Barney Oldfield at Indianapolis
The 1916 Indianapolis 500 was mostly dominated by European Grand Prix cars from Peugeot, Delage and Sunbeam. They had modern twin overhead camshaft engines and the fastest of them qualified at 96mph. Legendary American driver Barney Oldfield qualified and finished 5th in a Delage. However, two days before the race, on Sunday afternoon, Barney dusted off his 1909 Christie race car, mounted fresh tires and went out for an attempt on the track record. Barney wanted to be the first to top 100mph at Indy. The Christie motor had too big a displacement to be eligible for the race, but Barney still used the car for exhibition laps at state fairs all over the USA. This photograph is believed to have been taken just before Barney took to the track, where he raised the one lap record to 102mph. It was an impressive effort, the Christie was a 6 year old race car with a motor that turned a maximum of 1200rpm, against the latest 3000rpm Grand Prix motors. This photograph has been beautifully colorized from the black & white original, the work done by 'Imbued with Hues'. Lot's of detail in the photo, with the characters facing the late afternoon sun. Notice the Firestone tire box on the ground and the dirty mechanician with oil can in hand.
Lee Stohr (b.1957: Delaware, USA) is an American race car designer and owner of STOHR DESIGN