Category archives for: A Lesson in History

1939 European Championship Was Title Nobody Won

HARD RACERS: Rudolf Caracciola (left) and Hermann Lang during the 1937 European racing season. (Mercedes Photo)

In the 1930s, The International Ass’n of Recognized Automobile Clubs sanctioned a European Drivers Championship for Grand Prix cars consisting of the established national Grand Prix races, called Grandes Epreuves, literally “great tests.”

French Showgirl Became A Popular Racing Driver

DRIVER’S SEAT: French driver Helle Nice behind the wheel of an early era racing car. (Bob Gates Collection Photo)

Born Mariette Helene Delangle in a small French village, she grew up disgruntled with the slow-paced French-country lifestyle. She wanted excitement, and, at 16, pursued that desire in Paris. Attractive, slim, athletic, she changed her name to Helle Nice and found fame as a model for “risqué” postcards, and as an exotic dancer.

Built In 1958, Vaca Valley Raceway Still Sits Idle

SITTING IDLE: The outline of Vaca Valley Raceway can still be seen in the countryside between Sacramento and San Francisco. (Dann Shively Photo)

Sitting just off of Interstate 80 midway between Sacramento and San Francisco are the remains of a multi-purpose raceway waiting for someone to step in and rescue it.

Hamilton Drove Petty Car To Surprising Daytona Victory

IN THE BIRD: Pete Hamilton in his Petty Enterprises Plymouth Superbird during the 1970 season. (Racing One Photo)

The winner of the 12th running of the Daytona 500, which took place Feb. 22, 1970, at Daytona Int’l Speedway, was a driver few could have predicted.

West Coast Ace Veith Made 11 Indianapolis 500 Starts

IN THE HUNT: Bob Veith was a contender to win the 1958 Indianapolis 500. (Indianapolis Motor Speedway Photo)

Bob Veith raced in 11 Indianapolis 500s. He never won, but that mattered little. Just competing in the 500 fulfilled his dreams and, he believed, defined him as a driver — and with good reason.

Different Lengths Led To Eventual 24-Hour Battle

24-Daytona-19700061

The Rolex 24 at Daytona has long been an island of stability on the often turbulent sports-car racing scene. The Rolex sponsorship has been in place for 20 years. There have been rule changes from GTP coupes to open-cockpit World Sports Cars to the current Daytona Protoypes.

Speed Hinkley Made Mark In Early Days Dirt Racing

IN THE SEAT: California dirt-track driver Byron W. “Speed” Hinkley in 1930. (Jim Thurman Collection Photo)

Born Byron W. Hinkley in Elba, Neb., Oct. 28, 1898, Hinkley would come to be known as “Speed” on the California dirt tracks he raced on in the late 1920s and early ’30s. Growing up on the family farm near Elba, Hinkley began his racing career on fairground tracks in Nebraska — Kearney, St. Paul […]

Ruttman Stages Impressive Indianapolis Comeback

CLASSY WHEELMAN: Troy Ruttman, with team owner J.C. Agajanian in 1952, enjoyed another dazzling Indy run in 1954. (Indianapolis Motor Speedway Photo)

Three months after Troy Ruttman took the 1952 Indianapolis 500 as the youngest winner in the iconic track’s history, he severely injured his right arm in a freak sprint-car accident at Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Traco Engineering Shop Was ‘Organized Confusion’

PROVEN WINNER: A.J. Foyt navigates the Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track in his Traco Special sprint car. (Bob Gates Photo Collection Photo)

There was a time when a small, brick-front building in an industrial section of L.A., lodged between Helen’s Café and Jim Narin’s Machine Shop, housed the most important race shop in America.

Cannonball Baker’s Racing Legacy Lives On

BIKES AND BEYOND: Cannonball Baker aboard an Indian motorcycle during the early 1900s. (Bob Gates Collection Photo)

Cannonball Baker is an iconic name in the annals of motorcycle racing. The early 20th century rider was one of the sport’s first true heroes, possessing a celebrity that transcended his field of endeavor. His renown was such that President Herbert Hoover once said, “More people know Cannonball’s name than mine!”

FREE DAILY NEWSLETTER

Join our mailing list to receive the Daily News Update, Special Offers from NSSN or our trusted partners, or BOTH! You can opt-out anytime and we promise not to spam you!
Email:

Please Support NSSN’s Sponsors




Follow NSSN On Facebook!