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Peter Helck – 1916 Pikes Peak – Mulford’s Record Climb

Pikes Peak is a 14,115 foot high mountain located in the Front Range of the Rocky Mount-ains and is 10 miles west of Colorado Springs, Colo. It was first opened up to travelers in 1890 with a cog railway and also a carriage road. By 1916 Spencer Penrose whose resort and hotel was nearby, had along with his associates constructed the new modern “Auto Highway” all the way to the top of the mountain.

That same year was the inaugural running of The Pike Peak Hill Climb promoted by Penrose, which attracted among others Ralph Mulford and his Hudson Super 6, Barney Oldfield and a Delage along Hughes and Buzane in Duesenbergs.

Mulford and his Hudson were clearly the class of the field that year on the Peak. In his rapid and skillfull climb on the first day of competition, he bested all by setting a time of 18:24.70, a record time that stood for eight years.

On the second days free-for-all climb that attracted fifteen starters who were forced to battle with very poor weather conditions, Rea Lentz’s Romano Special, a 125 h.p. aero-engine hybrid out-powered Mulford’s 76 h.p. Hudson to finish at 20:55.60. Mulford’s skill and his faithful Hudson allowed him to finished the days climb in second place, forty-five seconds behind.

We are fortunate to have  six pages of other Peter Helck artwork, here on The Old Motor for you to enjoy, courtesy of the Helck Family.

3 responses to “Peter Helck – 1916 Pikes Peak – Mulford’s Record Climb

  1. This was an amazing achievement considering the Hudson was essentially stock and also remarkable for the fact that when Mulford’s time was eventually broken by Chuck Meyers it was a liitle over half a second. Eight years is a long time but it took another seven to reach the top in under seventeen minutes when Glen Shulz stopped the clock at 16:42.

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