The Indianapolis “500” FRAME ON A HARTZ MILLER 8-cyl. SPECIAL, WINNER OF AMERICAN CLASSIC AT 1o4.144
THE LEADERS’ SPEEDS
m.p.h. 1st Fred Frame 104.144 (Hartz Miller 8-cyl. Special) 2nd Howard Wilcox 103.8 (Lions Head Special Miller) 3rd Cliff Bergere 102.6 (Studebaker Special) 4th Bob Carey 101.36 (Meyer Special)
AFTER an interval of seven years, the record speed of 101.13 m.p.h. for the apnual 500 mile race held at Indianapolis was broken this year by Fred Frame, driving a Miller, at an average speed of 104.144 m.p.h. Up to the year 1925 the record used to be lowered fairly regularly, but since that time, for some unknown reason, no driver has ever been able to beat Peter de Paolo’s speed.
This year the engine capacity of the cars was limited to 5 litres, with the result that in addition to the usual Miller and Duesenberg racers, there were entered a number of cars, such as Studebaker& and Iluptnobiles, which were modified stock cars. Also, for the first time, four-wheeldrive was being tried out by Miller with two cars driven by McDonogh and “Shrader. No European ears or drivers were competing. It is a curious fact that, without great modification, European cars do not perform well on American tracks, and vice-versa. Several attempts have been made in the past at Indianapolis, Hawkes with a 3-litre Bentley, Bordino on a Fiat, Ascari with an Alf aRomeo and Chiron with a 1 i litre G.P. Delage to cite but a few, but no European car or driver has ever figured conspicuously in the list of winners of this race, since Wilcox won in 1919 with a Peugeot. A rolling start is used for the race, and this year forty cars, each of which had qualified for the race by doing a lap of the circuit at 100 m.p.h., were led round
the track by Edsel Ford driving one of the new 8-cyl. Lincolns. With so many cars competing, the spectators anticipated a lively scramble for a good place on the first bend, and they were not disappointed, for this jockeying for position went on for many laps, while the field strung out to its proper formation.
It says much for the skill of the drivers that no collisions occured, and it was not until the seventh lap that the first accident took place, when Shrader hit the retaining wall on one of the corners. The pace was terrific. For the first 125 miles the order was Arnold, winner in 1930, on a front-drive Miller, followed by Carey and Moore on similar cars with reardrive. Arnold’s triumphant progress was quickly brought to an end, however, for soon after, when leading by roughly
laps, he crashed badly on one of the turns in avoiding another competitor who was skidding.
Triplett Leads at 250 Miles.
At half distance, 250 miles, the lead was held by Triplett on a Miller, at an average speed of 106.74 m.p.h., a record for the distance. Carey and Moore had fallen back with various troubles, and second place was held by Wilcox, also on a Miller, who was making his debut at Indianapolis after a successful career on dirt-tracks. Louis Schneider (Miller), last year’s winner, was 3rd, and a str.-8 Studebaker, driven by Bergere was going well to occupy 4th place.
So far, with the exception of Arnold’s spectacular crash, no serious ” pile-up,” such as one usually associates with Indianapolis, had occurred. But now, as the day grew hotter, as drivers grew tired, and as the bricks of the track became slippery with oil dripped from cars, so the drivers had to exercise the greatest skill in avoiding other cars skidding in their path. Fortunately, nothing untoward happened, although any English spectator who had witnessed that stirring lihn, “The Crowd Roars,” would have been considerably apprehensive at this stage of the race. When the three-quarters mark was
reached, Triplett had shot his bolt, and Shaw on a Miller made a spurt and took the lead from Wilcox, followed by Frame and Bergere. The two last-named drivers were playing a clever waiting game, holding the leaders in sight but never stressing their cars unduly. Their policy was justified, for soon after Shaw had mechanical trouble and fell back, giving Frame his chance. The chequered flag was waved from the pier overhanging the track, and Fred Frame came home a winner at the wonderful average speed of 104.144 m.p.h., eight miles an hour faster than last year’s speed. Wilcox justified the enthusiasm of his supporters by finishing second, while Bergere accomplished a splendid feat to secure third place with his ” stock ” Studebaker.
As usual the organisation was perfect. A colossal massed band, efficient scoring boards, ample refreshment facilities, coin. fortable stands and everything run to an exact schedule, were the outward and visible signs of the genius of ” Pop ” Myers, the best stage-manager of motorcar races in the world. Organisers of British motor races please note I
Year. Driver. Car. Speed.
m.p.h. 1911 R. Harroun Marmon 74.59 1912 J. Dawson National 78.7 1913 J. Goux Peugeot 76.92 1914 R. Thomas Delage 82.47 1915 R. de Palma Mercedes 89.84 1916 D. Resta Peugeot 83.26 1919 H. Wilcox Peugeot 88.06 1920 -G’.. Chevrolet Monroe 88.50 1921 T. Milton Frontenac 89.62 1922 J. Murphy Murphy Special 94.48 1923 T. Milton H.C.S. 90.95 1924 J. Boyer Duesenberg 1925 P. de Paolo Duesenberg 1926 F. Lockhart Miller 1927 G. Souders Duesenberg 1928 L. Meyer Miller 1929 R. Keech Miller 1930 W. Arnold Miller 1931 L. Schneider Miller 98.24 101.13 95.88 97.54 99.48 97.59 100.44 96.6