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American Roads: Site Map > Auto Trails > Auto Trail Articles > Touring Topics article December 1914 p14

RAIN REDUCES TIME IN PHOENIX RACE

― from Touring Topics, December 1914, page 12-13.

 

Seventh and greatest of the annual Los Angeles-Phoenix road races, held November 9th, 10th and 11th, resulted in a victory for the veteran driver Barney Oldfield in a Stutz. Oldfield traversed the six hundred and ninety-six miles of foothill, desert, mountain and valley highways under execrable weather and road conditions in a total driving time of twenty-two hours, fifty-nine minutes. This time gives the winning car an average speed of 29.1 miles per hour, which is more than one hour below the record established by Olin Davis in a Locomobile in last year’s race. However, the course this year was longer by one hundred and twenty-two miles than the route covered last year and for more than half the distance rain fell during the race, softening the road bed and materially reducing the speed.
Following Oldfield in the order of elapsed running time was the Paige number eight, driven by Nikrent, which covered the course in twenty-three hours and thirty-five minutes. Next came Paige number one, Beaudet driving, time twenty-five hours and three minutes. The Chevrolet number two with Durant at the the wheel finished fourth in twenty-six hours and one minute. Cadillac number nineteen piloted by Bramlette came in fifth and the Buick number fifteen, Stutz number seventeen and Cole number twenty-one finished in sixth, seventh and eighth places respectively. These were the only cars out of the field of twenty starters to complete the distance within the time limit.
The start was made from Los Angeles city limits on the Valley Boulevard in a drizzling rain and before San Bernardino was reached one of the contestants, Alco number twelve driven by Taylor, was out of the race because of an accident from skidding into a telegraph pole, due to the wet road surface. The Metz number eleven was next eliminated from the running beyond San Bernardino and the De Dietrich, driven by Sprague, sprung an axle near Barstow and did not make Needles within the time limit. The Thomas, driven by Pink, the KisselKar with Anderson driving and Schnack’s Ford were also put out of the going before Needles was reached and the field was reduced to fourteen cars at the end of the first day’s racing.
The cars got away from Needles in the order of their arrival the preceding night at intervals of two minutes, beginning at five-thirty a.m. on the morning of the 10th. Although Oldfield made the fastest time into Needles, covering the distance in eight hours and forty-five minutes, the Chevrolet number two, which started in second place, checked in at Needles first and was therefore the first of the cars to take the road on the second leg of the long journey. Oldfield started from Needles in second place, the Paige number one in third place and the Simplex, driven by Davis in fourth place with the rest of the field following.
Between Needles and Prescott, the second night control, the Maxwell number seven, driven by Carlson, the Metz number fourteen, driven by Folk, and Chevrolet number twenty piloted by Chevrolet, came to grief and failed to cover the distance. This reduced the contestants to eleven cars for the final dash of one hundred and thirty-two miles into Phoenix. Oldfield led the field into Prescott by fifty-seven minutes over his nearest competitor, the Paige number eight, the two cars making the distance from Los Angeles in seventeen hours three minutes, and eighteen hours, respectively. The Simplex, which arrived in Needles second to Oldfield’s Stutz, was in third position in relation to elapsed time. The cars were sent away from Prescott at two-minute intervals, beginning at nine oʼclock a.m. on November 11th with Oldfield’s Stutz first to get away, followed in turn by the Simplex, the Paige number eight, Paige number one, Chevrolet number two, Buick number fifteen, Cadillac number twelve, Stutz number fourteen, Kincaid Special number ten, Metz number nine and Cole number twenty-one.
On the Prescott-Phoenix link of the race the Simplex, driven by Davis, went out of the contest with a broken torsion rod when twenty miles out of Prescott. The Kincaid Special was eliminated from the contest through engine trouble near Congress Junction, seventy-five miles from Phoenix, and the Metz number nine broke a steering gear forty-four miles from Phoenix and was unable to finish. This left a field of eight cars to complete the distance. Oldfield was content to drive a careful race over the treacherous, muddy roads and his lead of fifty-seven minutes over Nickrent’s [Nikrent’s] Paige was cut down to thirty-six minutes at the finish, the latter car being first to arrive at Phoenix. Second to finish was Cadillac number nine, Bramlette driving. Third came Oldfield and closely following him arrived the Paige number one. The Chevrolet driven by Durant, the number fifteen Buick, Cole number twenty-one and Stutz number seventeen finished in the order named.
Below is appended a summary of the race:

Car

Driver

Time L.A. to
Needles

Time L.A. to
Prescott

Time L.A. to
Phoenix

Pos.

Paige

Beaudet

9 h 14 min

19 h 12 min

25 h 03 min

3

Chevrolet

Durant

8 h 51 min

19 h 18 min

26 h 01 min

4

Ford

Schnack

Out between Barstow and Needles

Simplex

Davis

9 h 19 min

18 h 52 min

Out beyond Prescott

Stutz

Oldfield

8 h 45 min

17 h 03 min

22 h 59 min

1

KisselKar

Anderson

Out between Barstow and Needles

Maxwell

Carlson

9 h 45 min

Out near Kingman

Paige

L. Nikrent

9 h 25 min

18 h 00 min

23 h 35 min

2

Metz

Wing

13 h 19 min

26 h 40 min

Out near Wickenburg

Kincaid Special

Kincaid

11 h 46 min

25 h 07 min

Out beyond Prescott

Metz

Snow

Out near Victorville

Alco

Taylor

Out near San Bernardino

Metz

Foulke

13 h 13 min

Out beyond Needles

Buick

Ellis

11 h 00 min

21 h 14 min

27 h 58 min

6

De Dietrich

Sprague

Out beyond Barstow

Stutz

Burns

10 h 17 min

21 h 32 min

29 h 48 min

7

Thomas

Pink

Out beyond Barstow

Cadillac

Bramlette

10 h 02 min

20 h 40 min

26 h 30 min

5

Chevrolet

Chevrolet

9 h 24 min

Out near Ash Fork

Cole

Du Bois

9 h 44 min

24 h 25 min

31 h 56 min

8

Total number of starters, twenty; total length of course, six hundred and ninety-six miles; total purse, $6750; first prize, $2750; second, $2000; third, $1500; fourth, $500.

 

Copyright © S. Varner 2010