They did it to Ford again...... The first Indy 500 in 1911, and no Ford Special

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Rob
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They did it to Ford again...... The first Indy 500 in 1911, and no Ford Special

Post by Rob » Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:31 am

I recently entered the upcoming Miller Milwaukee Mile event. However, initially was denied entry, because our poor little Ford Special racer wasn’t an Indy car. After a little more research, and with the the help of several Miller Club members, we’re in!

Meanwhile, this sent me scurrying to find out exactly why Ford wasn’t at the first Indy 500 of 1911. 1911 was Ford’s biggest racing year, finishing 5th among all automakers (domestic and foreign) in sanctioned race and hill climb events. Frank Kulick, Ford’s primary driver, finished 8th in victories among all drivers. So, why didn’t Ford enter? Was it just such a new event that Ford missed the boat? Or, was it more nefarious...?

Turns out, there was a legitimate reason. The rules excluded the diminutive little racer. Just as with the Elgin road races of 1910, and the light car French Grand Prix of 1911, Ford was excluded because their racers were too light.

The first Indianapolis 500 sanction was under Class E of the AAA racing regulations. Ford, and most racers in 1911, ran in sanctioned events under Class C. Ford had four or five racers that ran in C classes 2, 3 and 4. However, the speedway folks chose to run under a special “Class E” sanction. Both classes are covered in the regulations excerpt below:
DC718CB3-A3BD-41B5-852C-D4E9718E4217.jpeg
The 500 organizers chose to place a 2300 lbs. minimum weight limit in the special E class event. Frank Kulick and his Ford racers ran against many of the entries in the 500, winning at one time or another against most of them.
EFF864FB-83CF-4C2D-9F2A-4141D114FB2D.jpeg
Unfortunately, it was not meant to be. As the article below reports, Ford was denied, and went on to race in other sanctioned events, winning and placing through the racing year of 1911.
D607DB48-5A82-4BBD-B505-781C88122A17.jpeg
0CF8904B-428A-420E-98CD-029A649B4BAC.jpeg


DHort
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Re: They did it to Ford again...... The first Indy 500 in 1911, and no Ford Special

Post by DHort » Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:30 pm

So you are coming to Milwaukee. Now I am going to have to reserve the entire beer hall at Miller Brewery.


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Re: They did it to Ford again...... The first Indy 500 in 1911, and no Ford Special

Post by Susanne » Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:31 pm

While the big cars slog
around the track
The Ford speeds by
to bring the honors back. :shock:

The heavy racers
all huff and wheeze
While the little Ford
will win with ease. :lol:

The others all battle
and give it their worst
while the mighty Ford car
brings home another first. :mrgreen:

Darn, wrong century, and wrong line of work. I should have been an ad writer...


wayne sheldon
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Re: They did it to Ford again...... The first Indy 500 in 1911, and no Ford Special

Post by wayne sheldon » Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:27 am

I look forward to more installments to this story!
And, even if no more installments are forthcoming, I really look forward to reports of the Milwaukee Mile event!

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Rob
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Re: They did it to Ford again...... The first Indy 500 in 1911, and no Ford Special

Post by Rob » Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:28 am

Dave, see you there.

Susanne, that’s great!

Wayne, I’ll try to post some video and pics of the racers.


wayne sheldon
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Re: They did it to Ford again...... The first Indy 500 in 1911, and no Ford Special

Post by wayne sheldon » Thu Jul 11, 2019 4:40 pm

I look forward to it Rob! Drive carefully and ENJOY!
(You going to do 70 again?)

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Rob
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Re: They did it to Ford again...... The first Indy 500 in 1911, and no Ford Special

Post by Rob » Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:03 pm

Wayne, so far 58mph on a curvy road is our max. The throttle is barely open then. We spent the day working on the mag, so hopefully tomorrow it goes together and away we go. Regardless, amazing speed cars here. A coupe of eye candy examples:
Attachments
IMG_3708.JPG
IMG_3707.JPG


wayne sheldon
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Re: They did it to Ford again...... The first Indy 500 in 1911, and no Ford Special

Post by wayne sheldon » Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:11 am

The first car looks like it could be a Miller, late '20s perhaps. But what is that number 9? The radiator style was used by so many cars 1910ish to 1920.

Thank you for the photos.


YellowTRacer
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Re: They did it to Ford again...... The first Indy 500 in 1911, and no Ford Special

Post by YellowTRacer » Sat Jul 13, 2019 5:40 pm

Wayne, I think that's a 09-10 Locomobile.


dllr28bl
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Re: They did it to Ford again...... The first Indy 500 in 1911, and no Ford Special

Post by dllr28bl » Sat Jul 13, 2019 5:41 pm

I would also guess Locomobile.

Dan


wayne sheldon
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Re: They did it to Ford again...... The first Indy 500 in 1911, and no Ford Special

Post by wayne sheldon » Sat Jul 13, 2019 7:22 pm

Hey there Ed! You should know! Locomobile was one of my top four thoughts, but I didn't have time to dig for detailed pictures.
Thanks Ed and all!

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