1915: Ivan starts winning!

Above is the first photo following the 1915 Indy 500, in what I'm going to call scrapbook #2.  This scrapbook mostly contains Ivan's early flying photographs.  I used the photo above in my introductory post since it's such a great picture of Ivan, and you immediately associate the goggles with racing.  Is this the Vite car that was featured in the handbill of the match race with Gotier which I placed with the last post?  I'm making this assumption based on the photos in this post, and on the newspaper articles.  If someone has some information about the car, please post it in the comments.  Better photos of it are coming, however.

The newspaper article starting this section has a pretty encouraging headline... Ivan won the fifteen mile race, and came a very close (11 seconds) second place in the ten mile race due to a blown tire.  Apparently he made pretty good time to have caught back up within 11 seconds after a tire change.  Keep this in mind for later...

We're racing at Berkshire Park in Gloversville at this event, which is about 10 or so miles north of Fonda, as the crow flies.  From the maps of the area, it looks like all of Ivan's racing career took place within about twenty miles of his home in Amsterdam, New York.

The first photo and this next photo appear one above the other, with the newspaper article to the left of them. I get the feeling that this photo is for the sponsors, somehow.  I love the guy with his hat off.  Is he proposing, or something?

The next old photo is pretty pretty fun.  I believe this is Ivan in the second car, but I've never seen a car like this one in the albums.  It does have a number on it, and he sports a 7 in the photo above as well, but I don't think this is the same car.  He has bounced around from Chalmers, to Hudson, to Vite, and raced in a Stearns once; so who knows what circumstances led to him being in this car?

Here's another photo just prior to the start of this race, and I have to say that I don't know what race this is from. It's clear from an article in my next post that Ivan raced all summer, but there are only a few articles about the races in the scrapbooks.  It's pretty cool news, too.  This disproves my belief that he was self-absorbed and saved everything ever published about himself in the papers, though.

Now, the first race in this article stated that Ivan had regained a bit of distance after his blown tire.  This second article (actually third, I didn't post the second one since it's the same news from another paper)  gives a bit of a hint of the interplay between Ivan and Mr. Jones after the ten-mile race. There obviously was an argument that led to this wager.  The article details a match race (a one on one race) between Wheaton and Jones.  I like to put myself at the scene and try and fill in details based on facts that I've read, and human nature.  I imagine that Ivan got in Jones' face after the race and told him that he would have won that race if he had one more lap to go, or something like... "If I hadn't blown that tire, you'd have lost".  Jones then puts down the wager that we read in this article...  The headline seems a bit slanted to me, don't you think?  Why isn't Jones' name in the headline?

Unfortunately there's nothing to indicate whether the race took place, or if it did, what the outcome was.  I've been curious for a while about these races after reading that so and so didn't finish "in the money".  It would be very interesting to know what the purse was for these races.

Next up: more 1915 racing!  BUT!!  Stay tuned if you're looking for the aviation stories.  They're right around the corner.


1 comment:

  1. In photo 4 of 6 in this post, you mis-identified Ivan as driving the second car in the lineup. He is actually driving the far outside car. The car is the same as you have tentatively identified as the Vite (a 1914 Chalmers 24 chassis). And you can make out Ivan and his sidekick. Vite has the hood off and the engine details a clearly the Chalmers 24 engine. Not to mention the same Houk wire wheels.