin and Michigan area...Do you think when time was the first race?(I think about in Great Depression first years)

#8 carl s

carl s
  • Member

  • 57 posts
  • Joined: March 09

Posted 12 May 2010 - 23:11

Thanks these good answers!
hansfohr!Do you know who were the entries?
Michael!I think this was the first organized race,but I heard it was some midget races in about 1920s years in Wisconsin and Michigan area...Do you think when time was the first race?(I think about in Great Depression first years)


Can we consider 'Cycle Cars' as a starting point along the 'midget evolution'?
Posted Image
http://s1011.photobu...rrent=30959.jpg
http://www.trackforu...light=cyclecars

Edited by carl s, 12 May 2010 - 23:16.


#9 David McKinney

David McKinney
  • Member

  • 14,156 posts
  • Joined: November 00

Posted 13 May 2010 - 05:36

To return to my earlier post -
Regardless of early cyclecar and other small-car races, does it not remain true that regular midget racing on quarter-mile tracks started in California in 1933, and grew and spread out from there?

#10 Jim Thurman

Jim Thurman
  • Member

  • 4,146 posts
  • Joined: February 01

Posted 13 May 2010 - 15:44

To return to my earlier post -
Regardless of early cyclecar and other small-car races, does it not remain true that regular midget racing on quarter-mile tracks started in California in 1933, and grew and spread out from there?

I agree that it was the point in time where it captured interest and grew rapidly. Early in the 1933-34 timeline, midgets started out as an added attraction to speedway motorcycle programs, but quickly took over.

Edited by Jim Thurman, 13 May 2010 - 15:44.


#11 David McKinney

David McKinney
  • Member

  • 14,156 posts
  • Joined: November 00

Posted 13 May 2010 - 17:14

Thanks Jim
That's kinda what I thought

#12 Marticelli

Marticelli
  • Member

  • 281 posts
  • Joined: January 10

Posted 23 April 2012 - 15:05

Can we consider 'Cycle Cars' as a starting point along the 'midget evolution'?

There is a confusion here because of the different understanding on both sides of the Atlantic about the term Cyclecar. I searched for references on TNF to do with Cyclecar racing and found this thread when I was looking for pre First War races involving Morgans and the like. The earliest Cyclecars were essentially proper vehicles in miniature based often on motorcycle components but driven by full size people. These continued in use in the UK and Europe well into the twenties, typified perhaps by GN and Bedelia vehicles.

In the States, Cyclecars seem generally to be miniature race cars built by full size manufacturers for show events featuring kids... Midget cars grew out of these, but although Midget, were raced by adults. Latter day Stateside enthusiasts have devised a similar but different formula which are dubbed Cyclekarts, which are approximate scale model cars designed around small motorcycle components but designed to be driven by adults.

My interest is in pre First War racing of European Cycle cars.... Who knows where to find out more about these events? I am particlurly interested to know if anyone ever raced in the delightful neat Edwardian cyclecar called a Humberette. I can find no trace of them in competition records I have perused.

Marticelli


#13 David McKinney

David McKinney
  • Member

  • 14,156 posts
  • Joined: November 00

Posted 23 April 2012 - 16:55

A Humberette did compete in NZ hillclimbs pre-WW1, if that's any help...

#14 Marticelli

Marticelli
  • Member

  • 281 posts
  • Joined: January 10

Posted 23 April 2012 - 19:28

Tried searching Google Images and funnily enough I found one taken at Brooklands in 1923 but nothing prewar. Maybe the photographer has some other pics he took on the same day?? (subtle reference to six-wheeled pics thread...)

Maybe someone has some images of pre First World War cyclecars being driven in anger.

Marticelli

#15 luckytampa

luckytampa
  • New Member

  • 13 posts
  • Joined: April 12

Posted 23 April 2012 - 22:30

The earliest Cyclecars were essentially proper vehicles in miniature based often on motorcycle components but driven by full size people.


This was also true in the United States. There was much discussion in US automotive journals of the period regarding Cyclecars as "proper" motor vehicles.

Thanks to the "Junior Vanderbilt" events circa early 1915, which were similar to cyclecars except intended to represent racing machines, some confusion can be expected. Harry Hartz won such an event at Ascot to become the "master junior driver of the world." The 1 April 1915 issue of Motor Age, page 11, has a page to devoted to these sorts of cars.


#16 Jim Thurman

Jim Thurman
  • Member

  • 4,146 posts
  • Joined: February 01

Posted 24 April 2012 - 17:23

This was also true in the United States. There was much discussion in US automotive journals of the period regarding Cyclecars as "proper" motor vehicles.

Thanks to the "Junior Vanderbilt" events circa early 1915, which were similar to cyclecars except intended to represent racing machines, some confusion can be expected. Harry Hartz won such an event at Ascot to become the "master junior driver of the world." The 1 April 1915 issue of Motor Age, page 11, has a page to devoted to these sorts of cars.

Races for "Junior" cars were held on multiple occasions at the first Ascot in Los Angeles. It is where Harry Hartz made his name as a teen. He dominated the races.

#17 carl s

carl s
  • Member

  • 57 posts
  • Joined: March 09

Posted 25 April 2012 - 04:51

"Cycle Car Races to be Encouraged by AAA" NYT Dec 1913

http://query.nytimes...4DA415B838DF1D3

and photos 35,36 and 37 (#37 from 1915?)
http://s1011.photobu...orts/?start=all

Races for "Junior" cars were held on multiple occasions at the first Ascot in Los Angeles. It is where Harry Hartz made his name as a teen. He dominated the races.


Edited by carl s, 25 April 2012 - 05:08.


#18 Simon Davis

Simon Davis
  • Member

  • 235 posts
  • Joined: August 01

Posted 18 January 2014 - 23:51

Can anyone direct me to a website that contains race data for US midget racing in the 1930s? I am particularly interested in 1935.



#19 Michael Ferner

Michael Ferner
  • Member

  • 2,164 posts
  • Joined: November 09

Posted 19 January 2014 - 10:16

I don't know of any website containing such data, but I may be of help. What are you looking for? (Maybe PM or Email?)



Advertisement

#20 Simon Davis

Simon Davis
  • Member

  • 235 posts
  • Joined: August 01

Posted 21 January 2014 - 23:54

I don't know of any website containing such data, but I may be of help. What are you looking for? (Maybe PM or Email?)

 

Hi Michael,

I have sent a message to you.

Regards,

Simon.