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Indianapolis 500 Drivers List A-Z (WATN)


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#1 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 14:19

Indianapolis 500
After some three or four years work & research, the complete Indianapolis Where Are They Now? (or indeed the Complete Indianapolis 500 Drivers A-Z) is finally up. It’s been a long, hard slog, but we got there in the end!
I must get my priorities right first, though & thank those who have helped in their big or small way with any information - I’d been lost without it!
Huge thanks to Reinhard (Rewind), Brian Lear, Allen Brown, Jim Thurman, Sal (Muzza) & all at Motorsport Memorial, Gabriel A. Engels, O Volante, Eldridge, Dick Ralstin, Russ Creason, Adam Ferrington & particularly worth mentioning is the late Len Calinoff & the late Phil Harms.

Now, this is slightly different from the previous W.A.T.N.’s in that some of it was up already - that being the post-war qualifiers & 50’s non-qualifiers. However, the format is exactly the same. What has been added is all the pre-war drivers & all the post-war non-qualifiers.
Basically, in other words, this contains every single driver to have qualified & non-qualified for Indianapolis, which I believe, is not available anywhere publically, certainly not on the internet, something I’m particulary proud of.
However, I know there will be queries & questions. The main one will be regarding the non-qualifiers. Quite simply, “they shouldn’t be there” or “where’s…..?” A lot of the Indianapolis entry lists is stuff of myth & legend, so the only thing I could do was take the best two lists available to me - Phil Harm’s work at www.motorsport.com & Johnson’s Indy 500 lists & try & make sense of it all - therefore I have come up with the following drivers.
There have also been a few "computer issues" with it going up as it has - we are aware of a few - but I think it's all fixed now. Let us know if you notice anything.
Now I’m also proud of the fact that I have found out an awful lot. Some of this stuff took deeper trawling than deep sea fishermen!! However, I am still missing an awful lot & this is why I have posted the same message at three different sites - the Nostalgia Forum at www.atlasf1.com, the Nostalgia Forum at www.trackforum.com & the Racing History Group at Yahoo. I know many of you are in all three “groups” as it were, so will hate all this repetition!, but at least these three sites should allow for a broader feedback/information.
Anything at all will help - States people came from, rough age, family member names, townships, anything. For many I have an either/or about them & just a little bit of info could decide it one way or another.
Now, I am realistic. There is no way we are ever going to get full birth date & place, full death date & place & additional information about all of them. There is no way we are ever going to get any information about some of these people. However - the more we can get, the better. I want this to be a valuable reference tool & maybe families can help fill in the blanks.
With some drivers I have taken an educated guess & may be wrong, or may be right. However there is information which WILL differ from what many of you have - simply because their actual birthplace or date etc. has been found to be different than the norm. But I do make mistakes, so please query everything!
I have thoroughly enjoyed doing this & will continue to update it, along with all the other W.A.T.N’s & later this year I will embark on the next step - the European Formula 2 Championship. But I’m having a well-deserved rest from any new inputting!
Enjoy all the little bits of info in there - I have found the variations from British drivers steeped in Grand Prix history, sprint & midget legends, some of the greatest names in motor sport & indeed US history, and the weird & wonderful - the international rock guitarist, to the car builders, to the Hollywood legend, all of whom “had a go” utterly fascinating. I hope you do, too.

Link
http://www.oldracing...y=Indy500starts

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#2 Muzza

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 17:09

Dear Richie,


Saying "wonderful piece of work" is simply not enough!

:up: :up: :up:

Um abração,


Sal (Muzza) and all the team at Motorsport Memorial

#3 fines

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 17:47

Just a few top-of-my-head additions:

Gil Anderson was a top driver of the period, with many wins and a Grand Prize third place finish

Keith Andrews was a Pikes Peak specialist

Ernie Ansterberg was most famous for being riding mechanic to Joe Boyer, amongst others

Erwin and Grover Bergdoll were brothers to Louis Bergdoll, head of "Bergdoll Motor Company"

Riley Brett was a most legendary mechanic throughout the thirties

Bob Burman died in a Peugeot EX3, i.e. an ex-Grand Prix car, not a sportscar

Billy Chandler was mechanic to Ralph Mulford, then one of the first Duesenberg works drivers, then captain of the Crawford team

Arthur Chevrolet died Apr 17 according to my source (Dave Argabrite), & not by suicide - most famous for the Fronty-Ford

Louis Chevrolet left the company of his name in early 1914, formed Frontenac the same year, went bust in 1923, then onto several aeroplane companies (only the first in conjuction with Arthur), then wound up working as a mechanic at... Chevrolet!

Fred Comer was mechanic to Cliff Durant for many years, then a Hartz buddy

Earl Cooper formed the Cooper Engineering Company, building FWD Indy Cars

Joe Cooper was most probably not related to Earl; he built his own racer (Sebring) together with Ora Haibe

Terry Curley was a boxing pro (80 fights), then a riding mechanic in the early twenties

A. Dan Cain - I suspect there's a connection to Jack LeCain

Rick (Rickliffe) Decker was also a car owner

E. H. Delling was with Mercer after he raced his own Deltal, subbing for Finlay Richardson Porter

John DePalma was the younger brother of Ralph DePalma

Earl DeVore raced already in the early teens

Duke Dinsmore's real name was Dinsmoor

Grant Donaldson built the Emden Indy Car

John Duff was one of the "Bentley Boys"

Cliff Durant's real name was Richard Clifford Durant, son of William Crapo D.

#4 fines

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 18:14

Bill and Harry Endicott were brothers

Harlan Fengler had also been instrumental in the building of the Locomobile Junior 8 Indy Car for Cliff Durant; former mechanic of Harry Hartz

I. P. Fetterman was better known as "Red" Fetterman, a Pittsburgh car dealer

Louis Fountaine (that's probably the right spelling!) was riding mechanic to Ralph DePalma in the 1915 Indy winning Mercedes

Larry Foyt is a grandson of A. J. (II)

Lee Frayer was involved in the Frayer-Miller Vanderbilt Cup car and the Firestone-Columbus Indy Car; nothing to do with the Firestone Rubber Company!

Spike Gehlhausen is the son of Carl Gehlhausen, famous car owner

Ray Gilhooley was most famous for (inadvertantly) giving cause for the slang expression "to pull a Gilhooley"

Ora Haibe was a partner with Joe Cooper in dirt track days, both lived in Sebring, Ohio

Ray Harroun designed Marmon and Maxwell Indy Cars

Pete Henderson was a Duesenberg mechanic along with two of his brothers, Jack and George

Hughie Hughes was killed in a board track accident; very probably US citizen

#5 fines

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 18:49

Art Johnson was a former Duesenberg mechanic, later car owner

Charles Keene - I often wonder if he was related to Foxhall Keene

Art Klein built the Kleinart Indy Car (no, honestly!)

Henry Kohlert - possibly involved later as a car owner

Jack LeCain was later a car owner as well as a race promoter

Billy Liesaw or Leisaw???

Dave Lewis took his own life in controversial circumstances

Carl Marchese can hardly have invented the supercharged engine as he was only two when the Chadwick 6 ran - his brother Tom was a famous race promoter (Milwaukee)

George Mason was also the head of the Mason Motor Company, the nucleus of Duesenberg, as well as involved with a Miller-engined Ogren

Bon McDougall was a stunt pilot

Herschell McKee was a riding mechanic to Frank Elliott; some report him crashing fatally at the 1922 season final at Beverly Hills - go figure! Perhaps two persons with the same (or similar) name???

Al Melcher - possibly a brother of Walter Melcher (died in 1919 Santa Monica crash)???

Eddie Miller was a Duesenberg mechanic, also with Wade Morton for Meteor

Lou Moore was a famous car owner, winning Indy four times

Wade Morton was also executive for Meteor Motors Incorporated

#6 Muzza

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 19:07

Originally posted by fines
(...)
Herschell McKee was a riding mechanic to Frank Elliott; some report him crashing fatally at the 1922 season final at Beverly Hills - go figure! Perhaps two persons with the same (or similar) name???
(...)


First of all, great comments, Fines!

About Herschel or Herschell McKee (sources disagree on the spelling - Richie, did you get an SSDI confirmation of his name?) I strongly believe he was not killed in that accident at the Los Angeles Motor Speedway (the official name of the track commonly called "Berverly Hills Speedway") on 03 December 1922. McKee seems to be yet another one of the many drivers, riding mechanics and spectators "killed" by journalists that were either poorly informed or grossly guessed on the (poor chances of) recovery of someone seriously hurt in a racing accident (considering the survival rate of those seriously hurt at the time, that's not too surprising).

McKee was driving a Miller and Hugh Curley was his riding mechanic for 200-mile race at the Los Angeles Motor Speedway / Beverly Hills Speedway. The crash happened during a "tune up" - alike to what is currently called a warm-up session -, just as the spectators were just beginning to arrive to watch that day's race.

According with contemporary reports McKee was trying to overtake Joe Thomas’ when the right front wheel of the Miller caught the tail of the Duesenberg. McKee's machine pivoted about, crashed into the top guard rail, burst into flames and rolled over and over down the thirty-five degree inclined track. Thomas was not injured, and the Duesenberg was not noticeably damaged; in fact, he would make the race, finishing it in a very creditable seventh place. The event was won by Jimmy Murphy, with a Miller.

In the meantime, McKee and Curley had been taken to a local hospital; the first was diagnosed as only slightly injured, but Curley was deemed in critical condition. It is possible that Curley perished due to this accident, but we have not been able to confirm that.

McKee resumed his career later, and raced at least until 1935. He died in an unknown town in Indiana, United States, in April of 1965.

Thanks to Jimmy Piget, Don Radbruch and Rick Kelly who helped to compile this information - we are carrying further research on this incident.

Regards,


Muzza

#7 fines

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 20:25

Barney Oldfield also marketed his own brand of tyres (under Firestone umbrellage), winning Indy in 1920

Tom Orr was a Maxwell engineer

Jean Porporato was Italian, I believe

Sam Posey also used to be an artist painter

Dick Rathmann's real name was James

Jim Rathmann's real name was Richard

Eddie Rickenbacher is the correct spelling for the racing driver, as opposed to the war hero and airline executive

Tom Rooney did lots of production car racing well into the late twenties, apart from being involved in the promotional and/or officiating side of racing

Glover Ruckstell - are you confident of the spellling of his first name?

Roscoe Sarles was killed in an Indy Car event

Jack Scales was a British driver, having raced for Fiat in the 1914 Grand Prix, continued at Brooklands after the war and also occasionally drove Chiribiri works cars in Italy and Talbot Voiturettes (winner of Montlhéry opening meeting in 1924)

Herbert Scheel was an engineer from Saint Louis who developed the rotary-valve Scheel-Frontenac for Louis Chevrolet

William 'Doc' Shattuc (MD) was a lung specialist from Louisville, KY

Jigger Sirois is the son of famous mechanic Frenchy Sirois

Waldo Stein was famous as "sidekick" to Barney Oldfield - involved in race promoting/officiating and Oldfield's tyre business

Myron Stevens was chassis foreman at Miller

Stubby Stubblefield - surely those alternative spellings are typos?

#8 fines

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 20:34

Muzza, like you I'm (almost) convinced McKee didn't die that day. About his riding mechanic, I'm fairly certain that it was the aforementioned Terry Curley, ex-pro boxer, who continued his duties at the very next Beverly Hills meeting in Jerry Wonderlich's Duesenberg! At least as interesting to me is what car McKee drove (and crashed) in December: according to my data it could/should be the same as the one raced by Dario Resta in February 1923 - more info would be appreciated!

#9 fines

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 20:37

By the way, in the Wallen "Board Track" book there's a picture (p257/8) showing the line-up of drivers and mechanics from the 1923 Kansas City meet (Oct 21), with a man sitting at Tommy Milton's feet who is identified (quite rightly so, methinks) as... Hershell McKee!

#10 fines

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 21:02

Mark Taylor is the son of Mike 'Fulmar' Taylor

Ira Vail was also a noted motorcycle racer

F. Hollis Wells died shortly before the 1925 Indy 500, for which he was entered in his own Wells Hornet - I seem to recall it was a (racing) accident

Neil Whalen was prominent as a racing promoter after his driving days (Uniontown, PA)

Bill, Dale and Don Whittington are all sons of Dick Whittington, 50s race car owner

Lou Wilson was a riding mechanic (Art Klein) before taking the wheel

Jerry Wonderlich, I'm fairly certain, was Canadian

#11 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 21:03

Michael, thanks for your comments & they will be looked at - just to answer a few queries.

McKee - Sal, yes - but although it is his real spelling - many different spellings do pop up during his career. I've noticed although I have his details right - the WATN entry says he died :blush: will have to change this!

I may "get" Decker now as I knew his name was similiar to Rickliffe but didn't know for sure... :up:

Leisaw. Definitely. I was having so much trouble until I experimented! :cool:

Porporato - unclear. I had Italian as well - but perhaps held dual nationality?

Ruckstell - again, like Liesaw. A letter here or there solves everything!

Will see if the other bits & pieces lead to anything - I might have luck with Scales but we'll see.

:up:

#12 fines

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 21:48

Johnny Rae was a car builder in the 40s/50s

Tom Rooney, I forgot to mention, was also famous as a riding mechanic and driver for the Stutz team

Wallace Reid - I'm not sure he actually ran at the Speedway, he was probably a DNA

Rick Muther - I have him born in 1936!

Dee Jones - born March 17, 1933, lived Brownsburg, IN in 1970

#13 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 22:05

Reid practiced according to what I have - although whether his qualification attempt was at all serious is debatable...

Muther was 1935. The Washington State listing on his death proves that one.

#14 m.tanney

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Posted 15 March 2005 - 02:08

A few notes on some of the Canadians on the list:

  Pete Henderson was not born in Fernie, B.C. I think that was Mr. Higham jumping to conclusions. Henderson grew up in Fernie but he was born in Arran, Ontario. Source: his death certificate and the Canadian Census of 1901.
  Hal Robson's son Lee used to post on Yahoo's Racing History group. According to Lee, his father was born at Mt. Dennis, Ontario on Aug. 16, 1911. George and Hal both took American citizenship in 1935. George always called himself an Englishman and Hal described himself as a Canadian, although they both took American citizenship in 1935 and were also "proud Americans". Make of it what you will. Source: RH posts #14069 and 14643.
  "Who is Canadian" can be a complicated question. The Canadian Motor Sport History Group has had a number of discussions, some rather heated, on the matter. Before 1947, there was no such thing as Canadian citizenship. Canadian birth cannot be considered the definitive criteria. Ryan, Heimrath, Wietzes, Pease, and Cordts (to name but a few) were all born outside of Canada. They are/were still Canadian. On the other hand, there is someone like Ira Vail - born in Canada, but clearly an American. I believe that Allen Heath probably falls into the same category as Vail, an American who was born in Canada but left while still a child. How a man viewed himself is obviously an important factor. The main reason we now describe John Duff as a Canadian is that he described himself that way in an interview with the Lawrence (Mass.) Eagle in 1926. Common sense is generally the best guide to who is or isn't Canadian. The problem in many cases is a lack of biographical information to apply that common sense to.
  Such is the case with Bert Brooks, DNQ in 1961. We know that he was born in Canada. We know that he had a successful career as a sprint and midget driver in the eastern U.S. (4 time URC sprint car champion). What we don't know is when he left Canada and arrived in the U.S., what his citizenship was, or how he described himself. American or Canadian? Who knows?
  An even bigger mystery is Wilbur D'Alene. Has anyone found anything new on him since this thread? So far, the best available description of D'Alene's nationality, birthplace, background, etc. is "?????"

  A couple more notes on Michael's additions:

Pete Henderson was a Duesenberg mechanic along with two of his brothers, Jack and George

  Pete and George were one and the same. "Pete" was a nickname. His full name was George Gerrie Henderson. His brother Jack was indeed a riding mechanic, and someone whose career I would like to know more about. I believe that some of the photos in Wallen's Board Track book that are supposedly of Pete are actually of Jack. The youngest brother, Stuart, may have been involved in racing but I can't say for sure.

Jerry Wonderlich, I'm fairly certain, was Canadian.

  In Wallen's Board Track book, page 162, Bill Hunter wrote that, "In 1914 he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force, became an officer and served for four years". I don't know what his source was but there are records of Wonderlich racing during the war years with both the AAA and the IMCA. The National Archives of Canada has a database of everyone who signed on with the Canadian forces during the war. Wonderlich is not on it. The name does not appear on the 1901 Canadian Census (the most recent available), though Wonderlich would certainly have been alive at the time. BTW, the RCAF didn't exist in World War I.

  I hope this helps a bit.

  Mike

#15 fines

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Posted 15 March 2005 - 17:11

Well, thanks Mike!

I remembered the Hal Robson discussions on RH, but abstained from posting about it since I didn't recall the particulars. Same about John Duff who was discussed, I think, on this forum.

About the Hendersons: there's one pic in the Wallen book (p88) that reputedly shows three brothers - they all look alike, so who am I to argue? So, maybe the third one is Stuart? But there's one more problem: At the Indianapolis Harvest Classic (1916) I have George Henderson as Rickenbacher's riding mechanic, but Pete is driving himself! Sorry, I can't recall the source.

Jack Henderson: I have him as riding mechanic for Tom Alley (Burlington 1915), Eddie O'Donnell (Des Moines 1915) and Eddie Rickenbacher (Tacoma 1916).

Jerry Wonderlich: yes, my source for him being Canadian was the article in the Wallen book - the same for Billy Taylor ("... joined the Canadian Air Force and was shot down in 1918"). I thought that serving Canada in a war would likely make them Canadians - do I have to reconsider???

#16 m.tanney

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Posted 16 March 2005 - 01:17

Michael,
  The photo on p.88 of the Wallen book probably does show all three of the Henderson brothers. Pete is second from the left. The other two are on either side of Eddie O'Donnell on the right of the picture. Unfortunately, it doesn't tell us which is which. The one to the left of O'Donnell bears a strong resemblance to Pete. I assume that the man on the far right is Jack. On page 128 (far right) there is a photo, supposedly of Pete, with Louis Chevrolet and E.V. Goodson. It is obviously not Pete. That image on p.128 is cropped from a larger photo on pages 135-136. The caption says it was taken at Uniontown on May 17, 1919. On p.143-144, there is a large group shot with the same man, listed here as "J. Henderson" standing next to Treyvoux. The man in both photos looks like the man on the right of Eddie O'Donnell on p.88, so I assume that it's Jack. Your information about Jack's career as a riding mechanic is much appreciated. Until now, all I knew was that Jack was the riding mechanic for George Mason at Indy in 1914 and for Tom Alley the following year. This webpage confirms your statement that Jack was with the Prestolite team at Tacoma in 1916.
  I think I may have done Jerry Wonderlich a disservice. I was wrong when I wrote that there is evidence that Jerry Wonderlich raced with the AAA and IMCA "during the war years". Rechecking my sources, I could only find him with the IMCA in June and July of 1918. So he could have raced after returning from service overseas. He could not have signed on with the RFC in Canada 1914 without joining the Canadian Expeditionary Force first, but he could have done so in later years. Or he could have joined the Royal Navy in Canada and transferred to the RNAS. It's possible that Bill Hill, while getting the details wrong, could have had the gist of the story right.
  I am pretty sure that Bill Taylor was in the RFC in World War I. I think this is him. As you know, the United States came late to the two world wars. Between 1914 and 1917, and from 1939 to 1941, thousands of young Americans crossed the border to sign up with the Canadian and British forces.

#17 Gerr

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Posted 16 March 2005 - 02:27

Mike,
as I recall, all that was needed to get into the RNAS, who were in Canada (and perhaps the US) recruiting, was a pilot's license.

#18 robert dick

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Posted 16 March 2005 - 11:08

Grover E. "Guy" Ruckstell (Motor Age, April 8, 1915) :
"Ruckstell is 28 years of age, and a native son, being born in San Francisco. After attending high school in that city, he decided to enter the motor car industry in 1905 and took up the study of expert repairing. Five years ago he went to Bakersfield, Cal., where he opened a garage and spent a great deal of his time tuning up cars for the motor sportsmen of the San Joaquin valley. Having had a taste of speed, Ruckstell decided to become a knight of the khaki and in 1911 made his debut at the wheel of a racing car. In the first Stutz brought to the Pacific coast, the young Californian started in the 430-mile Bakersfield road race and led the field for 125 miles when he cracked a cylinder and was forced to retire. A short time after that he piloted the same car in the Bakersfield track meet and captured a third. In his first season of racing, Ruckstell showed such promise that he was given a Mercer to drive in the Panama-Pacific road race of 1912. The car was owned by George Fiester, through whom he met George R. Bentel of the Pacific coast Mercer-Simplex agency, his present backer."

Porporato was born in Italy.
Joe Cooper was born in Indianapolis.

#19 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 16 March 2005 - 11:21

Robert, thanks for the Ruckstell birth information - I will change the place. However someone is fudging their age in that report as Ruckstell's (and it IS Glover) date of birth has been authenicated twice, one in his WWI draft-card & two, with his death details, both SSDI & Californian DI.
Thanks for continued help all. :up: Another few drivers have been solved so it's getting there.

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#20 fines

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Posted 16 March 2005 - 17:36

Mike, I had Henderson without a first name for Tom Alley's RM at the 1915 Indy, so that's one more question solved. :up:

So, are you and Gerr saying that Wonderlich and Taylor need not have been Canadians to serve in the Canadian Air Force? :confused:

Richie, does your info include a middle name for Ruckstell? Edward???

#21 fines

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Posted 16 March 2005 - 17:39

Oh, and by the way, the George Bentel mentioned in Robert's post was later heavily involved with the Ascot Speedway, on which I just posted in another thread - what a coincidence! :D

#22 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 16 March 2005 - 19:37

http://www.rumbledro...om/letters.html


Name Death Date Death Place Birth Date Birthplace Mother's Maiden
RUCKSTELL, GLOVER E 28 May 1963 RIVERSIDE MALE 5 May 1891 CALIFORNIA BROWN

(Californian death index)

Name Birth Date Race Birthplace Registration Place (City, County, State)
Glover Edwin Ruckstell 5 May 1891 Caucasian California;United States of America Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

(WWI draft registration card)



I don't know Michael, whether you were querying the Glover/age question or wanted to know his middle name, but hopefully the three above should clear it up. :D

#23 m.tanney

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Posted 16 March 2005 - 23:27

Originally posted by fines
So, are you and Gerr saying that Wonderlich and Taylor need not have been Canadians to serve in the Canadian Air Force? :confused:

  Yes. Thousands of Americans crossed the border to join the Canadian Army, the Royal Navy and the Royal Flying Corps (Canada didn't have its own navy or air force then) in the early years of World War I. Thousands more joined the Canadian Army, the RCN and the RCAF in the early years of World War II. The flow has gone the other way, too: there were Canadian volunteers in the U.S. Civil War and in Vietnam.

#24 m.tanney

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Posted 17 March 2005 - 00:00

Re: Peter Revson

Heir to the Revlon Empire, he was killed in a practice crash for the South African GP.

  Isn't the "Revlon heir" business a myth started by sloppy journalists? That seems to have been the consensus when the matter has come up here on TNF. As I understand it, from reading past threads on the issue, Peter's uncle Charles Revson owned Revlon. Peter's father was not involved with Revlon. The father and the uncle were not close and Peter had no access to the Revlon money. IIRC, the "Revlon heir" thing used to get under Peter's skin.

#25 robert dick

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Posted 17 March 2005 - 08:22

Tom Alley (Motor Age, October 29, 1914) :
"Two years ago, Tom Alley was a humble repairman in the shop of the Chicago Locomobile agency. Ralph de Palma was Alley's teacher. In 1912, when the Italian was without a mechanician, de Palma took Alley out of the Chicago Locomobile shop and gave him a job pumping oil. He rode to dual victory with de Palma at Elgin and was Ralph's mechanic in the Milwaukee classics of that year, sharing in the Vanderbilt cup triumph and suffering injuries in the grand prize accident. Last year, when de Palma was captain of the Mercer team, Alley was a member of the crew but did not serve as a mechanician. This year Fred Duesenberg gave him a chance to drive and it is apparent that Alley has made good."

Arthur Klein (Motor Age, April 22, 1915) :
"Although heralded by his press agent as the youngest speed king in captivity, Klein is 26 years of age. He was born in Cleveland, O., and served his apprenticeship in the assembly room of the Peerless factory and as a road tester for the Stearns and Stoddard-Dayton. He drove his first race in 1909 at Atlanta, Ga., where his mount was a stock Stoddard-Dayton. The following year, he was at the steering wheel of a Flanders in a brief barnstorming campaign and in the fall of 1911 and the spring of 1912, drove a Mercer in some dirt track events in Ohio. Klein quit the racing game in 1912 to go to work for his brother-in-law as a cigar clerk in Youngstown, O. Selling stogies and shaking dice was not speedy enough for him, however, and at the New York motor show of 1914, he decided to don the khaki once more when the King company asked him to design and build a car for the Indianapolis race."

#26 ensign14

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Posted 17 March 2005 - 09:11

Originally posted by m.tanney
Isn't the "Revlon heir" business a myth started by sloppy journalists? That seems to have been the consensus when the matter has come up here on TNF. As I understand it, from reading past threads on the issue, Peter's uncle Charles Revson owned Revlon. Peter's father was not involved with Revlon. The father and the uncle were not close and Peter had no access to the Revlon money. IIRC, the "Revlon heir" thing used to get under Peter's skin.

Think that's right, it may have been used as a hook to start articles. If Revson were an heir to the Revlon empire he would not have been schlepping round Europe in FJ on a meagre budget.

#27 gerrit stevens

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Posted 17 March 2005 - 09:22

I thought Pancho (Duane jr) Carter en Johnny Parsons jr. are brothers (same mother).

Arie Luyendijk correct spelling with ij owns an art gallery. Arie won the European as well as the US supr Vee championship. Arie's father (Jaap) was also a racing driver.

Jerry Unser was the first of the Unsers to race the "500" although there already was a former generation of three brothers who frequently won Pikes Peak hill climb (Louis, Joe and Jerry).

Bill Holland had a former sporting career in ice speed skating (thirties).


Gerrit Stevens

#28 LB

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Posted 17 March 2005 - 10:07

Kelly Petillo died of Emphysema not Emphysena

Still trying to find the rock guitarist :D

#29 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 17 March 2005 - 11:53

Couple of things

Nothing more to add, but I find this whole Canadian War business fascinating :D

Mike, will change to part of Revlon family.

Gerrit, thank you, Robert big, big thank you for info re. Klein

LB, ta & try W. ;)

#30 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 17 March 2005 - 13:21

Michael, the Louisana State Death Index says the 16th for Arthur Chevrolet, as has many other sources, so I'm inclined to stick with that. My understanding was that he committed suicide by hanging - is this correct or was it a natural death, per se, as his health had been bad?

#31 fines

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Posted 19 March 2005 - 12:49

Ta Richie for the Ruckstell info - I have nothing positive on Arthur Chevrolet, was merely posting different info I have.

Gerrit, yes Pancho Carter and Johnny Parsons are brothers - their mother (Azra?) was Johnnie Parsons' first wife, then married Duane Carter.

Robert, do you have info on the Kleinart Special? Apparently, it was the 1914 King with a new engine, but the exhaust doesn't look like a Duesenberg (although all my sources agree on that)!

#32 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 19 March 2005 - 17:44

Michael (and anyone else for that matter)
Michael Thomsen has forwarded me some names who should be in & who should be out (Alderson, Peterson, B Shuman did not pass the rookie test, so they are out)
There are some names who I've been able to clarify as in & out but others not so - can anyone help?

Al Smith - 1967 - passed rookie test but apparently didn't practice?

Dave Paul 1966?

Bob Nagel - 1975- entered but couldn't find much

John Wood - 1980 like Nagel

Hal Minyard - 1966

Ron Lux 1966

I have used what I can post '67 but someone with a '66 guide would be very helpful.

#33 robert dick

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Posted 20 March 2005 - 08:00

Klein/King/Kleinart :

Indianapolis 1914 - King : bore/stroke = 5.1/5.5 inches, pair casting, T-head (was a Wisconsin engine), wheelbase 112 inches, gear ratio 2 to 1, Empire tires 33 x 4.5 .

Indianapolis 1915 - Kleinart : bore/stroke = 3.98/6.00 inches, block casting, 8 horizontal valves (was a Duesenberg engine), wheelbase 109 inches, gear ratio 2.5 to 1, Michelin tires 33 x 4.5 .

#34 fines

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Posted 20 March 2005 - 09:14

Thanks Robert, the dimensions certainly match - but why was the exhaust not routed high out of the bonnet like on other walking beam engines? Was it perhaps a special design like the 16-valve in the Omar Special? I have never been able to find a picture where you can see that car's exhaust, for what it's worth! :( Also, do you reckon the Kleinart had a new chassis, since its wheelbase was apparently three inches shorter?

#35 malvi

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Posted 20 March 2005 - 10:09

About John Wood according CART madia guide 1981
Birthdate: January 23,1952
Residence:Randallstown,Maryland
Started pro racing career in 76 and Indy cars in 80...has run endurance,Super Vee,Trans Am...
made Indy Car debut at 80 season opener at Ontario and finished 12th...In 79 ran 24Hours of Daytona with Tom Bagley,Sebring and Watkins Glen...won second Super Vee race he entered,at
Trenton.

I hope that was a little help...

#36 robert dick

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Posted 20 March 2005 - 10:25

Kleinart :
6 May 1915 :
"Arthur Klein, who drove in the 1914 race, will be on the line again this year. He has named his King, which has been rechristened the Kleinart."

27 May 1915 :
"The Kleinart, Art Klein's reconstructed King, already has been baptized in the fire of speedway competition, burning up the track in the early stages of last year's race but failing to finish."

According the photos published in Motor Age, it is possible that the 1914 frame was used again in 1915 - shorter wheelbase (109 inches instead of 112) made possible by shorter rear cantilever springs. The fact that the Kleinart was powered by a Duesenberg engine in 1915 is confirmed by Motor Age in a table of "dimensions and mechanical detail" published before the race and the "mechanical lessons" published after the race.
The exhaust of the Kleinart is on the right hand side, coming out through the upper part of the hood.

#37 Disco Stu

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Posted 23 March 2005 - 00:45

Originally posted by Richie Jenkins
Michael (and anyone else for that matter)
Michael Thomsen has forwarded me some names who should be in & who should be out (Alderson, Peterson, B Shuman did not pass the rookie test, so they are out)
There are some names who I've been able to clarify as in & out but others not so - can anyone help?

Al Smith - 1967 - passed rookie test but apparently didn't practice?

Dave Paul 1966?

Bob Nagel - 1975- entered but couldn't find much

John Wood - 1980 like Nagel

Hal Minyard - 1966

Ron Lux 1966

I have used what I can post '67 but someone with a '66 guide would be very helpful.


Al Smith had one day, May 18th, where he hopped in three different cars during practice, this was some time after his rookie test. I think that was his only post-rookie test running. Bob Nagel didn't finish his rookie test. I don't know if John Wood practiced after finishing his rookie test, he finished it relatively late in the month and much of the remaining time was a rainout, but he did appear in the qualifying draw for the second weekend so I'd guess it was a legit effort. Don't have anything from earlier, did Paul, Minyard and Lux appear on the entry list or for rookie orientation? By the way the notes are from the Speedway trackside reports.

#38 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 23 March 2005 - 09:30

That's solved the last two, Stu. From e-mails Russ has managed to yea or nay the '66 crew - FYI Paul is in, Minyard & Lux not. Will now get on with sorting this all out into the database.

#39 theunions

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Posted 24 March 2005 - 08:16

Is John Wood the same one who drove for Tom Milner in IMSA GTP circa 1990?

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#40 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 24 March 2005 - 10:32

Is the IMSA John Wood the same as John Wood who ran Porsches? I think they're all the same but I wouldn't put money on it. :)

#41 theunions

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Posted 24 March 2005 - 20:31

Originally posted by Richie Jenkins
Is the IMSA John Wood the same as John Wood who ran Porsches? I think they're all the same but I wouldn't put money on it. :)


Yeah, my question exactly...I've never seen a headshot of the sportscar John Wood to make that comparison though.

#42 fines

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Posted 26 March 2005 - 09:54

Originally posted by fines
George Mason was also the head of the Mason Motor Company, the nucleus of Duesenberg, as well as involved with a Miller-engined Ogren

I hate to spread false facts, so here's my due correction: George Mason wasn't the money man behind Mason Motor Co., that was Edward B. Mason, a Des Moines lawyer - George was presumably his son. But, he raced the Miller-engined Ogren, or at least that's what I've read - since there were two Ogren racing, one with a Miller and one with a Duesenberg engine, they get confused very often, and I haven't found proof of what exactly Mason ran - pictures are, sadly, very rare for the period!

#43 ReWind

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Posted 26 March 2005 - 16:24

@ Richie: Marvellous! :clap:

Originally posted by Richie Jenkins
I have found the variations from British drivers steeped in Grand Prix history, sprint & midget legends, some of the greatest names in motor sport & indeed US history, and the weird & wonderful - the international rock guitarist, to the car builders, to the Hollywood legend, all of whom “had a go” utterly fascinating. I hope you do, too.

Originally posted by LB
Still trying to find the rock guitarist :D

Should he him:

From http://www.oldracing...y=Indy500starts
Rob Wilson 06 Sep 1952
Auckland
NZ 0
(1996) Still racing, most recently in sportscars & the British & FIA GT series & also LMES. Also a session guitarist, who was in successful band Edison Lighthouse. Now lives in London, England, where he is also a driver coach. Still in the music business, as he has a band called Grand Prairie, who perform all over the world. Came close to a GP start as well in 1981.

The Hollywood legend should be Wallace Reid.

#44 fines

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Posted 28 March 2005 - 17:02

Erwin G. "Cannonball" Baker - I have a death date of May 11, 1960, funeral on May 13 at Crown Hill cemetery (in Indy?). Source: Dick Wallen, Roar from the Sixties.

#45 ReWind

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Posted 30 March 2005 - 19:06

@ Richie: A few notes & questions:

George Buzane
I have – source unknown :( - 1919 as his date of death. So that’s obviously wrong?

Charles & Wes Crawford
I think it’s strange that Charles Crawford (b. 1898) and Wes Crawford (b. 1901) should have died on the very same day (09 January 1961).

Joe Dawson
From this list I had 19 April as his birthday. Is your new date (17 July) beyond reasonable doubt?

Joe Jagersberger
I don’t think there’s a place called Frankfurt in Austria. Either Jagersberger was born in Germany (there are two towns called Frankfurt: the Western one on the river Main and the Eastern one on the river Oder) or he was born in another town in Austria.

Théodore Pilette
Have you grabbed the opportunity to ask Teddy Pilette for the exact birthday of his grandfather?

Noel van Raalte
Jack C. Fox puts „Norman Graham“ in brackets behind Noel van Raalte’s name. From that I thought his real surname was Graham, given name Norman and „Noel van Raalte“ a pseudonym. Now you say his first name was Marcus. I have to admit I am :confused: over this.

#46 Arthur Anderson

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Posted 31 March 2005 - 00:01

George Souders retired from racing after a bad crash, which mangled his left arm, leaving it, after he recovered, with very limited use of it.

With his winnings, he had built two businesses on North 14th Street, the American Tavern (reputed to have been one of the most successful "speakeasies" in Lafayette, perhaps due to his "hometown hero" status at the time), and a racing shop just across the alley to the south of the Tavern. Both buildings stand to this day, American Tavern having been sold recently, and the name changed to something else. The old race shop building belonged to my brother for several years, he using it as the location of his cabinet-building and antique furniture restoration shop, through 1995. Local legend had it that Souders would discard used or broken race car parts in a space in the middle of the concrete floor which had apparently always been decked over with a wood floor. My brother, nephew and I decided to investigate, but found nothing at all in the way of race car parts (would have been interesting had we though!), so that must have been just an urban legend. After his career-ending crash, his wife filed for divorce, and claimed both the racing garage and the tavern.

Souders did work for Charles Shambaugh for several years, at Shambaugh Garage, which was the Packard dealership in Lafayette from the middle 30's into the very early 50's, and then for a long time as a groundskeeper at Purdue University, finally retiring from the Purdue University Golf Course. I came to know him in the middle 1960's, and found him to be a most interesting person, very much a character, who had faded into local obsurity--only the regulars at Eddie Grove's (a retired racing mechanic) Chesterfield Tavern, where George would relate racing stories until last call.

Sometime in the very early 1970's, Souders moved to a small residential mobile home on the property of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and I believe he did pass away in Indianapolis. This living arrangement was by the courtesy of Tony Hulman, or so we Lafayette racing fans were led to believe. He is interred in the Battle Ground, Indiana Cemetary, where his grave is easily found, particularly in late May, as a few local racing fans always see to it that his headstone is marked by both the American flag, and a checkered flag. A headstone was commissioned by a group of local race fans a year or so after his burial, which is engraved with a picture of him in his winning Duesenberg, and the legend: "Winner, 1927 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race", and also noting that (at the time the stone was cut) that he was the last rookie driver to win the 500.


Charles Shambaugh was quite an entrepreneur, having been the Buick dealer in Lafayette for a number of years, before taking on the Packard franchise. In addition, he kept building race cars, his last one being a Duesenberg powered car which was banned, along with all cars powered by the Model A Duesenberg passenger car engine, in 1933, after a terribly fatal crash at the speedway by another Duesenberg engined car. Shambaugh is perhaps most noted in historical accounts of Lafayette for having operated the first airport there, for several years in the 1920's, located at the southeast corner of 18th street and Teal Road, at the time well out into the country (now very nearly in the heart of the city geographically) which is now the site of Lafayette Life Insurance Company's home offices. Charles was only peripherally involved in the construction, crane and rigging business--that was his brother, although the company's name was "Shambaugh Brothers Trucking". An automotive history of Lafayette done about 40 years ago by members of the local antique auto club did discover that Shambaugh's Garage did employ several retired racing personalities during the thirties as salesmen--Ralph DePalma and George Souders both tried their hand at selling Packards and used cars there for a year or two, and I believe Ed Hitze Sr. might well have as well. Shambaugh, and his wife Gertrude (who survived him by more than 25 years, are buried in Lafayette.

Art

#47 Disco Stu

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Posted 01 April 2005 - 03:30

From the 1984 CART Media Guide:

Harry MacDonald
Birthdate: September 27, 1940
Residence: Bloomfield Hills, MI
Marital Status: Wife - Molly

"Racing's Other Bloomfield Hills lawyer" made his Indy Car debut in '81 but sat out the '82 and '83 campaigns (he actually was at Indy in '83)...law firm specializes in estate and business planning...started in Formula Vee in '67, won SCCA national title in '74...third in Super Vee standings in '78 with win at Texas.

#48 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 01 April 2005 - 10:13

Stu, Arthur - thank you :up:

Reinhard. :wave:

Buzane - not necessarily. His details are very sketchy after 1919. Do you have any further details or "1919" the sum total of death information? Whilst rechecking my sources, I admit that there is scope for a 1919 death.

Charles & Wes Crawford - This was one I was hoping someone would clear up. One of these I KNOW didn't die that day, but for the life of me, I don't know which one. I think it's Wesley who died that day, but haven't been able to confirm it.

Joe Dawson
Just rechecked this. You are right.

Joe Jagersberger
Sorry - one of my puzzles! JJ was born in Frankfurt (Main) - I meant Austrian stock. I'll clear it up next time :blush:

Théodore Pilette
I asked Toine Pilette a while back....

Noel van Raalte
The van Raalte family existed, living on Brownsea Island during the summer & that WAS their name.
I've also just found out more.
NVR was born on the 22nd Dec 1889, he died of a long illness in 1937. Married in 1912, father, mother, son & wife all match. I am in no doubt NVR WAS NVR - family sources, the peerage, british borth & death records confirm it.

#49 robert dick

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Posted 01 April 2005 - 11:12

Shambaugh, Indianapolis 1914 :
"The Shambaugh, the entry that was marked as unknown, has a four-cylinder motor with two exhaust valves and one inlet valve per cylinder. These valves are located in the head and are operated by vertical push rods. The spark plugs are horizontally in the side of the cylinder and are operated by a single system Bosch magneto. A feature of the Shambaugh is the oiling system. After the oil has been circulated through the motor it is sent out into what may be called an oil radiator. this radiator consists of a coil of copper tubing placed directly behind the ordinary water radiator. The draft of air rushing through cools the copper tubing and hence the oil therein, which is on its return passage to the motor crankcase. The cylinders are cast in pairs and each pair has a large copper waterjacket around it."

Cylinder dimensions were quoted as 5.1/5.5 inches, 449.4 cubic inches.

In the eliminating trials, Shambaugh achieved 1:51.69 (80. 75 mph) in his first trial and 1:55:00 (78.2 mph) in his second trial. Too slow! Grant in the Sunbeam six was the slowest qualifier with 1:44:04 (86.40 mph) - fastest qualifier was Boillot in the Peugeot with 1:30:13 (99.85 mph).

#50 Tim Murray

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Posted 01 April 2005 - 11:46

In The Racing Sunbeams Anthony Heal wrote:

Nevertheless two of the 1914 Grand Prix Sunbeams were entered [for Indianapolis 1915], although there was some doubt as to who would drive them. . . Eventually 'N Graham' was announced as the driver of the second Sunbeam but this nom de course failed to conceal the identity of Noel van Raalte.


The book Under My Bonnet by G R N (Neville) Minchin provides some background on van Raalte. Minchin and van Raalte were undergraduates at Cambridge university in around 1905 - 1910. The wealthier students could afford some very interesting motor cars, and many unofficial competitions were held:

A challenge between Van Raalte and Moorhouse resulted in their having a race through the main streets of Cambridge early one Sunday morning, which I'm sure will never be forgotten by those who were present. Moorhouse had a 90 h.p. chain-driven Grand Prix Fiat painted blue and called 'Linda' (a girl he afterwards married), Van Raalte a bright red 'Kaiserpreis' 140 Minerva, live axle.

It was a race from the Market Square to the station, about 1¼ to 1½ miles, the loser to pay all the fines. Sir George Clark, his brother 'Tubby' and I kept kept the crossroads, on the long straight stretch by the Roman Catholic Cathedral, clear and they passed us at about 85 mph. Van Raalte scored a fairly easy win. At the subsequent police court proceedings (fines about £40) the Chairman of the Bench made an attack on Rhodes-Moorhouse, saying what a worthless and good-for-nothing young man he was.

Five years later, when the whole world was ringing with the story of one of the bravest deeds ever done, the deliberate sacrifice of his life by the first airman V.C., Lieut. Rhodes-Moorhouse, I hope the magistrate felt sorry for what he had said.


It puzzles me, therefore, that I can find no mention of van Raalte competing in any form of racing - he doesn't feature in Boddy's Brooklands history - until he suddenly pops up as a works Sunbeam driver at Indy 1915. Presumably he must have made his name in other American races to have landed this (fairly) plum drive? Over to the experts. :wave: