Chet Miller set a new course record at the Pikes Peak Hill Climb in 1932. (21:20.9) The boost the Hudson Motor Company was looking for worked. Essex-Terraplane sales was helping the company stay afloat during the Great Depression. Times wre still tough and Hudson decided to go all in at the 1933 Hill Climb with a team of FOUR Terraplanes. ( the Essex, name was dropped for the 33 model)
The plan for 1933 was to drive four Terraplanes from Detriot to Pikes Peak. Set for the event were two 6’s and new for 1933 two 8’s (8 cylinder model)
Above Left Paul Best, right Glen Shultz (?)
The Terraplane 6 model can be identified by the louvered side hood. Nice Terraplane sweaters with matching white pants made the team standout during the 1933 Pikes Peak event.
Above left to right, Al Miller, Chet Miller , J.E. Schipper director of Hudson-Eseex publicity and William Taylor AAA representative .
The Terraplane 8 roadster model can be identified by the opening vents on the hood sides. These stock cars were entered just as they came from the factory and were identical to ones you could buy at the dealership. Hudson was going to again prove the Terraplane was durable, economical and powerful. A nice side note is seeing the license plates on all four cars. Most manufactures would ship their cars by rail to Denver or Colorado Springs then drive the rest of the way. . In addition, having the plates on the cars, should allow someone to run down serial numbers to see if any of these 1933 cars still survive today.
The Stock Car class could have been called the Terraplane Class of 33. Fighting for their survival left all of the other car companies staying at home for the 1933 event. Only the four Hudson team cars would compete. The win was guaranteed. Now the goals were to set new time trail and race records. Somewhere along the way, Glen Shultz was replaced in one of the 8’s with Humphrey”Otto” Bollman of Colorado Springs. ( Glen went on to compete and win the Open Class )
Stock Car time trails 1933
Time trails on August 31st got things off to a good start. Al Miller set a new Stock Car class qualifying record time of 8:44. besting the Essex-Terraplane 1932 time of 9:35. The big eight was proving it’s horsepower advantage over the sixes. Official time trail results , Al Miller “Terraplane 8” 8:44, Chet Miller “Terraplane 8” 8:48, Otto Bollman “Terraplane 6” 9:48, and Paul Best “Terraplane 6” 9:49
Race Day 1933
Hold onto your hats folks. The Pikes Peak Hill Climb race would be on the RADIO for the first time in 1933. Broadcast on the 75-meter wave length station “W9knz” ! Starting at 10:30 with cars leaving every 5 minutes, the race would be over quickly. The last racer on the day Otto Bollman started at 12:40. The road was dry and virtually all of the drivers would complain about the loose gravel. The headlines the next day would read, “Stock Car Entries Shatter Records” !
Al Miller’s Terraplane 8 takes the win and set a new record for Stock Cars class with a time of, 19:55.5. 1st stock car below the 20 minute mark.
Stock Car results, Al Miller 19:55, Chet Miller 20:43.5 , Paul Best in 3rd to time provided and Otto Bollman 4th no time provided.
Goodyear shares the Victory with the Hudson Terraplane Team.
Considering the nation was in the middle of the Great Depression, 1932 and 1933 were two amazing years for the Hudson-Essex-Terraplane Team.