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Eddie Pullen, Mercer driver

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#1 MPea3

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Posted 09 October 2004 - 13:18

Since I share his name, I've always wondered about this driver. There's no shortrage of race results showing him, plenty of race photos, and even one photo I've seen of him and his mechanic, posed in a race car with no helmets. Still, he's not exactly a household name, and his career seems to just end sometime right around WW1. My questions are, did he ever race anything other than Mercers? If not, was he on some way tied to Mercer, as an employee perhaps? And whatever became of him? Thanks guys.


#2 Don Capps

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Posted 09 October 2004 - 15:19

Although Pullen drove mainly Mercers from about 1912 to 1918, in 1915 he used the Maxwell and in 1919/1920 Hudson and in 1921 Duesenberg.

#3 fines

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Posted 03 April 2005 - 13:47

Tripped over that during my Mercer research...

Yes, Eddie Pullen was a Mercer employee, and raced exclusively for the Trenton firm as long as they were engaged in racing. Not sure if he continued working for Mercer when he started racing other cars, but I've seen a publicity shot of the 1916 Mercer 22/70 with Eddie behind the wheel, so I guess he'd still have been on their payroll.

After Mercer's withdrawal from racing, Eddie drove the semi-works Mercer for George Bentel. Once, at the 1915 Astor Cup Bentel's team failed to show up, and Eddie took over the second Maxwell that became available after Harry Grant's fatal accident in practice. When Bentel moved out of racing, Pullen more or less retired - I have only one start for him in each 1917 and 1918. But in 1919, he reappeared, first with a Hudson Super Six, then with the Hudson-based "Richards Special" of Kansas City. This lead to a few Duesenberg works drives in 1921, and then nada.

Eddie is perhaps better known in Europe than America, since he won the Grand Prize, but never once started at Indy! On two occasions, though, did he take part in the 500 as a relief driver, 1914 and 1921, both times retiring. But he was hugely popular in his times, for his Grand Prize win was the first (and only) for an American car, and he won a good number of races on popular circuits such as Lakeview, Santa Monica, Corona (road), Tacoma, Beverly Hills (board oval) and Ascot Park (dirt oval).

#4 robert dick

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 11:21

Pullen in Motor Age's review of 1914 road racing :
"On Pullen's side one finds that he has a record of two firsts and a second in his five starts, twice being unable to finish. He and DePalma competed in the same five races, which makes the comparison easier. Pullen started the season at Santa Monica with a victory in the grand prix, which followed his elimination in the Vanderbilt at a time when it looked as if he would be a winner, a broken wheel, the result of taking Death curve too fast, stopping him when he was far out in the front. At Elgin Pullen again stacked up with DePalma and the honors went to the Italian, who shattered precedent by cleaning the card, winning both classics. Pullen failed to finish the first day, but on the second he was runner-up to DePalma, establishing a non-stop record which was beaten only at Corona by Oldfield in the Maxwell. Pullen's championship stock went up a notch at Corona, where he established a world's road racing record that is so sensational that critics still are gasping at the dizzy speed. Stacking up the respective claims of DePalma and Pullen, one must admit that while to the Italian belongs the championship title, yet the most ardent admirers of the Mercedes pilot must admit that Pullen stands very close to the throne."

#5 robert dick

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Posted 05 April 2005 - 08:55

After his racing career, Pullen was involved in the production and marketing of the Ruckstell axle.
More on the Ruckstell axle :

#6 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 30 March 2006 - 17:40

Pullen b. 16 Aug 1883, Trenton New Jersey, d. 6 October 1940, Los Angeles, California. I think he was working with a garage just before his death.

#7 Graham Clayton

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 04:49

When Bentel moved out of racing, Pullen more or less retired - I have only one start for him in each 1917 and 1918.


According to Volume 40 (1917) of the "Horseless Age" magazine, Pullen was appointed technical expert of the Pacific Coast Chevrolet factory by RC Durant, Chevrolet Vice-President and Sales Manager. The job involved travelling up and down the West Coast supervising the service of dealers, which probably explains why he did virtually no racing in 1917 and 1918.

Pullen later set up a garage on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles.

#8 HistoricMustang

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 11:50

A bit off topic but did not want to construct another thread.


Will try to get by and take a look at this location at some point in the near future. Just a few miles from my new home. Understand there were some buildings on or near this spot used for garages.

Henry :wave: