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The Brighton Beach 1908 24 Hour Race…Wrap Up

Above is a second photo of Robertson and Lescault, the winners of the 1908 October 2-3 Brighton Beach 24 hour race in the 50 h.p. Simplex. Below is a Stearns which is a 30/60 h.p. car which was driven by Grosso, Marquis and Oldfield to a 6th place finish after covering 519 miles.

Two interesting things can be noted from the photos.  As these races ran all night long they had to use acetylene gas headlamps, on the Simplex above we can see two tanks on the back and we can see one below on the Stearns. They appear to be Prestolite tanks, if so, 1908 may have been the start of Carl Fischer supplying these tanks to motorists. And secondly the car behind the 30/60 Stearns appears to be to be the BIG ONE, a 45/90 Stearns six cylinder, a very rare bird which appears to have also run the event. Photos from the Peter Helck Collection, courtesy of Racemaker Press.

2 responses to “The Brighton Beach 1908 24 Hour Race…Wrap Up

  1. The 45/90 is probably Oldfield’s “Big Ben,” in which he won the 50-mile feature race that preceded the 24-hour race.

  2. Confirmed that the second car is Big Ben. The Detroit Public Library has a photo of the same grouping of three racers, but taken 180 degrees opposite, showing the rear of the car with Oldfield’s Ohio license plate.

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