LEASE OF LIFE TO THE AUTOGRAPH HUNTER. THE WHITE SQUARES OF A CHEQUED FLAG USED AS THE LEAVES OF AN “ALBUM”
SOME DRIVERS AND THEIR CAREERS
WE have recently had the opportunity of examining something quite new in souvenirs. It is a chequered flag as used on the American speedways, with the black and red “Gilmore Lion” emblazoned across the centre. Each white .square of the flag Contains the signatures of various wellknown American drivers.
This unique flag is in the possession of a motor-racing enthusiast, R. C. Walden, whose photographs and pictures of the sport, a huge album for each season, are Well-known in this country. Walden must have the largest array of autographed photographs in existence, there being no fewer than 100 English and Continental drivers and 30 American. His latest acquisition, the autographed chequered flag, completes a remarkable collection. Walden has kindly equipped us with some details of the various drivers who have signed the flag, and we reproduce some of them below :—
Al Gordon.—Age 32. One of the best drivers in the States. A.A.A. Pao* Coast Champion, 1933. Took a header over wall at Indianapolis in 1St lap, 1931, but escaped unseratched. Has great scraps with Kelly Petillo, arch-rival. Drives a Gilmore Special. In spare times runs a place called “Club Rendezvous” with Frank Brady, midget driver. Their club patronized by all ” the boys.”
Carl Ryder.—Three A driver at Ascot. Crashed sensationally short time ago. Front tire burst when coming out of curve into straightaway, pulled him into outside guard rail, up a 10 ft. dirt wall, through a solid fence, finishing upside down-4 ft. from the ambulance I Broke his leg 3 ins, above knee and tut his hand. Leg re-set at infield hospital, and new progressing favourably. Tough.
Harris Insigner.—Sen sation of the season. After being also ran for long time has suddenly found his form with a brand-new Miller. Took Ascot by storm when he made fastest qualifying tithe, beat Al Gorden in the Helmet Dash (match race), took the main event and 50 laps in record time, chased home by Al Gordon, Rex Mays, Chet Gardner,. Cole and Roberts. A man to watch.
Bob Soil, of Patterson, N. J., well-known Eastern driver. Age 29. Eastern champion 1933. Fifth in 1934. Wears glasses under his goggles. A dangerous rival when he has a good car. Chet Gardner.—Long Beach driver. Fat, age 39. Big time driver for many years, with a great reputation on the
Pacific coast. An Ascot favourite. Indianapolis has seen him annually since 1928. Kelly Petillo.—Nic k-named ” Knight of the Ridge Route,” due to his holding a
record for trucks over a dangerous route in California. First big race Indianapolis, 1931, at wheel of 4-cylinder Miller. Now a top-notcher. Daring as you can make ’em, and a constant source of worry to Al Gordon and Rex Mays. Italian by birth, which took place 31 years age. Another Ascot favourite. Winner of $3,500 Mines Field 200 miles road race on S. & W. Special, at 81.624 m.p.h.
Floyd Roberts.—Started racing in early Ascot days, when Ralph de Palma, Sig.
Ted Horn.—The colour-scheme exponent. Took winning award for the most pansy-looking car in 1934. Present mount called the ” Atlas Chrome Special,” official description” deep opalescent blue, offset by Chromium plating.” Had a successful 1934 season in the East, driving Bill Rasor’s single o.h.c. Miller, the car with which the late Swede Smith held all Class B records at Ascot. Rex Mays.—One of the best. West
Haughdahl and ” Fighting ” Dave Koetzla, were in their prime. Kicked out of Ascot and turned outlaw. Known then as the worst and toughest driver. New a leading Ascot pilot, backed by Elwyn Holt, of San Fernando. Drives a Duffield Special, a flat head Winfield job, built by Jack Duffield. A wizard in making flattoppers go fast. In 1934 drove Russ Garrant’s No. 7 to many victories on i-mile and i-mile tracks. “Doe “Mackenzie.—Son of Eddingten, Pa, physician. Born adventurer. Took part in Red Lake, Ont., gold rush in 1926. Went by dog team and paddled 800 mile return journey in canoe. During the week is a steeple-jack, and works in a saw mill when he can’t find any more steeples. Turned the Langhorne track
36 Sees. flat, beating Wild Bill Cummings and the late Herman Schurch. While leading a race at Langhorne, just before the finish, his car burst into flames. “Doc ” stuck to the cockpit and crossed the line before getting out. ” Doc ” all over. Coast champion in 1932, driving HiSpano
Suiza motored job. Reminiscent of Lockhart. Swept the board in 1934 and won West Coast title again. So successful that Authorities ordered his engine to be checked (Aseet regulations allow a 205-in. motor and -a 7 to 1 comp. ratio). Car found O.K. His “Rocker Arm Special” was a 4-cylinder II Block model, fitted with Rocker Arm Head, built by Paul and Ed Winfield, of carburetter and cam fame, who guarantee 160 m.p.h. if car is taken to Murok Dry Lake. Mays has now swapped cars with Petillo.
Johnny MoDowell.—Past Ascot driver, but not fast enough for the law. Got mixed up in speed contest with a speed cop at Bell, Calif, with the cop hitting 75 m.p.h. in Ford Sedan. Johnny was getting away, so brave cop shot him in the shoulder. After Judge fined Johnny $50 he suspended the cop. McDowell says he is not going to try it on with a small-town cop again. Apart from this, he makes the McDowell double o.h.c. racing head.