Tag Archives: Mulford

He Who Yells Loudest – Peugeot EX5/L45

Peugeot built four new EX5 cars to compete in the 1914 French Grand Prix that mandated a maximum engine capacity of 4.5 litres / 274 cui and maximum weight of 1,100 kgs / 2,425 lbs.

As with Ernst Henry’s previous 1912 L76 and 1913 L3 Grand Prix winning engine designs the 1914 L45 featured twin overhead cam shafts, four valves per cylinder and with the aid of a Claudel Carburettor it produced 112hp at just 2,800 rpm, unlike it’s predecessors the EX5 had brakes on all four wheels.

Peugeot L45, Goodwood, Festival Of Speed,

In the race Georges Boillot drove the wheels off his EX5 to try and stay in touch with early Mercedes leader Max Sailer and continued to do so for the next 12 laps, after the Rookie Sailer retired from the lead at 1/4 distance.

Two laps from the end the Mercedes of Christian Lautenschlager passed Georges to lead an eventual Mercedes 1, 2, 3, finish, leaving Boillot to retire with a broken engine and his team mate Jules Goux to finish 4th ahead of the Sunbeam driven by Dario Resta a third EX5 driven by Victor Rigal finished 7th while the fourth EX5 was retained as a spare.

Peugeot L45, Goodwood, Festival Of Speed,

I have been unable to establish what role today’s featured car played in the 1914 French Grand Prix but what is certain is that it was one of a batch of three EX5’s sent to the United States in October 1915 some months after the fourth EX5 had been sent over for Dario Resta to drive.

The Texan lumber family Lutcher Brown appears to have bought today’s featured EX5 for Ralph Mulford to race in the 1916 Indy 500 in which he started 20th and finished 3rd, two spots behind Dario Resta’s winning EX5.

Peugeot L45, Goodwood, Festival Of Speed,

Art Klein who became head of transportation at Warner Brothers had also become the owner of this car by 1948 and he sold it to Lindley Bothwell in time for Lindley to enter it in the 1949 Indy 500 when it was 35 years old !

With the latest tyres fitted Lindley passed his rookie test and recorded a best time of around 103 mph when the qualifying times for the 33 starters in the race ranged from over 125 mph to over 132 mph.

Peugeot L45, Goodwood, Festival Of Speed,

Lindley who over time was a “Yell King” cheerleader at college football matches and pioneer of the use of flashcards for spectators, turned down the opportunity to become a professional baseball player to continue his studies, with three degrees he went on to become one of the top ten citrus growers in the US and owner of one of the biggest private collections of old automobiles that included the last Tzar of Russia’s Rolls Royce and a King George V Daimler.

He was also responsible for setting the California vintage auto racing movement in motion when he organised the 1950 retrospective Vanderbuilt Cup in Santa Monica.

Peugeot L45, Goodwood, Festival Of Speed,

Somewhere along the line Lindley appears to have become convinced Art Klein acquired today’s featured EX5 from Dario Resta.

It seems more likely that the Resta EX5 which won at Indy in 1916, ended up being either broken up and or driven by Ray Howard in the 1919 Indy 500 that coincidentally was won by Howdy Wilcox also driving one of the four EX5’s.

The Bothwell family who still own today’s featured EX5 claim to have evidence to back Lindley’s belief that today’s featured EX5, which incidentally is also incorrectly labelled by the Bothwells as a 1913 car, was the 1916 Indy winner, but this has never been made public and until it does it remains unlikely that the King of Yell and his family will win this particular disagreement over this cars exact provenance.

My thanks to Bitburgs finest auto historian Micheal Fines and his colleagues who have helped establish the provenance of today’s featured EX5 at The Nostalgia Forum and on the Track Forum.

Thanks for joining me on this “He Who Yells Loudest” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for Mercedes Monday. Don’t forget to come back now !


Hudson Super Six Special

While out watching the vintage racers negotiate Prescott and Loton Park 18 months ago I caught some snaps of this 1917 Hudson Super Six racer being driven by James Collins.

Hudson Super Six, VSCC Prescott

The Hudson Super Six is powered by a 4700 cc / 299 cui straight six fitted with one of the earliest a balanced crwankshafts. James car is fitted with a radiator cowling that is said to have come from a Peugeot.

In 1917 Hudson built four 2100lb racing versions of there Super Six models, called Super Six Specials, these featured stock frames that had been shortened and lightened, blue printed 115 hp motors with larger valves and ports, high lift camshafts and light weight pistons along with a two carb manifold.

Hudson Super Six, VSCC Loton Park

The Super Six Specials were taken by special railway cars that served as rolling workshops to tracks for Ira Vail, Billy Taylor, Ralph Mulford and AH Patterson to drive the cars up to August 1917 when the Great War required resources be used elsewhere.

Major wins were recorded at Omaha, Tacoma and Minneapolis with many placings and wins at minor events during the war shortened season.

In 1919 four of the 1917 Super Six Specials were entered privately for the Indy 500, Canadian Vail and US driver Ora Haibe qualified 10th and 26th respectively finishing the race in the same order 8th and 14th.

Hudson Super Six, VSCC Loton Park

From what I have been able to gather it would appear James car is a tribute to the 1917 Super Six Specials.

My thanks to Hudson Forum members paulrhd29nz for identifying the radiator cowling, and oldhudsons for pointing in the direction of Don Butlers excellent History of Hudson.

Thanks for joining me on this Super Six edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’, I hope you will join me again for Ferrari Friday tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !