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American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Pre-WWII Racing


The New York Times
December 11, 1909

George Robertson Shows Best Performance on Edgewater-Fort Lee Course.


Fails to Take Sharp Turn at High Speed and Stearns Car Dashes Into Curb, Breaking a Wheel.

While driving his big Stearns car in the final installment of the Edgewater-Fort Lee hill climb yesterday afternoon, Ray Howard narrowly escape a serious injury.  The heavy machine ascended the first stages of the journey at a tremendous clip, but the speed was so great that the driver could not take the last turn, which is exceedingly sharp, and the car crashed into the curbing.  The right front wheel was shattered, and those who witnessed the accident were astonished that the auto did not turn over.  Howard, although shaken up considerable, suffered no injury.  The wrecked machine held up the racing for a few minutes, but was soon pulled out of the path of other contestants.  The best performance of the afternoon was George Robertson in a Simplex.  In the gasoline stock event, for cars of four cylinders, valued at $4,000 or over, he negotiated the steep incline in 53 2-5 seconds.  This was many seconds better than that of any of the other contestants, and in addition Robertson won first place in the gasoline stock chassis event for cars between 451 and 600 cubic inches piston displacement, with a mark of 56 seconds.

The second best time for gasoline cars was made by a National, driven by Tom Kincaid, who drove up the hill in 55 seconds.  This was good enough to win the event for gasoline stock chassis cars, 301 to 450 cubic inches piston displacement.  A National car, driven by Frank Hurmance, took third place in this event, and Kincaid, with his National, captured the honors in the event for gasoline cars selling at from $2,001 to $3,000.  The Stanley steamer also showed well, being credited with the second fastest time over the course. In the free-for-all event for cars of six cylinders, selling for $3,000 or over, Harvey W. Bell, with a twenty horse power Stanley, climbed the hill in 54 1-5 seconds.  The Stanley steamers took the first and second places in the event.

The course was in ideal condition for the climb, and there was little interference by spectators, even though the route was poorly policed.  The summary:

Gasoline Stock Cars, $2,000 to $3,000.
Car and Driver.H. P.Time.
National, T. Kincaid........400:56 57-100
Stoddard-Dayt., R. V. Morris.451:07 3-5
National, F. Hurmance.....351:08 97-100
Selden, R. Carter...........361:12 10-100
Pope-H., J. E. Blackeslee....401:13 27-100
Gront, P. H. Johnson......401:20 22-100
Knox, J. Westervelt........381:26 90-100
Walter, W. Walter..........241:43 50-100
Gasoline Stock Cars, four cylinders, $4,000 or over.
Simplex, George Robertson..900:53 2-5
Stearns, E. Badenhausen....30-600:58 2-5
Stearns, C. H. Powers.......30-600:59 4-5
Simplex, R. T. Heitmeyer....501:00 3-5
Allen-Kingston, F. R. White.481:02 2-5
Gasoline Stock Cars, six cylinders, $3,000 or over.
Oldsmobile, T. Spear........601:14 3-5
Free-for-all, all types and motive power.
Stanley, H. W. Bell........200:54 1-5
Stanley, B. G. Faulhaber....200:58 3-5
Simplex, R. T. Heitmeyer....500:59 3-5
Stanley, F. W. Bellows.....201:05
Gasoline Stock Chassis, between 451 and 600 cubic inches piston displacement.
Simplex, George Robertson..500:56
Simplex, R. T. Heitmeyer....501:00
Locomobile, R. Whitcomb....401:04
Gasoline Stock Chassis, between 301 and 450 cubic inches piston displacement.
National, T. Kincaid........400:55
Zust, U. P. Plsani..........350:57 2-5
National, F. Hurmance......350:59 4-5
Amateurs—Class A, cars selling up to $2,000; class B, cars selling above $2,000.
Stanley, B. G. Faulhaber....200:57
Buick, Dr. W. H. Hafie.....301:04
Zust, J. Derigne.............350:56 3-5
Stearns, E. Badenhausen....30-601:00
Simplex, R. T. Heitmeyer....501:01
Allen-Kingston, F. R. White.481:03
Locomobile, R. Whitcomb...401:09 1-5
Commercial Motor Vehicles—Class A, delivery wagons up to one ton capacity, (net;) Class B, trucks, up to two tons, (net;) Class C, trucks up to three tons or over, (net.)
Buick, E. H. Taylor........202:34 48-100
Simmons, F. Reitkowski....202:58 1-5
Renault, J. Street..........14Not taken

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