1913 July 18th W.W. Brown and J.S. Bradley made history climbing to the summit in his Buick BearCat automobile. This event is covered at many sites on the web. The best being:
This article is from the Colorado Springs Gazette July 19th 1913
William purchased the Buick, at a fire sale for $100 and stripped it down to save weight (1400 lbs). It was a 1910 Model 10 Buick “Bear Cat” racer which had a 92 inch wheelbase and a 165 cu. in. 4 cylinder engine that developed 22½ horsepower, The tires were wrapped in hemp rope to help keep the rocks from cutting into the rubber. An interesting detail while climbing the steps of the Cog Railway platform , he tore off the top step and damaged his flywheel and crankcase doing so., but not enough damage to keep his BearCat from driving back down using the Cog Railway road. The trip going up took 3 hours and 22 minutes . Brown’s BearCat was a nice little race car winning 15 of 18 races and 3 second place finishes. Dirt tracks were booming and the hot rod age was dawning in the early teens.
Newspapers reported that W.W. Brown believed Mr. Penrose decided to build a road up the Peak after his car performed so well going up the old carriage trail.
W.W. Brown would come back years later to run in the Pikes Peak Hill Climb and also he built a car for the Indy 500.