In 1934, high speed endurance runs were the thing to do for a manufacturer wanting to establish a reputation for their cars. We’ve recounted Ab Jenkins’ exploits for Studebaker, Pierce-Arrow and Cord previously on The Old Motor, and today it’s famous racer Harry Hartz’s turn. Hartz was a veteran of the Indianapolis 500 and the big board tracks, but a serious accident at Rockingham Speedway in Salem, New Hampshire in 1927 took him out of the game.
- Harry Hartz, co-driver Tony Gullota and A.A.A. representative Lee Oldfield on a Economy Run, this time in a DeSoto Airflow.
Chrysler picked him to pilot a stock Chrysler Airflow Imperial around a ten mile circle at Bonneville in mid-August. In doing so, he set 72 class B records, averaging 84 miles per hour for 24 hours as certified by the A.A.A. At the end of the month, he drove a DeSoto Airflow from Los Angeles to New York City, setting an economy record of 18.1 miles per gallon. Our videos today offer accounts of both events, but these accomplishments were not enough to make Chrysler engineer Carl Breer’s baby a sales success. You can see other previous posts about Harry Hartz and Ab Jenkins here on The Old Motor.