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Luna Park Motordrome

Not to be confused with the smaller circular drome built in 1911 within the amusement area of Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York, this particular 1/4 mile wooden track was located in Cleveland, Ohio and ironically it too was built inside the city’s own amusement park known also as Luna Park.

Built sometime in 1912, it didn’t take long before it claimed it’s first victim. On June 30 of the same year, in front of 5,000 spectators, motorcyclist Bob ‘Daredevil’ Hunter was killed after colliding with Cleveland’s own Finn Huttinger. The latter escaping with minor injuries.

In a cruel twist of fate, two other motorcyclist’s were killed in San Jose, California on the same day, sparking the media into a frenzy condemning the dangerous high banked wooden saucer’s that were springing up all over the United Sates. Their reaction was justified after the worst accident in history occurred in September when popular riders Eddie Hasha and Johnny Albright along with eight spectators were killed and many others injured at the Vailsburg Motordrome in Newark, New Jersey. This was a terrible year for the motorcycle racing fraternity with many people calling for the sport to be banned and even prompting one publication to rename the boardtracks as ‘murderdromes’….but the crowds kept coming.

6 responses to “Luna Park Motordrome

  1. Good morning, Finn Huttinger is my great great maybe even another great uncle. Family lore is he was one of the first to ride a motorcycle in a ball!! I have some old cards of him. I will see if I can dig them up scan them to you if you like. Is there any other history on him?

    • Hello Barry,

      I have put out some feelers. Hopefully there is more information out there.
      As soon as anything comes to hand I will post it here.

      Kind Regards.

    • Hi Barry
      I have one of Finn Huttinger Motorcycle Medal that he won in June 9th – 16th 1911 Elmination Run 1835 Miles. He was racing for the Indian Motorcycle team back then. Its is now on display at the Indian Motorcycle Museum of Australia. If you send me a email through the museum email contact I can send you some photos of the medal.

    • Hi Barry, I would love to see the scans of Finn if you get this, I’m working on a story about a friend of his Brownie Carslake and would like to include all the material that I can. You can find me on Facebook or my site Archive Moto. Thanks

    • Barry,
      Finn was my great uncle, my grandmother’s brother. I remember him taking my brother and myself fishing off the Rickenbacker Causway in Miami in the mid ’60’s. I also remember the motorcycle racing trophies in his living room in Miami (No one in the family knew what happened to them). I do have some digitized photos of him. He was, at one time, an Excelsior dealer in Cleveland.
      Vince Bober

  2. Barry, you can also check the ‘Motorcycle Illustrated’ compilations here.

    Just click the year and use the ‘search’ button.

    http colon //catalog dot hathitrust dot org/Record/008608578

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