Jump to content


Photo

From the Archives of the Contest Board


  • Please log in to reply
12 replies to this topic

#1 Don Capps

Don Capps
  • Member

  • 5,933 posts
  • Joined: May 99

Posted 06 July 2002 - 22:33

Today I took a few moments and made the trek to the local library and used the microfilm reader to pore over a few items as I trudge through the reels in search of information. Today was primarily focused on the bulletins of 1926 (when they began) and 1927. However....

The Contest Board Bulletin No. 26, 2 November 1926, has an item in which the agreement between the AAA and the ACA (Automobile Club of America) reference the AIACR. The ACA was among those who helped form the AIACR in 1904 during the Coupe Internationale/Gordon Bennett race.

As it turns out, the agreement recognizes the ACA as the sole representative of the AIACR in the USA. It also recognized the AAA as the American representative to the International Touring Alliance. Plus, the ACA will represent the AAA in behalf American drivers entered in any European racing events. The AAA, however, will represent the ACA in any events held in America and in the CSI.

The US attended its first CSI meeting in Paris on 11 October 1928, with Ernest Smith and W.F. Bradley representing the AAA Contest Board with William Hogan representing the ACA. Interestingly enough, the discusses the rules for the upcoming 1929 season. A sub-commission proposed an allowance of 14kg of gasoline per 100km, minimum weight of 1,000kg, minimum width of 1 meter, two-seater bodies with only the driver aboard, no streamlining, gasoline tank visible.

The Germans and English representatives objected to the proposal for various reasons -- favoring 4-cyl engines, teams would use a fast car to crack the others with one car holding back as the others ran out of gas. The US pointed out it was too late to adopt any new rules which would apply to the US for the 1929 season. The Italians were for the proposed rules. All agreed that the "91 1/2 inch rule" had produced car which were too fast.

After discussion, the CSI agreed to: 14kg of gasoline per 100km, the gasoline to be provided by the organizers of the race (density of 720 at 15C, this to include oil for the transmission), minimum ground clearance of 9.8-inches, minimum width of 39 inches, minimum distance of 600kms, two-seater bodies with driver only, spare wheel to be carried. Further details to be worked out by the member clubs and these rules were for 1929 only. The US said that it could not adopt them for 1929 and probably not 1930 either. Therefore, the CSI adopted the rules for 1929 and 1930. However, the US said it would not gurantee anything.

The 16 September 1947 Bulletin has an interesting note. In December 1946, at its Chicago meeting the AAA Contest Board adopted the "International Formula" with its maximum of 274-cubic inches for unsupercharged cars and 91-cubic inches for supercharged engines. However, the Board notes, there are still a number of 183-cubic supercharged engines "still in good condition and are giving good performances" and no new 91-cubic inch engines seem to be planned. It was announced that for the 1948 season that the older engines would still be permitted and hoped that there would be new 91-cubic inch engines would soon be available.

Just a little bit from the archives to cast a slightly different light on things.

Advertisement

#2 Vitesse2

Vitesse2
  • Nostalgia Forum Moderator

  • 24,255 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 06 July 2002 - 23:07

This is dynamite Don! The librarian at the RAC told me they have no minutes or records of CSI meetings and press reporting of them is sporadic, to put it mildly. I suppose it's too much to hope that you might have found anything re 1939? Like a meeting at the French GP .....

#3 Hans Etzrodt

Hans Etzrodt
  • Member

  • 3,173 posts
  • Joined: July 00

Posted 07 July 2002 - 07:52

Don,
Excellent work! I will send you something of interest. So, check your e-mail. :)

#4 Don Capps

Don Capps
  • Member

  • 5,933 posts
  • Joined: May 99

Posted 08 July 2002 - 17:04

I think that a point that has to be made was that the AAA adopted the "International Formula" on several occasions, the "183-cubic inch"/ 3-litre, the 122-cubic inch/2-litre, "91 1/2-cubic inch"/1.5-litre, and the 274:183-cubic inch/4.5:3.0-litre formulae before WW2 and in December 1946 adopted the new 274:91-cubic inch "International Formula" -- although it allowed the use of the older "183" supercharged engines, of which few were actually used from the 1948 season onward. I say 1948 season since that seems to be the date that the formula was to take effect in America.

So, a point can be made that from 1938 to 1941 and during 1946 and 1947, that the AAA Championship Trail events were run to the existing GP formula. Also, that from 1948 to 1953, the AAA Championship Trail events were also run to the existing GP formula. In essense, these events are as every bit worthy of inclusion into the "record" as those 10-lap sprints for GP cars on British airfields that show up in various records.

It is not as much of a stretch as some would imagine, but a reflection that were efforts on the part of the Americans to incorporate themselves into the realm of international racing and that the inclusion of the International sweepstakes (Indianapolis 500) into the CSI world championship during 1950 to 1953 was not some hairbrained lunacy as many seem to imagine. From 1954 onward to 1960 is a different story, but it appears that the Contest Board did weigh the decision to switch to the "International Formula" very closely once again, but backed off -- the USAC board did vote to adopt the 1966 GP formula but then rescinded its decision after further lobbying efforts got a re-vote and changed the swing votes from pro to con.

A real leader in the adoption of the "International Formula" in every case was the management of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with the exception of the 1930-1937 'Junk Formula' period which Eddie Rickenbacker (or as he is known in the AAA Record Books of the day, "Rickenbacher") had out in the hands of the owners in early 1929, long before the economic scene truly tanked.

Keep in mind the inclusion of the International Sweepstakes into the first CSI world championship and the revival of the "Vanderbilt Cup" in 1936 and 1937; plus the additional of another road race during 1937 at Dallas using the area around the Cotton Bowl and the fairgrounds which was canceled when the drivers balked at a 300-mile race, asking for a 200-miler and the promoters refused to schedule one for less than 250-miles. I have the track diagram should anyone be interested.

To paraphrase what Hans correctly observes -- There is much that we should know, but don't.

Just food for thought. I will scan the bulletin with the 1928 CSI meeting should anyone be interested.

#5 fines

fines
  • Member

  • 9,647 posts
  • Joined: September 00

Posted 08 July 2002 - 17:40

Originally posted by Don Capps
Keep in mind the inclusion of the International Sweepstakes into the first CSI world championship and the revival of the "Vanderbilt Cup" in 1936 and 1937; plus the additional of another road race during 1937 at Dallas using the area around the Cotton Bowl and the fairgrounds which was canceled when the drivers balked at a 300-mile race, asking for a 200-miler and the promoters refused to schedule one for less than 250-miles. I have the track diagram should anyone be interested.

Just food for thought. I will scan the bulletin with the 1928 CSI meeting should anyone be interested.

Yes, please (on both counts)!!!! :cat:

#6 Don Capps

Don Capps
  • Member

  • 5,933 posts
  • Joined: May 99

Posted 08 July 2002 - 18:05

Originally posted by fines

Yes, please (on both counts)!!!! :cat:


I will send the Dallas circuit map and the bulletin with the minutes of the CSI meeting as soon as I get the bulletin scanned.

Also, I now have extensive documentation on the 1936 and 1937 George Vanderbilt Cup Races. I have parts of the programs and no end of the technical sheets and scoring charts on the cars. Plus, I seem to have most if not all of the paperwork surrounding the protests lodged at the races.

As an aside, there was a new scoring system adopted during 1936 which was applied to the 1936 event results, but then the implementation of the new system was delayed a year resulting in a recalculation of the points for the season. I thought that was pretty interesting.

I also have the odd entry forms for various races during the 1930's, including one which includes the sliding weight scale for the new International Formula. I got my original data from the entry form for the 1946 Indy race, so it was interesting to see it show up again.

#7 Hans Etzrodt

Hans Etzrodt
  • Member

  • 3,173 posts
  • Joined: July 00

Posted 08 July 2002 - 21:53

Don,
I am interested in all "Original" documents plus comments if you have any. I will then add your contribution to the "History" list. Please make sure that I get also the proper source information required for this list. :)

#8 fines

fines
  • Member

  • 9,647 posts
  • Joined: September 00

Posted 09 July 2002 - 17:04

Originally posted by Don Capps
As an aside, there was a new scoring system adopted during 1936 which was applied to the 1936 event results, but then the implementation of the new system was delayed a year resulting in a recalculation of the points for the season. I thought that was pretty interesting.

That's VERY interesting, yes! I had trouble reconstructing the 1936 points table, as some sources seemed to indicate the old scoring was still in use, some went with the new one! By the way, the '99 CART Media Guide has top ten positions of every Indy car Championship from 1909 to 1998, save one... 1936!

Shades of '39 AIACR, perhaps?;)

#9 Don Capps

Don Capps
  • Member

  • 5,933 posts
  • Joined: May 99

Posted 09 July 2002 - 17:18

I think I sent you something on that last night from the AAA Contest Board Bulletins.

#10 fines

fines
  • Member

  • 9,647 posts
  • Joined: September 00

Posted 09 July 2002 - 18:21

:blush: Sorry, hadn't checked on my e-mail account! :blush:

[wow, eleven new mails!!! :)]

#11 Hans Etzrodt

Hans Etzrodt
  • Member

  • 3,173 posts
  • Joined: July 00

Posted 11 July 2002 - 20:01

Don,
I do have a copy of the Betts Brothers' list, which I found in the archives of the Elgin Historical Society. At that time, I copied only the first four pages plus pp.1 to 41, which I then thought should suffice.

However, if you do get a chance, I am interested in the races (pages) thereafter, at least the ones covering the twenties. :)

#12 Don Capps

Don Capps
  • Member

  • 5,933 posts
  • Joined: May 99

Posted 11 July 2002 - 23:12

Hans,

Can Do!

#13 Don Capps

Don Capps
  • Member

  • 5,933 posts
  • Joined: May 99

Posted 18 January 2003 - 02:30

Despite no end of problems, endless frustrations, and severe heartburn with the microfilm reader/copiers of late due to budget cuts to the local library system, I have now managed to copy all the documents which were on the reel containing the AAA material on the George Vanderbilt Cup races of 1936 & 1937. I have the tech sheets on all the cars for both years, and apparently ALL the correspondence pertaining to the protests following the 1936 event. I have copies of the pit stop cards and no end of other stuff. It will obviously take awhile to sort this all out into some sort of reasonable order.

I also have the results and other material for the 1916 season, to include the non-championship events run to the 450-cubic inch formula and many of the Contest Board bulletins for the year.

My goal is to eventually make copies of all the Contest Board Minutes and Bulletins which are on the reels that I have. Plus, of course, all the other pertinent materials on the reels.

I have had absolutely ZERO luck finding someone who will either copy the material from the reels to a CD or into hard copy. I was a bit amazed to find that many, many phone calls left me without a single prospect. I found what seemed to be a good lead, but the firm tanked and went under sometime this Summer it seems.

Interesting thing about 1916 -- apparently someone (Phil Harms?) "cleaned up" the raw data and made an easier to use set of results sheets for the season. I have not found a similar "fix" for any other season.