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Ivan P. Wheaton Photo Collection

Kurt P. Wheaton contacted us about helping with identifying photos from the photo collection that his grandfather, Ivan P. Wheaton assembled in his early pursuits of racing, which was then followed by aviation. We have included some of the photos here, that he is posting on his blog called Ivan P. Wheaton-Early Bird. Just below are the first two paragraphs from Wheaton’s blog, which in his own words, give you a brief overview of what to expect. To thank him for sharing, help us to date and identify as many of the photos as we can to help his efforts Kurt had the following to say about his Grandfather:

“My grandfather, Ivan P. Wheaton, was a WWI aviator, race car driver, photographer, and contributed to many books covering the early years of Marine Corps and civilian aviation. Ivan was born in 1896 in Schenectady, New York – the son of a portrait photographer, Van B. Wheaton.

Van and Ivan shared a love for automobiles, and Ivan began racing at a pretty early age, perhaps around sixteen.  He did well in local races and began to think about racing at Indianapolis. Family history has it that Van didn’t like the sound of that, due to the danger in the early years of the race.  The story goes that Van offered Ivan flying lessons, rather than going on to race at Indy. I wonder if that sounded anywhere near as ironic then as it does now”.

In this post we have added a few comments about the photos; The car above, a Chalmers, appears to be one of his early speed or racing cars. Below on the left is a Detroit built Lozier six with most unusual body work, perhaps it was used for carrying photography equipment? The next car appears be a Matheson Silent-Six (see comments) converted for fast work with an early buggy seat. He attended the race at Indianapolis several times and the last photo is one that he took of Jules Goux and his Peugeot which he won the 1913 running of the race.

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10 responses to “Ivan P. Wheaton Photo Collection

  1. David,
    The car thought to be a six cylinder Chalmers is actually a Matheson six. Some of the chassis details, hubcaps, etc. give it away. Judging by the firewall shape and the running board length, I’d say it was most likely a toy tonneau before being stripped – a beautifully proportioned machine.

  2. Posted for Mike Turner,

    The first thumbnail, this is a model 72 Lozier. Could be a late 1912, but probably a 1913 model. It has a 6 cylinder T head motor with a 4 speed transmission. The rear portion of this body is custom made, but tasteful in my opinion.
    There is a surviving example left, (without the custom rear portion and top).

  3. The third photo at the bottom (the closeup of the two gentlemen) appears to be a Chalmers of about 1914 vintage. I just noticed that the unusual shift knob and some other details are exactly like a friend’s 1914 model 24 six cylinder Chalmers.

  4. The car in the third small pic is unusual – it looks to be left hand drive and central shift. The handle on the gas cap looks like a piece of pipe flattened in the middle and rivetted on. Maybe that is a fuel pressure guage on top? That is a big tank on there. I have found an early circa 8 gallon tank (it is about 10″ diameter and about 25″ long) for my own speedster and this tanks looks four or five times that size.

  5. That photo puzzled me too. I thought maybe the negative had been reversed. LHD and central shift just seemed unusual for the period. But what do I know?

  6. Dear Kurt: Wonderful blogsite. I will be doing a presentation at the Saratoga Auto Museum Nov. 24, 2012 on the 1914 Fonda season.
    I note that your grandfather’s on-line autobiography says that he raced 3 years before becoming an pilot. I think that the first year would have been 1913 at the Benedict’s Horse Track near Broadalbin. Unlike Fonda in 1914 and Berkshire in 1915, the 1913 season at Benedicts got very little publicity. —Andy Fusco

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