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David Bruce-Brown

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#1 dmj

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Posted 04 October 2001 - 13:59

In a few articles, in Motorsport and somewhere else, I found Bruce-Brown described as "mysterious". I admire his sadly too short life and racing career, but can't see anything even remotely mysterious in it. Any hints?
Only thing I could accept as mysterious is how Bruce-Brown wrote so many good rock and roll songs for The Cream, fifty years after his death, but I suspect it were Jack Bruce and Pete Brown who actually did it... :lol:


#2 FEV

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Posted 04 October 2001 - 19:58

Isn't there a mystery regarding his date of birth ? I seem to remember that there were different sources for it. And if one of them was the right one he would be the youngest winner of a Grande Epreuve.

#3 Vitesse2

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Posted 04 October 2001 - 23:45

The main mystery about DB-B is indeed his birth date - we had a go at this a little while ago:


I have to confess to being the "person at 10/10ths" as well: I followed up a number of leads, but they all went cold due to lack of access to American primary sources. One lead indicated that the New York Times obituary might hold a clue - another possibility is a periodical called the New York Social Register. If anyone has access to the New York Public Library, the information is probably in one of those two - I just don't think anyone has looked for it!

However, there is another possibility, but again it involves being in the USA: here's what I posted at 10/10ths -

This is only a possiblity, and just a theory, but perhaps someone in the USA could check it out ...

If anyone can provide info as to where Bruce-Brown was living in either 1900 or 1910, United States Census information for those years is already in the public domain. I've checked the appropriate web site, but personal information is only available on microfiche in major libraries, not on the web. Plus, of course, I don't know whether or not birth dates were recorded on US censuses - I have established that they do include place of birth . However, this might be worth exploring - anyone?

So - anyone? Richie? You seem to know your way round this sort of stuff ...

#4 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 05 October 2001 - 00:29

I very recently met a lady on the Hawaiian cruise ship and she was willing to check on David Bruce Brown's birth date. No promises.

Here some data about David Bruce-Brown:
Born: Probably born before March 23, 1890, New York? or even just before October 1888.
Died: 1. October 1912, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

David Bruce-Brown, born 1890 or 1888, was a wealthy New Yorker who had attended Yale. While still at school he set a speed record of 109 mph in Daytona Beach in 1908. The following year he acquired a 120 hp Benz to participate at races. He won the 1910 American Grand Prize in Savannah. He was a born race driver if ever there was one. In May of 1911, he finished 3rd in the first Indy 500. At the end of the year he again won the American Grand Prize in a FIAT S74. He raced again at Indy in 1912 but retired early. Then followed the French GP at Dieppe, where he led for the first 13 of 20 laps, then ran out of fuel and still came third, losing out on a technicality.

The same year at the end of practice for the American Grand Prize at Milwaukee, he requested extra practice laps from famous starter Fred Wagner. Wagner, who saw that the FIAT's tires were worn down to the fabric, ordered Bruce-Brown to return to the garage. Wagner: "It is my honest belief that David Bruce-Brown would be alive today, to cite a case in point, had he heeded the warning I gave him on that fateful afternoon when he rolled to his death." A rear tire blew, causing his FIAT to flip, burying Bruce-Brown. They finally got the car off him but he passed away on the awful ride to hospital. Tony Scudelari, his mechanic, died one week later.

#5 MPea3

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Posted 05 October 2001 - 00:55

it seems to me that if DBB was a yalie, then yale is the 1st place to start looking. they should still have records, including a birth date, which may or may not be accurate. of greater imprtance would be his parents names and his hometown, and from that it might be fairly easy to check church baptismal records for a birthdate, which might likely still exist. being from a wealthy family at the turn of that century, a baptism wouild be an almost certainty.