Madison Square Garden Bowl wreck. maybe Curly Mills?

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Motorsportrace
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Madison Square Garden Bowl wreck. maybe Curly Mills?

#1

Post by Motorsportrace »

This comes from Jesper:
https://images2.imgbox.com/5c/9a/yOKLnq3z_o.jpg (wreck)
https://images2.imgbox.com/53/32/olPiuB1D_o.jpg (back of the photo, with description)

The description says:
"Wreck of "Offenhauser Special", most expensive midget racing car in the world ($2,500) - after it was driven through the crash wall at Madison Sq. Garden Bowl in Long Island City during running of world championship midget auto races.
This car, capable of attaining a speed of 110 miles per hour on a straightaway course - has been repaired and is again in competition at the Bowl."

Jesper said:
"A link at mmorg leads to a description of the car hitting the rear of another car, but that doesn't necessarily exclude the car from having gone through the fence, as well. It's the Offenhauser Spl. midget, apparently the world's fastest, at the time.

This should be enough to solve it.

http://www.motorsportmemorial.org/focus ... =ct&n=2936

Madison Square Garden Bowl was only operational in 1936:
https://autoracingrecords.com/tracks.php?lid=31400

So, it's a good guess, based on the available info."


What do you think?
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#2

Post by Michael Ferner »

I'm fairly certain that Curly Mills didn't drive an Offenhauser at the time of his ultimately fatal accident; he usually drove his own car then with a Drake V-Twin (a water-cooled conversion of a Harley-Davidson "Knucklehead" https://thekneeslider.com/1947-water-co ... ad-engine/). In fact, to the best of my knowledge, only three Offenhauser Midgets ever competed at the Madison Square Garden Bowl in 1936*, the two Ronney Householder team cars, usually driven by Householder and Ernie Gesell or Bob Swanson, and the Paul Sawyer/Fred Nickell #5, driven by Tony Willman, Ray Pixley, Louis Tomei and perhaps one or two others as well. I don't have numbers for the Householder cars, but one of them was described as "white" in July 1936, while the Sawyer/Nickell car was described as "yellow" in September of 1935; based on that fairly faded photograph, both colours could possibly apply to wrecked car!

Of the mentioned drivers, accidents were reported June 7 (Householder), June 10 (Gesell), July 8 (Willman), July 15 (Pixley), July 22 (Pixley and Swanson) and July 29 (Pixley) - that is by no means an exhaustive list, be it mentioned! For anyone interested in further research, I have identified the following race dates for the Bowl:

1 May 27 (Wed), 20 laps, 1 Curly Mills
2 May 31 (Sun), 20 laps, 1 Bill Schindler
- Jun 3 (Wed) - rain
3 Jun 7 (Sun), 20 laps, 1 Ernie Gesell
4 Jun 10 (Wed), 15 laps, 1 Curly Mills
- Jun 14 (Sun) - rain
5 Jun 17 (Wed), 20 laps, 1 Duke Nalon
6 Jun 21 (Sun), 20 laps, 1 Bob Swanson
7 Jun 24 (Wed), 20 laps, 1 Bob Swanson
8 Jun 28 (Sun), 20 laps, 1 Bob Swanson
9 Jul 1 (Wed), 20 laps, 1 Bob Swanson
10 Jul 5 (Sun), 20 laps, 1 Bob Swanson
11 Jul 8 (Wed), 18 laps, 1 Ronney Householder
12 Jul 12 (Sun), 20 laps?, 1 Bob Swanson
13 Jul 15 (Wed), 20 laps, 1 Lou Schneider
14 Jul 19 (Sun), 20 laps, 1 Bob Swanson
15 Jul 22 (Wed), 20 laps, 1 Ronney Householder
16 Jul 29 (Wed), 20 laps, 1 Bob Swanson
17 Aug 5 (Wed), 20 laps, 1 Curly Mills
18 Aug 12 (Wed), 20 laps, 1 Ronney Householder
19 Aug 19 (Wed), 20 laps, 1 Ronney Householder
20 Aug 26 (Wed), 30 laps, 1 Ronney Householder
- Sep 2 (Wed) - rain?
21 Sep 9 (Wed), 25 laps, 1 Ronney Householder
22 Sep 16 (Wed), 20 laps?, 1 Ronney Householder
23 Sep 23 (Wed), 20 laps, 1 Lou Schneider
- Sep 30 (Wed) - rain?


* only twelve or thirteen Offenhauser Midget engines had been built up until then, and most were gainfully engaged winning five or six times a week in California: Tuesdays at Atlantic Boulevard Stadium, Wednesdays at McLaglen Stadium, Thursdays at Gilmore Stadium, Saturdays at Athletic Field in San Diego and Sundays at Municipal Stadium in Santa Monica, plus wherever tracks and promoters were willing to pay good money.
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#3

Post by Motorsportrace »

Thanks for the information.
Well, I don't have the knowledge to solve this, but at least Curly Mills is excluded, which is a good step forward.
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#4

Post by willy66 »

Motorsportrace wrote: 1 year ago This comes from Jesper:
https://images2.imgbox.com/5c/9a/yOKLnq3z_o.jpg (wreck)
https://images2.imgbox.com/53/32/olPiuB1D_o.jpg (back of the photo, with description)

The description says:
"Wreck of "Offenhauser Special", most expensive midget racing car in the world ($2,500) - after it was driven through the crash wall at Madison Sq. Garden Bowl in Long Island City during running of world championship midget auto races.
This car, capable of attaining a speed of 110 miles per hour on a straightaway course - has been repaired and is again in competition at the Bowl."

Jesper said:
"A link at mmorg leads to a description of the car hitting the rear of another car, but that doesn't necessarily exclude the car from having gone through the fence, as well. It's the Offenhauser Spl. midget, apparently the world's fastest, at the time.

This should be enough to solve it. I also see racers that are wearing durags or bandanas during their racing, not sure if its for style only or they actually use it to protect their hair from sun and wind, saw some awesome designs from here.

http://www.motorsportmemorial.org/focus ... =ct&n=2936

Madison Square Garden Bowl was only operational in 1936:
https://autoracingrecords.com/tracks.php?lid=31400

So, it's a good guess, based on the available info."


What do you think?
Thanks for sharing those interesting photos and the description of the "Offenhauser Special." It's always fascinating to learn about the history of unique racing cars. The link you provided from mmorg and the information about Madison Square Garden Bowl being operational in 1936 do seem to support your guess. It's impressive to hear that the car was capable of reaching 110 miles per hour on a straightaway course and that it was repaired to compete again.

If anyone else has more insights or additional information about this car or the event, feel free to chime in. It's great to have this community to discuss and share our interests in automotive history.

Thanks for contributing to the discussion, Jesper!
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