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We’re Back!

Remember us from about a month ago?  This photo, initially shared by David Longstreth, appeared in a February 5 post.  Said to be Barney Oldfield, observant David Greenlees suspected otherwise.  Robert Rampton noted on February 6 that this was taken at a Cactus Derby finish and suggested that the driver was Joe Nikrent.  Indeed, these gents were Joe and Louis Nikrent in their winning Buick at the November 6-7, 1909 L.A. to Phoenix  Road Race.  Here is a more complete scene, taken about the same time as the photo above.

The L.A. to Phoenix Road Race, later known as the Cactus Derby, finished in 1909 while a territory fair was going on in Phoenix.  Finishers of that race ran in a track competition at the fairgrounds and this photo was probably taken there.  Note the uniformed guys and the bandstand.  Another feature of this photo that I just love is the condition of the starting crank handle.  What did they whack out there in the desert?  A rock in the night, or gravel when they plunged through a dry wash?  Having done that, they’d have had an interesting time using it to start the car at any subsequent stops.

One response to “We’re Back!

  1. What a fantastic photo. The newspaper article associated with the photo I posted in February stated that the Nikrent brothers actually drove the route twice with the same Buick, once for practice and later for the actual race. No wonder that Buick looks a bit hammered.

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