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Big And Little

An interesting set of images taken in California in 1920. The White racing car on the left is one of the old Buick Bug’s that were successful racing cars that Buick built c1910. The other two small cars I believe were made for amusement purposes or could have been some older cycle cars that were used in racing. Cycle cars were raced in the mid teens at the height of the cycle car craze.

5 responses to “Big And Little

  1. Nice find, David!

    I have a photo of 1923 AAA Champion Eddie Hearne in a posed shot in a tiny car very similar to the one on the far Rt.

  2. The small car on the right is a 1915 Baby Comet, billed as “the world’s smallest raceing car.” The prototype was designed by Birdboy Art Smith, the first aviator to perfect the loop-the-loop and the first to elope in an aeroplane. Smith authorized several dozen copies to be built by the Perkins and Magini Harley-Davidson motorcycle shop in San Francisco. It was less than 30 inches tall at the top of the cowl and rolled on a narrow tread of just 40 inches. Its short 60-inch wheelbase was credited for road-hugging abilities that allowed it to take corners at high speeds. The car averaged 60 miles per hour over a one-mile course. Aimee Smith registered her Baby Comet with the state of California and received a set of proportionately small license plates. The car in the middle looks very much like the Baby Dispatch Car that was tested by the United States Army in 1918. Unfortunately, I don’t know the name of the manufacturer. The Army acknowledged that the low silhouette made the Baby virtually undetectable in tall grasses and such attributes were worth pursuing…that was 22 years before the jeep came along. You’ll see more photos of these cars in the book, “Orphan Babies: America’s Forgotten Economy Cars.”

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