View the early years 1916-1920s through newspaper ads .

“14,109 feet above sea level, 120 turns, 12 1/2 miles”

Chalmers ad from the 1916 Pikes Peak Hill Climb race.

1916 PPHC

The first race was split over two days. Motorcycles raced on day one and automobiles day two. On the second day there was three events. The cars were divided in two events by engine size and the third event was a “Free for All” and considered the main event with the Penrose Trophy going to the winner.

Local General Goods store in Colorado Springs newspaper ad from the 1916 PPHC race

A strange ad from the Rocky Mountain News in Denver Colorado prior to race day. The Briscoe Motor Company was banned . (?)

Briscoe Motor Company ad

With three events more then one car company had the ability to claim to be the winner of the Pikes Peak Hill Climb. While some hide the fact,  others went as far as listing which event they won.

The Hudson Super-Six ” You don’t care to climb Pike’s Peak at the speed the Super-Six showed it could”

1917 Stromberg Carburetor ad from the PPHC in 1916

WW2 halts the race in 1917,1918, 1919 

Lexington wins in 1920 !

Denver Colorado Lexington Dealership ad from the 1920 Pikes Peak Hill Climb race

1921 King Rhiley wins 

Hodson wins at the 1921 Pikes Peak Hill Climb

The ad above was the first ad in the local newspapers that used a race photograph instead of a drawing or dealer image. The ad mentions the victory in the snowstorm and also refers to the Hudson’s win in 1916. The ad below for the Lexington shows a more typical drawing based ad, with a very nice representation of the road to the summit.

Lexington ad from the 1921 Pikes Peak Hill Climb race.

1922 PPHC “Official Ambulance” 

1922 Pikes Peak Hill Climb race Official Ambulance ad
Not something you see everyday. A law firm sponsoring the ambulance for the 1922 Pikes Peak Hill Climb race. The ad was from the Gazette Telegraph in Colorado Springs Colorado. (If you can identify the make of the ambulance , let me know)  Another point of interest is the “Westinghouse Shock Absorbers” . 

The Ford hot rod driven by Noel Bullock made a huge splash in 1922 winning the race overall.  Western Auto Supply Company from Denver Colorado used the”Rajo Head’ PPHC win in their ad. To the right, a local Ford dealer featured him in their 1922 ad haling the first win ever for a 4 cylinder at Pikes Peak.

1923 PPHC

One of my favorite ads from the early 1920’s from the Pikes Peak Hill Climb

1923 Parco Gasoline ad for the Pikes Peak Hill Climb race.

Nice to see several pictures of the race cars and drivers. Seeing the early service station is nice too.

insert from 1923 PPHC Parco Gas ad
insert from Parco ad

1924 Pikes Peak Hill Climb

The Lexington camp went all out in 1924 taking the overall win and being awarded permanent possession of the Penrose trophy. The local Triangle Gasoline station took out this amazing advertisement to honor the win.

Below, the first Firestone Tires ad at Pikes Peak was in 1924

1923 Firestone Tire ad from the 1924 Pikes Peak Hill Climb race.

Below is a rare photograph showing the local Firestone Tire Shop in Colorado Springs. The winning Lexington race car is at his shop.! Hard to see, but that is also the Penrose trophy to the right of the Earl Udick. Great period photograph.

Hope you enjoyed seeing this group of advertisements from the 1920s.

If you would like to see additional ads from other decades contact me with what years you are interested in and I can put something together for the most popular requests.

2017 Tire Testing part II

its been a busy two weeks. The weeks leading up to the PPIHC tends to bring out old photos and scrapbooks.  In the last few weeks a total of fifteen scrapbooks have found their way to my home from several folks. it is an honor to to be able to walk the hill climb journey through the eyes of its’ past competitors and families.  Thank you all !

The icing on the cake so far this week has been this photograph, that has surfaced from the 1921 race.

This was J.C. Williamson in his Allen race car. An Allen race car who knew ?  Two Allens’ raced in 1921 Pikes Peak Hill Climb and Mr. Williamson in car number four, took second place in Event II. Seeing how they recorded the times back then, always brings a smile to my face. 22:49 and 3/5 seconds. Great photo and the only one I have seen of the Pikes Peak Allen cars.

Tire Testing part II

The second week of tire testin,g June 10-11th had better weather as predicted.  There was a lot of wind for the motorcycles on the upper section practice.Thankfully there were no major accidents during either week .

( Week one did have an open wheel car that went off badly and trimmed a few trees. But the car was  back the next day due to an outstanding crew and the great safety features built into the car to protect the driver ).

The road was in good shape and fast on the lower section but the “Perma-Bumps” ( permafrost melt waves)  were more pronounced on the upper section this year. The Pikes Peak Highway maintenance crews began paving repairs just days after testing, should be in good shape by practice week.

Biggest take away from tire testing for me was the motorcycle battles. Codie Vahsholtz was fast on his Husqvarna in middle weight class and Davey Durelle as expected was fastest in lightweight on his Aprilla. The mountain for many years was refereed to as “Durelle’s Peak”, in the motorcycle world, instead of Pikes Peak.  Nice to have him back. The big battle at tire testing turned out to be Bruno Langlois, last years winner, on his 2017 Kawasaki,  being ganged up on by three KTM Super Duke 1290s  of  Rennie Scaysbrook, Shane Scott and Chris Fillmore.  Bruno had the fastest time for the upper section but Rennie got fast time on the lower section.  The heavyweight battle this year is going to be fun to watch.

Check out tire testing results at

https://speedhive.mylaps.com/  

and enter Pikes Peak in the search bar.

(They only provide times for the lower section practice leg from start line to Glen Cove. cars Saturday and bikes Sunday)

On a side note, 2017 will have the most Porsche entries in the history of the race with EIGHT entered.  You can see the complete competitors lists at :

http://www.ppihc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017-PPIHC-Competitor-List.pdf

 

I will try to update the site more often with 2017 race news and past history.

Bear with me as this website/computer stuff is all fairly new, to this gray-bearded guy. Thanks  you for your patience !

A Legendary Lexington (part one)

A surviving unrestored race car from the 1920’s. How many times do you see one of those ?  How can a car designed to race in Hill Climbs survive for 96 years and not be well known ?

The Lexington Automobile Company history is covered in depth by Richard A. Stanley, in his book”The Lexington Automobile a Complete History”. Check out his wonderful book and learn the about the company history from the  beginning in 1908 until its demise in 1926.

https://www.amazon.com/Lexington-Automobile-Complete-History/dp/078646934X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1484930462&sr=1-1&keywords=lexington+automobile

The story I want to tell is about the Lexington Thoroughbred race car serial number 16585 or better known as Lexington #7.  From the factory numbers of the chassis it is assumed to be an early 1920 model. Coming standard with 272 cubic inch Ansted overhead valve, six cylinder engine. Factory rated at 75 horsepower . (Number “7” saw many updates and modification during the four years it raced Pikes Peak )

Automobile manufactures where still milking the press from the 1st Pikes Peak Hill Climb race in 1916. Being considered the highest highway in the world at the time . Lexington wanted a piece of the pie, the exquisite Penrose Trophy and the prestige that came with it.  Two cars were prepared and sent by rail to the 1920 race. One to be driven by Al Cline with mechanic Garner Lewis # 6 and the other driven by Otto Loesche #7 . Otto, an experenced racer decided to save the extra weight and NOT take a riding mechanic with him.

The cars ran without fenders, running boards and the main body removed. Two seats were added to #6 and only the one in #7.   On race day once again there were three events and in  Event Number Two AND the Main Event Number Three the Lexington’s shined. Otto taking 1st and Al taking 2nd in both events. Unheard of at the time. The only class they didn’t win was for smaller displacement motors. Lexington threw a huge party in Connersville  . Once it was shipped home the Hill Climb trophy was displayed in the front window of the main dealership for all to see.

Otto Loesche became a celebrity after the win and Lexington pushed the Pikes Peak victory in newspapers and magazines nationwide.  Race car number “7” and Otto Loesche were taken on a tour traveling to dealerships and many other points of interest. (Most of the early photographs you see of the Lexington race car for sale nowadays comes from the 1920 publicity tour)

The Connersville Indiana area at the time was a thriving automobile manufacturing area and could almost be called the little Detroit of the automobile industry.  The race cars ran a few aftermarket parts made outside of the typical Detroit area. Buffalo Wire Wheels , Connecticut Ignitions.  and a Rayfield carburetor.  Number seven still wears its Buffalo wheels and its  truck-bus Firestone Gum Dipped Safety-Lock tires, which may be from the 20’s.

Lexington would continue to come back to Pikes Peak and gather four first place wins and taking permanent ownership of the Penrose trophy in 1924. A feat that no one thought possible. To this day at the Fayette County Historical Museum in Connersville Indiana, that original trophy still survives.

Times for Otto Loesche using the same car # 7 at  the PPHC races.

1920-  1st place Event #3- 22:25,  1st place Event #2 -(time unknown)

1921 –  1st place Event #2 -19:47 9  (only race entered)

1922- Did not attend, ( no factory sponsored Lexington’s)

1923 -1st place Event #2- 19:29.8, 3rd place Event # 3 (time unknown)

1924- 1st place Event #2-  18:15 (new course record)

An amazing record for the period . A billboard was constructed in 1920 by the entrance to the Pikes Peak Highway to remind folks that Lexington was the King of the Mountain.  ( photo from 1924 below)

Stay turned for more of the story in Part 2 of the Legendary Lexington