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Ralph Mulford Smashes Records With The Hot New Chandler Six

Updated Smiling Ralph Mulford was one of the most popular early racing drivers, who excelled on the race track, road course and at hill climbs. In 1916, he set the fastest time ever during practice for the challenging Pikes Peak Hill Climb held on the Auto Road with his Hudson. His time of 18:24.70, was a record that stood for eight years.

Later on in his career as a racing driver, he set a stock car record of 102 8/10 m.p.h. on Daytona Beach in 1921 piloting a Paige Six with a sleek racing body. The Company soon produced the Daytona Model to commemorate Ralph’s speed run on the hard-packed sands.

A couple of years later the Chandler Motor Car Company of Cleveland, Ohio, hired the skilled driver with a lead foot to set records with its hot new 1923 models. It was equipped with a new high-performance monobloc six L-head Pikes Peak Motor with a 3.5 x 5-inch bore and stroke. After the engine was tuned and tested by engineers for thirty days on Pikes Peak, it was approved only after being driven up the hill by Fred Chandler himself.

Ralph Mulford Sets A Record With The Hot New Chandler Six

  • Ralph Mulford, winner of the 1923 Climb to the Clouds in 17 minutes flat on Mount Washington.

At the 1923 Climb to the Clouds Hill Climb on Mount Washington in New Hampshire, Mulford hammered up the hill and set a new record time of seventeen minutes flat with the stock Chandler during practice. He placed second to the winner in a 120 h.p. racing car in the rain with deteriorated road conditions. His record stood until 1928 when Cannonball Baker set a time of 14:23 with a Franklin.

*Update* An image (second photo below) that inspired this article, was found by Ivan Pozega and shows Ralph Mulford with a Chandler Touring Car on a board track. Research turned up the fact that the run was on the Culver City Board Track. The debut of the Toothpick Palace was a few weeks before Christmas in 1924.

Ivan was able to find a period newspaper account and a Chandler advertisement (third and forth images below) that give a full accounting of Mulford’s astonishing 1000-mile run in only 11.5 hours. No repairs of any kind or tires were needed and Ralph only stopped seven times for oil and gas. 

You can view more images and earlier articles on Smiling Ralph Mulford here. The hillclimb photos are courtesy of  the Mount Washington Auto Road.

Ralph Mulford Sets A Record With The Hot New Chandler Six

  • L to R: Eliot Libby one of the Mount Washington Auto Road owners, Ralph Mulford  and James T. Sullivan of the Boston Globe talk around Mulford’s record setting Chandler in 1923.

Ralph Mulford Sets A Record With The Hot New Chandler Six

  •           Mulford with a Chandler on the Culver City Board Track in 1925 setting a 1000-mile record. 

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  •          “The Miami News” March 8, 1925 describes Mulfords Record on The Culver City Board Track.
  •                      A Chandler advertisement (below) in the “St. Petersburg Times” March 22, 1924.

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11 responses to “Ralph Mulford Smashes Records With The Hot New Chandler Six

  1. “All hail the King!”
    Another masterful concise job by Dave!

    Now whoever is currently in possession of that Mass D90E 1923 license plate knows that they’ve got something really special thanks to you, with a little help from Messrs. Mulford, Sullivan and the Boston Globe.

  2. In 1925 Chandler also took the prize at Pike’s Peak hill climb with a supercharged version of their six. AQ Vol 9 #2 has a reference to this car on page 199 where they mention the David Gregg designed supercharger installed on the two Chandler entries. There is also a picture of the car with the supercharged mounted on the front on page 192 that I believe is incorrectly labeled as a Chalmers ( a mistake often made and one us Chandler owners have been correcting for years).

    Thanks for giving Chandler some some exposure on your wonderful website.

  3. There has always been a huge amount of controversy over Chandlers claim to this 1000 mile record. Very little was ever written about it, but huge amounts of other Mulford achievments were. A few Chandler ads. have the record car as a roadster, the picture in this story has it a tourer. A great deal more is written on Mulfords records in a Cleveland car. A 1925 Chandler averaging 87 mph and having 7 pit stops he must have been running at over 100mph. A bit hard to believe.

    • BentleyJ: It really happened. I viewed a photo of the phaeton heading an article about the run on a newspaper search that covered it at a service I do not subscribe to. It would not have been published if the facts could not be verified.

  4. “Buy Merritt Island for $50 an acre” – WOW!
    Part of Merritt Island is a wildlife management area which is adjoining Kennedy Space Center.
    The rest is high-priced residential land. Such a deal!

  5. Back in 1919 a shipping strike in Australia appeared to stop a delivery of Chandlers from Sydney to Brisbane, Australia. Chandler instead turned the problem into a publicity event, by driving cars overland from Sydney to Brisbane, and having the convoy extensively reported in the press.

  6. Ralph Mulford drove two cars at Culver City. A Chandler Model 33A at 86.9 mph and a Cleveland Model 43 phaeton at 83+ mph. The photo shown is that of the Cleveland. Source of information: Chandler & Cleveland brochures, Chandler Bulletin Sept. 1925 , Cleveland Messenger Vol.5, No. 12-1 as well as a up close photo of the same car you have shown printed off an original negative.

  7. I live in Bristol, England. My mother was born a Chandler and I believe we are related ( if somewhat distantly) to Frederick C. Chandler. A Chandler Six from 1925 has recently come up for sale and this is of great interest to me. Before I arrange to see this vehicle I would like to know more of its background, its construction and what I should be looking for if I decide to purchase this fine looking car. I am hoping that those who have contributed to this page may be able to help or advise where I might seek further information.
    Many thanks.

  8. Auburn Speedster claims 1000 mile record averaging 68.37 MPH in 1927. A more believable speed than Chandler’s so called time in 1925. Where does this put Chandler?

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