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Harvey "Captain" Kennedy - U.S. racer of 1910s, any info?


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#1 Jim Thurman

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 17:13

I'm hoping Michael Ferner sees this and weighs in with some of his impeccable detail.

 

I had little info on Harvey Kennedy.  With good reason, as it turns out he usually was known as "Capt. Kennedy" (why?, I have no idea, but a clue can be found later).  The account of his fatal accident at Lima, Ohio in August 1917 has the usual bio hyperbole:

 

"Kennedy was a well-known West Coast driver, living in San Francisco, who had won the 1915 Santa Monica road race and had set a world’s speed record at the Verona track several weeks earlier."  I have no record of him at Santa Monica.

 

He is listed as competing in the 1915 Vanderbilt Cup (at San Francisco) and racing at Kalamazoo and Tacoma, but a clue to this mystery man came in pre-race hype for the '15 Vanderbilt Cup which describes him as: "an old-time racing driver, doing considerable contest work as a member of Moross' racing team."  Ok, this explains it and what little else I can turn up on him, i.e. setting a "World's Record" in Miles City, Montana wheeling "Barney Oldfield's Christie", etc.  Interestingly, the only times he seems to turn up as "Harvey" are in the pre-Vanderbilt article and his fatal accident and aftermath.

 

So, Michael, what do you have on this Kennedy fellow results wise? I found him listed as an entry in a race at Fort Wayne, Indiana (Centlivre Park) and also found him in pre-race newspaper items giving entries for upcoming events at the Wisconsin State Fair (err, including one a week after he died)



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#2 Michael Ferner

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 15:50

1911 7-4 Tue  A - - Bakersfield 9 CA Bakersfield Bakersfield RC 11.15   14 156.1 dna n Kennedy; Cap ? ? Comet 1911 11-19 Sun  A - - Oakland 9 CA Elmhurst Oakland MD PO 0.5   20 10 2   Kennedy; Cap ? ? Comet 1912 4-20 Sat  A - - Oakland 9 CA Elmhurst Oakland MD PO 0.5   20 10    ?   Kennedy; Cap ? ? Hummingbird 1914 7-4 Sat  A - - Tacoma 9 WA Tacoma Tacoma DO 2   125 250    dns n Kennedy; Cap   6 Clinton; C. C. Chalmers 1914 7-12 Sun  A - - Portland 9 OR Portland Rose City S DO 1 25 25 25   ? n Kennedy; Cap   6 Clinton; C. C. Chalmers 1914 7-19 Sun  A - - Seattle 9 WA Seattle The Meadows DO 1 100 70 70 6 n Kennedy; Cap   6 Clinton; C. C. Churchill 1914 8-8 Sat  A - - Salt Lake City 8 UT Salt Lake City UT SFG DO 0.5     ? ?   Kennedy; Cap ? Clinton; C. C. Chalmers 1914 9-14 Mon  A - - WI SF 5 WI West Allis Milwaukee DO 1   10 10 ?   Kennedy; Cap ? Clinton; C. C. Chalmers 1914 9-26 Sat  A - - Kalamazoo 5 MI Kalamazoo Recreation P DO 1   100 100 7   Kennedy; Cap ? Blood Bros. Cornelian 1914 10-4 Sun  A - - Grand Rapids 5 MI Grand Rapids Comstock P DO 1 50 50 50    ?   Kennedy; Cap   2 Thompson; William Burman 1914 10-4 Sun  A - - Grand Rapids 5 MI Grand Rapids Comstock P DO 1 50 50 50 ? AC Kennedy; Cap  13 Clinton; C. C. Chalmers 1915 2-27 Sat  A ACA - Grand Prize [ 6] 9 CA San Francisco San Francisco RC 3.848   104 400.2 12 n Kennedy; Cap  11 Edwards; J. Paulding Edwards 1915 3-6 Sat  A - - Vanderbilt (William) Cup [10] 9 CA San Francisco San Francisco RC 3.848   77 296.3 21 n Kennedy; Cap   7 Edwards; J. Paulding Edwards 1915 5-16 Sun  A - - Columbus 5 OH Columbus Columbus DP DO 1   100 100 3   Kennedy; Cap ? Kennedy; Capt. Harvey Edwards 1915 5-31 Mon - IMCA ? Detroit 5 MI Detroit MI SFG DO 1   100 100    ?   Kennedy; Cap ? Sloan; J. A. Maxwell 1915 6-13 Sun - IMCA ? Milwaukee 5 WI West Allis WI SFP DO 1 100 100 100    ?   Kennedy; Cap ? Kennedy; Capt. Harvey Edwards 1915 7-24 Sat - IMCA ? Newark 2 NJ Irvington Olympic P DO 0.5 100 100 50 3 n Kennedy; Cap   1 Sloan; J. A. Maxwell 1915 7-24 Sat - IMCA ? Newark 2 NJ Irvington Olympic P DO 0.5 100 100 50    dns AC Kennedy; Cap ? Kennedy; Capt. Harvey Kennedy 1915 8-7 Sat - IMCA ? Worcester 1 MA Worcester Worcester FG DO 0.5   50 25 2   Kennedy; Cap ? Kennedy; Capt. Harvey Kennedy 1916 6-28 Wed  A - - Waterville 9 WA Waterville Waterville DO 0.5   20 10    ?   Kennedy; Cap ? Clinton; C. C. Chalmers 1916 9-24 Sun - IMCA ? Ironwood 5 MI Ironwood Ironwood FG DO 0.5 40   ? ?   Kennedy; Cap ? Kennedy; Capt. Harvey Edwards 1916 10-1 Sun - IMCA ? Panama-Pacific Racing Expo 5 WI Marshfield Marshfield FG DO 0.5 40 40 20 3   Kennedy; Cap   7 Kennedy; Capt. Harvey Kennedy 1916 10-1 Sun - IMCA ? Panama-Pacific Racing Expo 5 WI Marshfield Marshfield FG DO 0.5 40 40 20 dna AC Kennedy; Cap ? Sloan; J. A. Christie 1917 7-4 Wed - IMCA ? Marshfield 5 WI Marshfield Marshfield FG DO 0.5 40   ? ?   Kennedy; Cap ? Kennedy; Capt. Harvey Dusenberg 1917 7-8 Sun - IMCA ? Oshkosh 5 WI Oshkosh Winnebago CFG DO 0.5     ? ?   Kennedy; Cap ? Sloan; J. A. Marman 1917 8-31 Fri - IMCA ? Allen CF 5 OH Lima Lima FG DO 0.5 40 0 0    dns n Kennedy; Cap ? Sloan; J. A. Marmon 1917 9-15 Sat - IMCA ? WI SF 5 WI West Allis WI SFP DO 1 25 25 25 dna AD Kennedy; Cap ? Sloan; J. A. Marmon

#3 Jim Thurman

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 16:13

Outstanding Michael. Thank you :up:   Early IMCA is not one of my areas of knowledge...clearly.  How much of that era of IMCA would you characterize as "hippodroming"?  I know there was that reputation.

 

Not to taint Mr. Kennedy, but with the hyperbole and connection to Moross (and Sloan), it made me wonder.

 

 



#4 Michael Ferner

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 16:20

Ah, okay, I feared that. On another forum I recently found out that I could copy and paste from my data base, but not so here, it seems.

"Cap" Kennedy (aka Captain Harvey Kennedy, or Capt. Kennedy) was from Pasadena/CA, not San Francisco, and I believe the good people of Motorsport Memorial have for once found the right one: Alfred H. Kennedy, born ca. 1887, living together with his mother and sister, and (here comes the clue!) the husband of his sister, Bert Latham, who was a well known racer in California a few years earlier. Started out racing with the AAA in California in 1911, as far as I can make out, driving a Comet (a California car) at first, and later a blue #6 Chalmers 6-cylinder up and down the West Coast. The Chalmers was apparently owned by a Pacific Northwest man, and so he raced a lot in the Washington and Oregon area, possibly into Canada on occasions. The Comet, by the way, was later raced by the soon-to-be-famous Earl Cooper with some success.

In the summer of 1914, Kennedy joined the Moross equipe to race in the Midwest, together with Teddy Tetzlaff, Hughie Hughes and Bob Burman. Back in California the next winter, he indeed entered the Grand Prize and Vanderbilt races in a local special, but was an also-ran. A few months later, he joined the Alex Sloan team, then still running under AAA sanction, but soon to form the nucleus of the new IMCA travelling circus - in fact, Kennedy was entered and took part in the very first IMCA races ever, at the Michigan State Fairgrounds on May 31 in 1915. He stayed with the IMCA except (apparently) for one more AAA race at Waterville in Washington in 1916, where a "J. Kennedy" won a heat race in a Chalmers - judging from the various typos in the other listed names, I feel sure this was him, actually.

His best pal was apparently a guy from Michigan, name of Doyle. He was listed with various first names (Guy, Joe, Lou, Larry), but I think it was always the same man. He last raced the ex-Charles Erbstein Marmon, driven (and crashed) by Joe Dawson at Indy in 1914. It looks like the car was pretty much totalled in his fatal accident.

#5 Michael Ferner

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 16:28

Our last posts intersected.

IMCA was pretty much "hippodromed" racing at the time, but that doesn't mean they didn't step on the gas pretty fiercly. It's just that all drivers were under contract with the promoter (Sloan), and shared the winnings (or, more likely, received a fixed retainer from Sloan). The fields were also usually very small, about six to eight cars per meeting, and often no more than three or perhaps four in one single (short) race.

#6 Jim Thurman

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 16:40


"Cap" Kennedy (aka Captain Harvey Kennedy, or Capt. Kennedy) was from Pasadena/CA, not San Francisco, and I believe the good people of Motorsport Memorial have for once found the right one: Alfred H. Kennedy, born ca. 1887, living together with his mother and sister, and (here comes the clue!) the husband of his sister, Bert Latham, who was a well known racer in California a few years earlier.

 

Those good people at Motorsport Memorial...that would be me :wave:  I'm working on the entry.  I attempted it once before, but was confused by what was in the entry vs. what little I could find, which - unsurprisingly - conflicted.  Plus, there was so little to be found as "Harvey" Kennedy.  Oddly, despite the Pasadena connection, his body was sent on to San Francisco for services (or at least it was reported that way).



#7 Jim Thurman

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 16:42

Our last posts intersected.

IMCA was pretty much "hippodromed" racing at the time, but that doesn't mean they didn't step on the gas pretty fiercly. It's just that all drivers were under contract with the promoter (Sloan), and shared the winnings (or, more likely, received a fixed retainer from Sloan). The fields were also usually very small, about six to eight cars per meeting, and often no more than three or perhaps four in one single (short) race.

 

Thanks again Michael, pretty much as I thought. Definitely a revision in order for Mr. Kennedy's entry.  Understandably, I get a bit panicky when I read claims posted and then see the name Moross connected :D



#8 Michael Ferner

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 16:51

Uh, when you revise that MM article, consider eliminating the part about Joe Dawson winning at Elgin - he didn't! Also, it's Jake Strickler (not Jack). :)

#9 Jim Thurman

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 21:30

Uh, when you revise that MM article, consider eliminating the part about Joe Dawson winning at Elgin - he didn't! Also, it's Jake Strickler (not Jack). :)

 

Yep, that was from the original entry someone else did using the newspaper hyperbole.  I was so busy sorting out info on Kennedy, I had yet to get around to checking that part. Thanks Michael, speeds up the whole process :up:

 

I suppose the real question is what name to use..."Cap"?, "Captain"?, Harvey?...some combination?


Edited by Jim Thurman, 22 October 2013 - 23:25.