This thread involves pre Model T subjects. Read on at your own peril:
Nine cars ran in the Detroit 24 Hour endurance race held at the Michigan State Fairgrounds, June 21st through the 22nd, 1907. This was the second of ten sanctioned 24 hour races held in the U.S. in 1907. According to records, five of the races were "relay races" in which a team could use up to two cars, while five were "individual races" allowing only one car per team. Some news accounts say these were the most followed races of 1907.
The Ford Model K won the Detroit race, setting a world record for miles travelled over a twenty four hour period. As far as I've been able to determine, this is the only world record established by a stock Ford car prior to WW2. The record would be broken three months later to the day by a Locomobile relay team that a averaged 1/2 mile per hour more than the Ford. No other 24 hour racer would make a faster one hour time in 1907 than the Ford, averaging 55 miles in one of the twenty four hours.
I'll start with the most important ingredient, the people. Following Is a short news clip about the race, listing several of the cars and drivers:
Harry Cunningham evidently was a mechanician with Henry Ford and Tom Cooper. He is also listed in track reports from 1903 driving the Ford/Cooper 999 racer:
Later in 1903 Cunningham is hired away from Ford by Packard to drive their famous "Gray Wolf" racer:
Cunningham appears with the Gray Wolf in several races:
He was injured and hospitalized following this accident:
The Packard Gray Wolf:
By 1907 Cunningham has returned to Ford Motor Company and drives one of the two Model R that participate in the 24 hour race.
Next: Bald, Lyltle, McCoy, Mongini and Kulick
I forgot to mention the Thomas driver, C. (Charles) A. Coey of Chicago. Coey was a longtime car and racing enthusiast and the Thomas representative for Chicago.
Coey would finish third in the Detroit contest driving two 60 hp Thomas Flyers. He would also file a complaint, and as it turns out, seemed to attract controversy before, during and after his races. Like many of the drivers in the Detroit race, Coey would drive another 24 hour race in 1907, winning the Chicago (Harlem track) race a few weeks after the Detroit race (with controversy and official complaints filed against him):
A. C. would go on to start his own driving school and a new car company, producing the "Coey Flyer" in 1913:
As a family descendant wrote on a blog, "it seemed as if C. A. Coey spent much of his career suing and being sued." Also an avid balloonist, Cloey is pictured below:
Herb Lytle was the most decorated of a group of well known drivers participating in the Detroit 24 Hour Race. Lytle drove the Pope Toledo that finished second to Ford, and had just been selected to drive the Pope Vanderbilt Cup racer. Some reports say one of the Pope cars used for the Detroit race was the just completed Vandy Cup racer along with a stock 50 hp Pope Toledo:
Next, Rafaelo "Ralph" Mongini. the "terrible Italian" participated in many races including the Vanderbilt cup and at least three 24 hour races in 1907. He drove a Stevens Duryea in the Detroit race:
A week after the Detroit 24 hour race, Mongini won a 24 hour race in Minnesota:
The next driver covered will be the "real McCoy".
Very interesting. A couple drivers I have not known much (if anything) about.
Thank you Rob!
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Thanks Wayne. For anyone reading along, this next driver is "The Real McCoy"!
I thought about doing a separate thread on this driver. His name was Norman Selby, however as a sports figure, he was known as "Kid McCoy." According to the L.A. Times article written by Cecilia Rasmussen, 1997 (below) he was the original "Real McCoy." McCoy was a well known prizefighter at the turn of the century. His bouts included a loss to Gentleman Jim Corbett. After retiring from boxing Kid went into automobiles, including racing, and is one of the well known figures who drove in the Detroit 24 hour race.
McCoy had an interesting life, including ten marriages, a stint in San Quentin (for killing one of the ten). To this day the cliche "the Real McCoy" lives on, although I had no idea it was derived from the highlighted story below:
Kid and Eddie Bald drove the 40 hp American (Tourist or Underslung) car in the Detroit race. The American was an early leader before dropping out of the race in the 5th hour.
Interesting! I did get a kick out of the "real McCoy" tale. Also, his quote of "the same tactics that will win in one (game) will nearly always win in the other" I found somewhat ironic. Given that he dropped out in the fifth hour of a twenty-four hour race, and had so many careers in just a few years, it seems he lacked "staying power"?
Still, a very interesting personality from early automobile racing history.
And "the real McCoy"!
Thanks Rob! Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Eddie "Cannon" Bald was a well known bicycle racing champion before racing cars, as were Barney Oldfield and Tom Cooper:
Bald had a great year racing in 1907, and in 1951 was named the AAA Revised Retrospective National Champion of 1907 (year of the Detroit race):
Bald along with Kid McCoy drove the American (Tourist/Underslung) entries, and led for a few hours before quitting the race in the fifth hour. Below are two photos of Bald in earlier races:
Second to last, Bert Scott.
Bert Scott drove the other Model R in the Detroit 24 hour race. He, along with Harry Cunningham drove Ford Model Rs and both completed the 24 hour race. Scott finished ahead of the Stevens Duryea and the American cars, driving 728 miles over 24 hours.
Scott would become famous as a competition driver, but two years later. As the driver of Ford Model T #2, winning the Ocean To Ocean Race in June 1909:
I was going to finish with Frank Kulick. However, anyone still reading this is probably as or more knowledgable about him than I, so I won't take up the space.
I was also going to follow with a description of the cars racing, as the Ford K won out over a couple of the best cars in the world at the time, a 60 hp Thomas and 50 hp Pope Hartford. But, as this has become tedious to some members and is overkill in my effort to elevate the Model K in Ford enthusiast circles, I'll not burden anyone with my rambling.
Thank you for allowing me to air my opinions and the information collected,
It has been a joy to read. Thank you for taking the effort to post for the rest of us.
As anyone that has read much of these knows, I have thanked you many times already. I have very much enjoyed your many threads and the information you have been willing to share.
Somehow, I always doubted the "historic line" that the model K Ford was a total failure and hated by nearly everyone. It has been a pleasure to read so much about it.
Again, Rob, thank you.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2