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* Updated * Ralph DePalma and His Young Followers at a Ford Lawn Party

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* Update * – Thanks to Ivan Pozega we now know all the details of the Ford Lawn Party, which was held at Main and North Temple Streets in Salt Lake City. Read his comment that contains an article in the July 20, 1934, Salt Lake Tribune. Thanks to all who sent in details.

Ralph DePalma enjoyed a long and successful auto racing career that began in the same way as many other early racers did, he first started with bicycle racing and then followed up with motorcycles. Shortly after switching to cars he came out on top in the standings at the end of the season on the AAA national circuit between the years of 1908 and 1911. He won the big road races at Elgin in 1912 and 1914, the Vanderbilt Cup race in 1914 and Indianapolis in 1915.

He went on to a long and successful career in which he entered an estimated two thousand races between 1909 and 1934, the year this set of photos was taken. DePalma a hero of many at the time, appears to have been working in some sort a Ford Lawn Party promotion for the automaker, and the images were likely to have been taken in the Salt Lake City, Utah area. You can view many more photos of DePalma here. Photos via Carros Antigos from the University of Utah.

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6 responses to “* Updated * Ralph DePalma and His Young Followers at a Ford Lawn Party

  1. Site of the photo, is now a large LDS church office building, it’s right in the middle of the downtown area. Other photos were taken in the Pioneer Park area were there was a large Ford Branch building which still stands, and is identified by the typical Ford water tower on the roof.

  2. Geez, the kid in the beanie looks like me when I was that age except his ears aren’t big enough. David, this is the one site I never miss checking daily. Thanks so much for all the effort you and others put into it.


  3. Posted for Ivan Pozega:

    From an article in the ‘Salt Lake Tribune’ 20th July 1934 : A large crowd of automobile enthusiasts attended the opening of the Ford Lawn party, an outdoor show, at Main and North Temple streets, Thursday afternoon and evening. The party continues Friday and Saturday from 11 a. m. to l p.m. Major interest centered about Ralph De Palma, world famous automobile racing champion, who appeared in person, telling about his 26 years of racing experience as well as ‘discussing the Ford V-8 from an engineering point of view. Thursday afternoon Mr. De Palma personally met a good sized group 5f boys and girls, whom he lectured on sportsmanship and the highlights of his racing career. The crowd was well entertained with moving pictures of two national road races, a chorus of 40 male voices, a girls’ musical group and a dancing team. The official program begins each evening at 7:30 p. m., Mr. De Palma giving his lecture in connection with moving pictures at 8:30 p. m. Practically every model of Ford passenger cars, commercial cars and trucks are on display in the open air. In his talk Mr. De Palma featured the fact that he is one of eight racing drivers of the old school who still lives. During his racing career from 1909 he has won a total of 2757 different events. He competed In the largest race meet ever held in Salt Lake City in 1925, winning all four major events. As an example of the advances ado in the automobile industry, Mr. e Palma mentioned the 1911 Indianapolis race, in which the winning car changed tires 50 times and averaged 71 miles per hour. This years winner did not change a tire, and averaged 104 miles per hour. Mr. De Palma expressed the belief that within the next few years the public will not be satisfied with cars which cannot reach a speed of 101 miles per hour.

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