Great speedster/racer pic. Looks like an air pump for his fuel tank beside him. And he has a large fuel tank, he'll have some "range" with that light racer and big tank.
Thank you for posting,
That straw boater will fly off at speed, maybe the owner put his father behind the wheel for the photo?
It's interesting that it is equipped for night driving. With all the weight they removed the lights and generator must have been deemed important.
With the lights and large fuel tank, but no place for suitcases/luggage, I wonder if it was used for endurance runs, such as 24 hour races, that were popular then?
Driving home a pretty young lady after the saturday night dance would be a good enough reason for keeping the lights, I think
I have worn a straw hat (boater) many times driving a speedster. At nominal T speeds, like on tours with other cars, it is not that difficult to keep the hat on. Keep head down or forward slightly. The wind pushes the hat down onto your head. It only takes a fraction of a second to blow it of if you turn your head wrong however.
At higher speeds. Forget it! The bumps and gusts will get under the hat and you will be a mile down the road before you can get slowed and turned around to go get it. Been there. Done that.
Anyone wearing a straw hat while driving a speedster wants to be able to take the ladies for a ride. Hence the lights.
Actually, having looked closely at hundreds of early racing photos, I can tell you that a lot of early racing cars had headlamps. One must understand the era. Few race drivers had trucks or trailers to take their car to and from the track. They were usually driven, often in the early dark hours. Some years ago, I went through several magazine articles on early races and counted all the cars with and without headlamps. All the races were pre'14, and about 1/3 of the cars had their headlamps on them for the photo-ops, if not during the races. I was a bit surprised. Big races like the Indy 500 of course they did not. And by the late '10s, more real races were being run by cars with the headlamps removed.
That is a great photo of an early speedster! The lamps and rear end look to be pre '13 but I can't pin it down much more than that. The radiator appears to be a high neck. Probably an '11 or '12.
I can't see the seat enough to guess whether it is Ford or a "wrecking yard special". The gasoline tank is large and narrow. It could be from any of a dozen cars from that time. I see that it does indeed have a pressure pump on the side of the seat.
The firewall is cut down. No side lamps, but I can see the shadow of the coil box and I think the ignition switch.
I have a parts pile that is brass era. It is maybe car project five or six down the road. Maybe that is the car it should become?
Great photo! Thank you again.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
The guy doesn't strike me as the typical Speedster pilot.