Category Archives: Auto Racing 1894 – 1942

The Eads Motor Co., Lexington Kentucky and two Ford Racing Cars

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  • Ford-based racing cars and a Graham in front of the Eads Motor Co.

The Eads Motor Co. pictured above was located at 256 East Main Street in Lexington, Kentucky. Little is known about the operation other than what can be found on the signage on the front of the building. The agency handled Diamond T Trucks and cars from the Graham Motor Car Company. They also offered More Cash For Your Car.

Nothing is known about why the photo was taken, but one might be safe to assume that it was connected with Eads sponsoring the two young men and their Ford-based racing cars that are parked out in the street. Just behind the racers as part of the photo op appears to be a circa 1935 Graham Sedan, and directly behind it The Guaranty Finance Company and the Lexington Greyhound Bus Depot.

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  • A Model “T” Ford-based racing car.

The racing car pictured above is based on a Model T Ford chassis that was modified and lowered. It is equipped with: Knock-off dental-drive wire wheels; Hartford shocks; what appears to be a professionally built body, hood and radiator; a non-Ford center-mounted steering box (possibly a Franklin), and a rams horn radiator cap to intimidate the competition.

What is under the hood is unknown, but it is likely it was a racing engine based on a Model T block with an o.h.v. conversion cylinder head and other special racing parts. Well built and maintained Model T Ford-based racing cars were competitive up until World War II on the rough and tumble dirt tracks in certain parts of the country. Learn more about the Model T Ford racing car here.

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  • A Model “A” or “B” Ford-based racing car.

The second car is slightly more modern and appears to be based on Model A or B Ford components that include the front and rear axles. The frame maybe custom-made or it could be based on the side rails from an Essex frame. The front spring has had much of the arch removed from it and is attached to what is referred to as a suicide spring perch directly in front of the of the radiator.

The body appears to be professionally-built and the engine, if it was, in fact, a Ford, was likely to have had a Cragar, Hal, or a Riley two or four-port o.h.v. conversion head. Others were made and included both single and double o.h.c units. Visible on the right side of the hood is the covered down draft carburetor.

Both of the racing cars appear to be in excellent condition, with reasonably good paint work. They appear to be devoid of lettering or numbers, which may have been added later. If you can add anything to the story about the Eads Motor Company or this pair of drivers and cars, please send us a comment.    

Posted in Auto photos 1921 - 1942, Auto Racing 1894 - 1942, Garages and Dealerships | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Hupmobile, Raymond Loewy and Russell Snowberger Team Up for 1932

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  • A Vogue “Jumbo” Tire promotion in Los Angeles – USC Libraries photo.

Facing trying times for 1932, Hupmobile management pulled out all the stops and hired Raymond Loewy to design a new and distinctive look to try to lure buyers into the salesroom. Loewy created a look for the new eight-cylinder Hupp, which when compared with what was offered by other automakers, it was actually a year or two ahead of its time. The lines and shape of the fenders, the angled windshield and the bold radiator ornament gave the new car a look all of its own.

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  •      The Cabriolet Roadster – The Coupe – The 5-Passenger Victoria

For 1932, both conventional six and eight-cylinder L-head models were offered, five of which were carried-over from 1931. The new Loewy styling was used on two of the five straight eight chassis’ offered. In addition to the styling changes, there were a number of mechanical and structural refinements. High on the list was the introduction of an X-member in the center of the frame and a series of triangulated braces incorporated into the body shell that when combined made for a very strong and rigid structure. Illustrations above courtesy of Alden Jewell.

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  • Lowey and a model with a concept or show car – Hagley Museum photo.

Not resting with the fresh styling, structural and mechanical refinements, Hupmobile sponsored Russ Snowberger’s entry in the 1932 Indianapolis 500. He was given a new Hupp straight engine that he then race-prepared, added a bank of four down-draft Winfield racing carburetors, and fitted it into his 1931 racing car seen below.

Snowberger qualified in the forth position while setting a speed that was 2-m.p.h. faster than when his car was Studebaker-powered the year before. He finished the race on the lead lap in fifth place behind three Miller-powered cars and a Studebaker Factory prepared car. The engine was later installed in the Bonneville Hupp that has been reported to have set a speed of 146 m.p.h. on the Salt Flats.


Posted in Artwork, Auto photos 1921 - 1942, Auto Racing 1894 - 1942 | Tagged , , , , , , |

A New England Classic – The Historic Festival 32 at Lime Rock Park


One of the most enjoyable of all vintage racing and concours events in the country, the Historic Festival at Lime Rock Park will celebrate its 32nd edition, two weeks from now on Labor Day weekend. The Honored Guest this year is Sir Stirling Moss, and you can meet him at the track located in one of the most-picturesque areas of New England, Northwestern Connecticut.

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The Festival starts on Thursday with a vintage and race car parade on the scenic roads of the surrounding towns and ends up with a gathering for all in the center of quaint Falls Village. Track practice and qualifying races run on Friday and Saturday, while Sunday is reserved for the respected Concours. The event will include both racing and street-driven cars along with an impressive selection of vehicles from Ralph Lauren as he has been chosen as Honored Collector of the year.

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The Concours, named Sunday in the Park, will include up to 250 rare and desirable cars that will be displayed along the entire half-mile front straight of the race track. Also of interest is the Gathering of the Marques that attracts over 700 cars to the event by car clubs and private owners from all over the Northeast, that will line the entire length of the rest of the picturesque 1.5-mile race course.

In the video above, Skip Barber and Chief Festival Organizer Murray Smith discuss just what the event is all about and what it encompasses. You can view scenes showing some the exciting racing action you can expect to see there along with the cars from Ralph Lauren’s Collection that will be on display.

Monday starts with the running of the feature races with more than 300 cars in nine different races with morning and afternoon sessions separated by a break for lunch. You will see some of the most desirable and interesting vintage competition cars to be found anywhere racing wheel-to-wheel on the challenging circuit. Expect to see everything from pre-war racing cars to exciting post-war competition machines, the newest that date to the mid-1970s. You can learn all of the details here at Lime Rock Park.

Posted in Auto photos 1921 - 1942, Auto photos 1946 - 1965, Auto Racing 1894 - 1942, Auto Racing 1946 - 1965 | Tagged , , , , , |

Burton and Smith Set an Australian Trans-Continental Record with a Hupmobile


J.L. Burton behind the wheel along with Tom Smith are seen posing outside of Dennys Lascelles Garage, located on Elizabeth Street in Melbourne, Australia with their record breaking 1918 Hupmobile. The route Burton and Smith followed was from Fremantle to Sydney via Broken Hill. The pair was only one of many to at the time to attempt to better a record set in 1915 with a Studebaker.

hupp2The duo left Fremantle on January 29, 1918, and arrived in Sydney on February 5, 1918. They travelled 2,677 miles in seven-days, 2 hours and 17 minutes, with an average speed of 15.7 miles per hour. You can read about part of their trip here and see other photos in an article that was in the Bunbury Herald on March 9, 1918.

After the journey, Burton wrote the book: Across Australia in Seven Days. The trip appears to have been sponsored in part by Barnett-Glass Boomerang Tires and the Hupmobile Importer (see the Press ad above left). The photo from the Harold Paynting Collection is courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. 

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Posted in Auto photos 1885 - 1920, Auto Racing 1894 - 1942 | Tagged , , , , , |