From notes in The Leader (Melbourne) for 28th October 1916-
A remarkable motor race was held last month
on the Chicago Speedway, the competitors were
a11 Fords. Each car was altered so that greater speed could be attained, and the entrants were the most remarkable contraptions ever seen on a race track. Some carried extra tanks, stock pistons were replaced by aluminium ones, different radiators, different axles, enlarged valves, were amongst the innovations used by the different owners. An exchange says:-"hay` wire, binding twine, trunk straps, junk parts and mechanical ingenuity, combined with more or less semblances of Ford cars went to make up the creations which took part in the Ford race. The winning car touched 80 miles per hour.
It would be fascinating to read a local report on the event or see a photo or two. Can anyone oblige?
that is awsome.
Rob will be looking this one up. He needs to know if a K won the race.
I don't believe it. I have some old 500 race programs and any of the Model T's that were in there didn't average any where near to 80 MPH. 56-58 would be more believable.
The post said
"The winning car touched 80 miles per hour"
Guess you're joking, Uncle Jack , but rules for the Montana 500 rules states standard carburetor, standard valves, standard gearing etc, while there doesn't seem to have been any such restrictions in the 1916 race.
Roger,I'm not joking. The type of gas that was /wasn't available back then ,along with lube oil,and grease,were all detrimental to speed. I realize the Montana guys do pretty good today,but back then?? I can't believe it. JMO,your mileage may vary.
you also have to remember OHV wasnt mentioned anywhere, i know roof was going 101mph in th emodel t era, so 80mph with the right mods isnt unfathomable.
Jack the 500 guys have to run standard ring and pinion, standard head, timer and coils, no pop up pistons, etc. I dunno about 80 but my yellow gow job roadster would run an honest 70 down the highway with standard ring and pinion. Not much else was but it did still have the magnets on the flywheel. I ran a distributor. (Please don't tell anybody)
Fronty Fords ran and placed well in Indy 500 races through 1924. This Indy racer.
Further research has led to a more detailed report. It seems that the '80 mph' in the first story was a little exaggerated, but some good speeds were obtained anyway- From the 'Western Mail' in Perth, first of December 1916 Page 36.
Fords that looked like Fords, and some that did not, showed their speed proclivities in the worlds first Ford Speedway Race at Chicago recently. If any of the 10,000 spectators went with any doubt as to rebuilt Fords doing a mile in a minute, or less, they went away with minds relieved of that feeling. They saw 20 miles run at an average of 62.83 miles per hour, 30 miles at 60.4, and 50 miles at 62-5 miles per hour. first honours in the former and latter going to Paul D. Harvey- Just to show that his car had some reserve speed, Harvey did a lap in the 50-mile event in 1min. 35sec-, or at the rate of 72.5 miles per hour. This came immediately after he had lost the lead at the end of 38 miles through a stop at the pits to change a spark plug. Harvey's time for the 20 miles was 19min. 6sec, and his average speed 62.83 miles per hour. Laznasky's time was 19min.12.4sec- speed, 62.49 Jury finished in 19min. 21.4sec., his average being 60.7 miles per hour. H. A. Wolf, Desplaines, 111., was fourth in 20min. 44.2sec-speed, 57.87 miles per hour- The others were flagged. Harvey won 125 dollars; Laznasky, 75 dollars; and Jury, 35 dollars