Pikes Peak Hill Climb programs over the years.

1916 Pikes Peak Hill Climb program

In the beginning .

The first “Pikes Peak National Hill Climbing Contest” program was really spectacular  for its time.  Thirty two pages in full, with classic ads throughout. Name brands like, Cadillac, Packard, Marmon, Excelsior Autocycles, White Motor Company, Gargoyle Gasoline and many more. Luckily the PPIHC organization reprinted this program during the 100th anniversary in 2016. It is a must have souvenir program even as a reprint. One bit of trivia from the program, is the Broadmoor Hotel advertisement. The actual construction wasn’t completed when the program was printed and the drawing of the Hotel placed in the ad was for a  different design then what finally got approved and built.

The 1920s and 30s

No race from 1917-1919. When racing resumed after World War I in 1920, the program was reduced to a four page handout for the remainder of the 1920’s. Not many of the folded paper versions of the program have survived.

The 1925 PPHC program hand out.
1925 Pikes Peak Hill Climb program 4 page handout.

In 1935 once the original contract for ownership use of the road was completed, no one picked up a new contract. The wasnt a race in 1935. The local VFW (Veteras of Foreign Wars) picked up the sponsorship for the hill climb race in 1936 up until the race stopped in 1941 for WW2.  The format was more like a traditional program with a thicker cover type with more pages (6-8 pages).

1936 Pikes Peak Hill Climb program.
PPHC 1938 program

1940s

The paper handout style was used one last time in 1940. The first use of color since 1916 appeared on the cover in 1941.

missing 1946 program cover image please help

The 1950’s

The use of photography, graphics and color would signify the programs of the 1950’s. The “Princess Power” contest ladies made the cover in 1954 and the Dodge Pace Car made the cover in 1955. The first full color race car photograph cover was in 1956. (Keith Andrews). The famous PPHC fish logo, made the cover in 1957 and stayed for the last three years !

The 1960’s

The cover graphics got a little boring in the early sixties with the fish logo theme, but the wonderful cover photograph covers from 1966 and on would make up for it.

The 1970’s.

In addition to the use of photographs on the covers, several years, the covers would receive an artist touch. Note worthy covers were , Peter Helck in 1973, and Leonard Wheatley in 1977 and 1978.  Buick Pace Cars made the cover in both 1975 and 76 and the only dune buggy to ever appear on the cover was in 1971.  Artist H. Gene Yancey would finish off the decade with the cover art in 1979, including drawings inside the program of Rick Mears and the PPHC flagman Art Walsh.

The 1980’s.

What can you say about the 80’s ?? Graphics would take over most of the cover designs. Buick would once again have a Pace Car on the cover (1981), except the Indy 500 targa top pace car on the cover wasn’t used at Pikes Peak, but a more subdued T-Top car was used. Artist H. Gene Yancey did the wonderful cover in 1980. Modern computer art made the cover in 1982. There was an art contest done for the 1984 cover and the winner was Lori Pate of Littleton Colorado with her colorful tire tread design. The 1988 cover illustration was done by automotive airbrush artist Mark Westfall. My personal favorite, in the 1980s, was the 1989 cover with a Newman-Dreager open wheel race car artwork. Chevrolet provided limited edition posters to it’s dealership with that image in 1989 to celebrate some of the greatest Chevrolet wins at Pikes Peak. ( PPHC fans will notice that the car on the cover,is actually going downhill at that location on the course.)

The 1990s.

Race cars and photographs would take the majority of the covers in the 1990’s. Bill Brister in his Wells Coyote took the cover in 1990 starting the decade off with a bang. The cover artwork in 1992 was by Jim Swintal and was also used for posters that year. Those marvelous posters have become a much desired PPHC collectible.  Besides the drawing in 1971, the cover in 1994, was the first year for a motorcycle photo to make the program cover. Likewise the first semi-truck made the cover, ( Kenworth driven by Glenn Brown) in 1998. The program from the “75th Running of the Race to the Clouds” in 1997 is also a much sot after collectible for hill climb fans.

PPHC Programs available for viewing !

The Pikes Peak Library District Special Collections department has 31 programs available for the public veiwing. You can’t check them out but they have a great room to read them in and the folks are great to work with. Here is the list of what years they have and contact info.

https://pikp.ent.sirsi.net/client/en_US/PPLD/search/results?qu=pikes+peak+hill+climb&te=

The Pioneers Museum in Colorado Springs also has around 20 programs that the Library doesn’t have. A little harder to get access too but available by appointment only. Contact info below:

Welcome to the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum

Did you like this blog post ?

Hope you enjoyed seeing the many years of Pikes Peak Hill Climb program covers. (If you have a picture of the 1946 program cover please contact me)

What other items from the race are you interested in besides the race cars and drivers? Posters, diecast, books, clothing etc……?

If there are enough folks responding to this post, there could be additional posts of  PPHC memorabilia in the future.  There is a bunch of stuff out there, but getting harder to find as the years go on.

Thanks for checking out the blog.  Nice to see many of you folks coming back time and time again!

The Pikes Peak Snow Run

When did it start ?

The Pikes Peak Snow run was an annual event to race a group of motorcycles from Glen Cove up to the summit of Pikes Peak on New Years Day. Some say it all started as a bar bet, in Manitou Springs in the 1920’s .  How many other great ideas have started from a few adult beverages, many is my guess. For the Pikes Peak Snow Run the question was, could you take a motorcycle all the way to the top, in the dead of winter and  who can do it the fastest?  (Crazy  wasn’t it ! )

In the early years it was done on New Year’s Eve and later changed to New Year’s day. The start of the race would be at Glen Cove seven miles from the summit of Pikes Peak. The local motorcycle clubs would run the show and try keep track of the riders. There can be several weather patterns on Pikes Peak at any given time.  Snow at Glen Cove, fog at Devils Playground and sunny at the summit and all those above switched around and mixed up to include, wind, rain, sleet, hail and perhaps a little sunshine.

Harry’s Roamers M.C. 

The Harry’s Roamers Motorcycle Club of Denver was the driving force behind the run in the early years before WW2. The earliest written article that I have been able to find  about the race comes from” The Motorcyclist” magazine in 1938.

From’ The Motorcyclist” magazine 1938

Some years all the bikes would make it to the top,  some years  only one or two and some years the mountain would win. In the beginning the number of bikes was low from a few to perhaps as many as twenty or thirty.

From “The Motorcyclist” magazine 1940

After WW2  it seems different motorcycle clubs carried the weight of the race. The Pikes Peak Comets and the Dusters M.C. are mentioned the most.

Those who make it and those who don’t.

Most of the motorcycles were stock and the regular transportation of the riders. The event was more about the fun then the actual racing.  Local newspaper accounts are hard to come by. The Snow Run competed with the College Football Bowl game results for column space the following day. Even results from the motorcycle magazines from the day are limited. By the 1950’s this was a big event with up to a 100 riders plus,. Still considered for the most part a local event with racers nearby showing up to test themselves against mother nature and the mountain.

Pikes Peak Snow Run trophy 1955 Best Sportsmanship Ray Koch

Classes were broken up my engine size with professionals and  amateurs classes

Every bike imaginable competed, Harley-Davidson, Indian, Triumph, BSA, etc..  The history of the motorcycle unfolded right there on Pikes Peak for the 50 years the Snow Run was allowed.

Mass starts in the 70s

As the road got better and many families were on the second generation of riders at the Snow Run, the class sizes increased dramatically .

Robert Talbot #44 in the lower center in 1971

Robert Talbot raced this iconic race in the 1970’s and has a replica of his  !971 Yamaha Snow Run bike at his museum in Camel California.

http://www.mototalbott.com/

The race would go from calm to chaos in the first few hundred feet.

Above three pictures are from the 1975 Pikes Peak Snow Run start line at Glen Cove

Coming to it’s end

By the 1980’s the race was getting to be a handful to control. Plenty of people wanting to ride but not many to help setup and control the race. The huge elephant in the room was working with the City of Colorado Springs who owned the road and Forest Department.  The end was near.

Event poster for the 1981 Snow Run

The poster says it all !!

Not for the Rose parade on TV types-for the riders with enough grit to prepare for the cold and wanting a treasured experience.

The last record I have of the race comes from the Gazette Telegraph newspaper in 1982.  Richard Dostal of Layfette Colorado, B.Theil,  King of Denver, Blake of Colorado Springs and Brewer of Lakewood were all winners. Yes, even when results were given it was tough to figure it out. (You try getting times at 14,000 feet and 30 below temps with winds of 30mph plus)

The race had run it’s course, starting out as a drunken bet and running for 50 years, the Pikes Peak Snow Run had changed the lives of the thousands of racers that had the gall to take a motorcycle in the dead of winter to the top of a  mountain.

If you have additional pictures or stories from the Pikes Peak Snow Run, please contact me. Over time I hope to update this post with a more complete story.

Pikes Peak Hill Climb historic t-shirts !

Industry and Supply Company

Glad to see the history of the Pikes Peak Hill Climb being honored on T-Shirts and canvas prints.  Louis Unser, Neol Bolluck, Otto Loesche, Chuck Meyer and more !

Check them out at:   https://industryandsupply.co.uk/collections/pikes-peak-shirts

The company is an official licensed PPIHC vendor.  Nice variety of shirts and canvas prints.   Based in the UK, contact them for shipping costs. Hope to see a vendor in the USA for these products soon !

 

 

2017 and a different understanding of the PPIHC.

Hello, and sorry for the long stretch between posts.  This years race was safe and no major accidents or injuries. That is always a positive when it comes to Pikes Peak.  Suddenly I have found myself questioning how the race is changing and trying to understand where it is headed.

“Paid Practice” and “Tire Testing”

The first moment of my nativity seems to start from the “Tire Testing ” and “Private Practice” weeks leading up to the race.  Learning the course has been an issue from the beginning.  To get a better grip on the issue I looked into the past to see how tire testing got started at Pikes Peak. But first we need to go way back. From the beginning of the race, many of the early race car drivers where also the tourist bus drivers that took folks up to the summit several times a day every day of the week. Knowing the road is more then half the battle at winning . Car owners from around the USA would hire those guys come race week to give them that extra edge on race day.  Many out of state racers who wanted to run their own cars complained about the locals having an advantage.  Thankfully over time the Cog Railway began to take over and even today takes the majority of the tourists to the summit.  Asking around about when tire testing started and why, seemed to be like the response you would get from asking a moonshiner for his family recipe. No one could give me a real answer.  So I dug into my archives and found the earliest mention of tire testing and it was In 1974 , with who else but Bobby Unser. Bobby was a major factor in  development of tires to run at Pikes Peak and even had his own line tires for a short time. He had worked out a deal out with Goodyear in 1974, to do some early morning practice on the Pikes Peak Highway prior to race week and figure out what compounds worked best on his Dodge Kit Car. Bobby already knew the road by heart and  didn’t need the additional practice time, it was really for the development of Goodyear Tire types. There was an uproar about his extra practice time and the organization and the city, who owned the road,  had to make some decisions.  From the PPHC organization, at the time, the response was” We don’t have anything to do with the highway until race week”  and from the director of PR for the PPHC , “I wouldn’t say whether I’m in favor of it or against it”  ( Gazette 6-14-1974)  But the big kicker was the cities decision. Up until that point,  auto and tire manufacturers could ask for private time on the road for testing at no cost. Once the “Unser Testing” story hit the papers the city began policy changes and charging additional fees for road use testing and declared it only for company use and not individual usage. The stone was cast, and an additional revenue source for the city of Colorado Springs was born. What didn’t  happen right away, was race teams actually doing paid tire testing, Most companies found other places to conduct testing and teams didn’t want the bad press associated the tire testing concerning and race.

The Sierra Club

Let’s save the environment . Its a long story for another day but a federal lawsuit was brought against the Forest Department and the City of Colorado Springs about the environmental impact the Pikes Peak Highway was having on the mountain. You may ask, why am I bring this up ? The matter of tire testing at Pikes Peak would bring itself back to the race once the lawsuit was filed in the  1990s.  Many different attempts at erosion control were attempted , experiments with different rock and gravel types and even oiling down the course , along with several drainage and containment control efforts .   In the end  the Sierra Club’s federal lawsuit was handled out of court, and the agreement was, the Pikes Peak Highway would be paved all the way to the top over a period of years starting in 2002 and finishing in 2012.  During the transition from dirt to pavement, what type of tires would work on the ever changing road surface was a real concern for all teams . Tire Testing prior to race week was truly needed  and was a major issue for many teams. The system worked, but the grumblings of was it fair for everyone was beginning to be heard.

Is it still needed and fair ?

Back to the part where the PPIHC doesn’t control the road prior to tire testing and race week.  The city controls it the rest of the time. If you have enough money you can rent the road for”Paid Practice” and then also pay for additional time on the course during the official “Tire Testing”. Big teams want the most bang for the buck and getting full runs on the road is the best way to get the answers they are looking for.  The race is changing and money does buy it advantages. Is it fair ? Probable not, but the teams that can afford the extra practice time  also bring a bunch of attention to Pikes Peak Hill Climb race. The race hasn’t been traditional about the battle of the dollars. In the past if you thought you could build a car that could compete , bring it to tech and practice and see how you do during qualifying. Many years fifty plus cars would show up for twenty five spots in a class come race day. Your speed did the talking.  The little guys had a chance against the big dollar teams and that was what hill climb racing was originally about.

Is “Tire testing still needed now that the pavement is completed all the way. Should it just be called additional practice time. Can the origination do anything about the big teams renting the course from the city or should they even bother. I am worried about the direction the race is headed.

The arms race at Pikes Peak

This year was an eye opener for me and has made me look at the future of the race in a different view. The real change started a few years back when several millions went in to breaking the record. Cost is no object and as much time needed on the course is a wonderful way to break records. We need that at Pikes Peak, but we also need a field of classes that allow and encourage innovation and competition on Pikes Peak in order for the race to survive. The classes need to be reworked to split the money is no object and the guy who wants to race. Unlimited is always going to be there, but it has leaked down into other classes. The Time Attack One  Class is a great example of the need to split things up. One look at the two major cars in the running to win that class and you are seeing big, big budgets. Time Attack Two class had only two entries and one on race day. This year had several cars in excess of $250,000 invested, spread throughout several classes. (Maybe I am just old and remember a time when the most dollars didn’t buy wins)

Well if you made it this far, thanks for letting me vent. The “Paid Private Practice” days and then the additional paid “Tire Testing” days has made me see things differently. In addition to seeing the massive amounts of money some teams are spending on their PPIHC  cars is making the race  look more like F1 or NASCAR racing then the traditional hill climb racing. Are we honoring the races past history or just out to break records? The good news is that I have many posts lined up about the cars and folks racing at Pikes Peak in the past and have found several cars that have been gathering dust and ready to be brought back into the light.

Thanks for staying with me and allowing me to explain my lack of posts in the last few weeks. (Discouraged i was but no longer !)

Gurney Eagles racing at the Pikes Peak Hill Climb

Most people think of the Gurney-Eagle race cars as something you see at the Indianapolis 500 race or other types of paved speedways. There have always been a few owners and drivers at the PPHC who like to think out of the box. In the 1930s it was the “Hunt-Jenkins” Studebaker that graced both the Indy 500 and Pikes Peak. Louis Unser the “Old Man of the Mountain” drove a the Maserati 8CTF and Johnny Mauro drove an Alfa Romeo and a Ferrari that took on both the Peak and the brick yard.  So why not, in the early 1970s,  wouldn’t you take a Gurney Eagle off the pavement and onto the 12.4 miles course to the Summit. Makes sense doesn’t it?

Two Gurney Eagles

The last production MK5 Gurney Eagle in 1969 was chassis number 514 and  was sold brand new to Jim Busby in April 1979, who crashed it shorty thereafter. The second owner Floyd Sable had it completely rebuilt and only owned it for a short time before selling it to Larry Orhdorf of Colorado Springs.

Poster advertisement for the Gurney Eagle at the PPHC. (notice it was before roll cage updated)

During it’s time at Pikes Peak from 1974 to 1979, it normally ran  a Traco Chevrolet V-8, running Weber carburetors and rated at 500 horsepower.  The suspension height was adjusted  with increased tire size and chassis adjustments to give it about three inches of  ground clearance. Roll cage requirements changed in 1972 making it mandatory for a four point cage around the drivers area. All six years the car carried the number 45.  Best time for the car was in 1978 running a 12:38.30 .

Gurney-Eagle waiting for tech inspection 1976

The current owner has taken great care of the car since the late 1980s.

There was a second Gurney-Eagle  too.

Bud Hoffpauir in a 1968 Gurney Eagle at the Teller County Hill Climb

The second Gurney was a 1968 model and it also ran a Chevy V-8, both cars were owned by Larry Orhdorf.   Just running the Pike Peak Hill Climb the one year 1976, very few pictures are available.

Below is a newspaper article about a practice incident in 1976 with the second car, driven by Bud Hoffpauir.

The car raced  at PPHC running number 47 and was a “did not finish”.

Thanks for saving these cars.

Both cars survive and someday I hope to have a close up look at them. Just glad the owner has taken great care of both of them.

Check back later and hopefully I will have updates.

 

The first Ford Cobra to race the Pikes Peak Hill Climb ?

Ford Cobra Csx-2020 Pikes Peak Hill Climb 1964

Chuck Frederick drives Chevys.

Chuck Frederick was from Golden Colorado and started his racing with Chevrolet Corvettes.  The first three years 1960-63, he ran the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, it was in Chevrolet Corvettes .

Chuck Frederick and a Corvette at Frederick Chevrolet

With the bow ties in the Sports Car Class . His best time was in 1962, with a 15:15.3 which was good enough for 4th place.  Not sure how he went from running Chevrolet to the Ford Cobra,but it happened in 1964.

 

 

CSX-2020

Phil Long Ford of Colorado Springs ordered the 1963  Cobra CSX-2020 as a street car. The dealership must have turned it into a race car. They also made it a rental car(?) for Chuck Frederick to drive in the 1964 Pikes Peak Hill Climb. The car was blue in color, running the required Gates Tires ( the overall race sponsor in 64), a single loop driver side roll bar and a driver side only windshield visor. The early Cobra’s didn’t have the side pipes and they had the smaller fender revels and a 289 V-8 motor.

Chuck Frederick Ford Cobra CSX-2020 1964 PPHCThe Cobra would end up to be faster for Chuck then the Corvettes.  In 1964 he took 3rd place with a time of 14:20.6.    CSX2020 would show up for the next years race with a red paint job, a new hood scoop and  duel air vents added under the nose to help get more air to cool the engine. Additional flaring was also added to the rear wheel area to allow for larger tires. Still no side pipes and running Phil Long Ford sponsorship.

Could the 1964 car be a different Cobra for 1965.?  Was it CSX2020 both years?  Records confirm  it was 2020 in 1965. No serial number data available for the 1964 race has been found.

1965 Ford Cobra CSX-2020 Chuck Frederick at PPHC

Once again Chuck was to take 3rd place in the large displacement Sports Car Class. His time in 1965 was 14:35.7.   Interesting note from Hot Rod magazine, “This year, he “rented” a full race Cobra from a druggist friend in Kansas ”  One week rental cost was $500.  (More questions that need to be answered.)

The Cobra survives !

The good news the PPHC Cobra CSX_2020 still survives. This car was listed for sale in early 2017  with Guilwing Motor Cars for $850,000. You can check at the details at :

http://www.gullwingmotorcars.com/1963-ac-cobra-c-1564.htm

Updated 5-1-2017

New info:  CSX2020 Red/Blk interior. Billed to shelby America 12/21/62 shipped to L.A. 2020 was invoiced to the “Arnold Bros.” on 4/19/63 for $5,195.00 .According to its first owner-of-record, the car was sold to an individual who, after a few weeks of ownership, drove the car to California without making any of the required installment payments on it. In a matter of course the car was repossessed,  and was delivered to Phil Long ford and rented to Chuck Frederick for the 1964 Pikes Peak Hill Climb .

Hot Rod magazine Sept 1965 : ( In reference to the 1965 race)

Last year, Chuck drove a Cobra but it was strictly the standard production street variety. This year, he “rented: a full-race Cobra from a druggist friend in Kansas and this particular Cobra had the right prescription as it was a real strong running car. One week’s rental cost Chuck $500 and we are happy to report that he kept it on the road so didn’t bend up the druggist;s machine.

I think it is safe to say it was two different Cobra’s . Would you agree ?

 

If you have any additional information about the Cobra or Cobras that raced the PPHC please contact me . Thanks

Johnny Mauro and an Alfa Romeo Tipo 308 at Pikes Peak

Johnny Mauro Pikes Peak Hill Climb 1948

The story began in 1938   

The second world war was looming and the Grand Prix organization needed to make changes.  A new 3 litre engine class size was implemented for 1938. In Milan Italy the Alfa Romeo company ,would build four cars for the  new class. The 308 or 8C-308 was born. The cars were entered in the Pau Grand Prix, the Tripoli Grand Prix and the  Millie Miglia.  With just a few hill climb wins and a couple second place finishes overseas the results were not a great success in 1938-1939 . The next stop would be the Indy 500 .

Serial number 422022  (maybe)

The history line is confirmed on the car but the serial number is a maybe. This Tipo 308 was raced at the Indy 500 in 1940 by Chet Miller placed 17th,  1941 Louis Durant placed 6th,  and Walt Brown in 1947 with a 7th place at Indy. Not bad for a car built in 38.

Johnny Mauro a native of Denver Colorado a used car dealer, bought the car in 1948 just days before Indy. He raced it at the Indianapolis 500, ended up with an 8th place finish after being relieved as driver by Louis Durant. Prize money was enough to cover his cost of the car and his entry  They would attempt to qualify for Indy two more times 1949 and 1950 but didn’t make the field. Top qualifying speed for the car was by Mauro in 1948 with a speed of 121.78, (the car could hit upwards of 170 mph in the straightaways)  Best Indy finish 6th in 1941,  Louis Durant.

The Pikes Peak Hill Climb years.

Johnny Mauro and family Alfa Romeo Tipo 308

The Mauro family lived in the Rocky Mountain region and anyone in that area was or would be overtime a Hill Climb fan. Johnny brought many top notch race cars to the Peak. The Kurtiss Kraft KK2000 from the Clark Gable movie,  several Offenhauser powered cars, this Alfa Romeo, and even a Ferrari 375 . (He competed 14 times from 1933-1956)

Alfa Romeo in Indy race trim before PPHC practice days

There would only be a few changes to the car from its Indy race trim to being ready for the PPHC. Carburetion , fuel change and larger rear tires. Some say the Tipo 308 was a mechanics dream.

This  bright red Alfa Romeo was raced by Johnny in 1948 to 3rd place overall with a time of 16:54, The following year in 1949 he did not finish,  skidding out of control at the last corner just ten yards  before the finish line and ran into several parked cars badly damaging the nose of the car.

Johnny would go on to race his Ferrari 375 for the remaining years on the Peak. In 1952 the Alfa Romeo Tipo 308 would have one more ride up America’s Mountain. Charlie Bryant would be the driver of the car and was sponsored by the Johnny Mauro dealership “Import Motors”. The car was becoming an old warhorse in the fast world of race car development.  The expensive damaged grill from the 49 race was missing, just a big gasping hole in the nose and the Alfa motor had been changed to a smaller Offy.   The last ride would be it’s fastest . 16:07.15, which was only good for 7th.   Times change , race cars can either be parted out, passed on or be put away.

The Indianapolis 500 Museum

Where should a one of four built Italian race car with over 15 years of racing be put to rest?  In the USA ,the longest running race is the Indy 500 with Pikes Peak being second. The Motor Speedway Hall of Fame museum inside the Indy track is known world wide . That is where great cars go. Details are a little hazy , and the timing unsure (1960’s) . That is where Johnny’s car is now. Restored with a new nose and paint, looking good, not always on display but often rotated onto the main floor.  If you go, be sure to check it out, or if not on display ask the staff how its doing. A wonderful car with a wonderful story and a great place to stay.

https://www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com/at-the-track/museum

 

 

 

 

 

Team Hudson-Essex-Terraplane (part 2)

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)

Preparing to leave for the Pikes Peak Hill Climb race 1933

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)

Terraplane 6 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.

 

First gasoline automobile to climb Pikes Peak

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:

http://winfield.50megs.com/WWBrown.htm

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.

 

A new chapter begins !

Surprise !   This will be my first time trying to develop a blog about the history and news surrounding the Pikes Peak Hill Climb race.  No clue how to work this process, but hope to get some help and ideas along the way.

The question, to why there is so little written or available on the internet about a race that is 100 years old is complicated and frustrating . In future posts I will  dig deeper into the issue of information availability and with your help make  a dent on getting the history of this legendary race onto the world wide web.

Check back often to find news about the years upcoming race and features from it’s past.

(Devils Playground is one of the most popular places to watch the race on the entire length  of the 12.42 mile course)