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Anita King – The Paramount Girl Takes the Show on the Road

 Anita King The Paramount Girl Barney Oldfield The Miller Golden Submarine

When this photo was taken in 1917 at the original Ascot Park Track in Los Angeles, California, Anita King The Paramount Girl was already a national celebrity. In the image she is seen posing with Barney Oldfield, and his Miller Golden Submarine racing car. The photo is courtesy of  Wayne Carroll Petersen, great-great nephew of Barney Oldfield.

Two years earlier she had become the first female to drive solo across the U.S. in a 1915 KisselKar. The journey started in Los Angeles with a run to San Francisco and then headed east to New York. The trip was partly backed by Paramount Pictures, who was also able to arrange the support for the Koast to Koast trip in a Kissel Kar from the Kissel Motor Car Company and the Firestone Tire Company. You can learn all of the interesting details of her 49-day run at The Lincoln Highway National Museum.

 Anita King The Paramount Girl 1915 KisselKar

  •          “Miss Anita King, the Paramount Girl of the Movies (above) is now Enroute from Los Angeles, 
  •                  to New York  in a KisselKar” – “The Horseless Age” magazine,  August, 1915 issue.
  •  Anita King The Paramount Girl 1915 KisselKar
  • The KisselKar in Reno where she received a giant key to the city – Courtesy of www.historicreno.org
  • Kissel Motor Car Company advertisement below – “The Horseless Age” Magazine November 1915.

 Anita King The Paramount Girl 1915 KisselKar

After King’s coast-to-coast journey, which was more of a PR stunt than a record run, Paramount Studios and director George Melford soon produced a movie version of her trip titled The Race. The photos below from the production of the movie, show a daredevil stunt she is reported to have made; in it King drove a car off of the remains of a burning bridge at 65 mph and safely landed after a jump of some seventy feet. You can learn the detailed story of King’s life and career at: The Paramount Girl Who Conquered A Continent.

 Anita King The Paramount Girl Stunt

 

4 responses to “Anita King – The Paramount Girl Takes the Show on the Road

  1. David,
    Thank you for the research information on Anita king has she was quite the women. Thanks again to you and everyone involved with the Old Motor as I learn Automotive History every day reading your post .
    Best regards,
    Wayne Carroll Petersen
    Barney Oldfield, Master Driver of the World & America’s Legendary Speed King Great Great Nephew

  2. Fascinating post about the most famous woman race/stunt driver I never heard of. “The Paramount Girl” doesn’t even ring a faint bell as an actress for me, but that’s why I visit The Old Motor on a daily basis. Thanx for the enlightening article.

    Included in this post is a real gem with the link to the Price Museum Of Speed in SLC Utah. It appears to be quite a unique institution with outstanding artifacts including a very low mileage Mercedes SL300 coupe that has somehow avoided the hands of private collectors, and an ultra rare ’04 Pope race car. Pope motorcycles are of course legendary, but I’ve never seen one of their automobiles until today.

    The website, unlike many museums, features a considerable assortment of large scale photos of their exhibits. My bucket list continues to grow.

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