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The 1912 Milwaukee Races (Vanderbilt Cup and Grand Prize)

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Award winning author and automotive historian Joel E. Finn, renowned for his expertise on... more
The 1912 Milwaukee Races (Vanderbilt Cup and Grand Prize)
Award winning author and automotive historian Joel E. Finn, renowned for his expertise on American Road Racing, has taken on the subject of the country's largest sporting event of 1912: The Vanderbilt Cup and Grand Prize races.

In 1912 the Vanderbilt Cup and Grand Prize races drew all the famous American driving stars to Milwaukee to compete, driving the best and fastest competition cars of the time. Ralph De Palma took the 299-mile road course Vanderbilt Cup in his 90hp Mercedes, on October 2, 1912. Caleb Bragg with his Grand Prix Fiat S74 won the 409-mile Grand Prize race on October 5, 1912. Organizers were plagued by a weather disaster that forced a two-week delay in the race, and greatly increased the expense of the events. Had it not been for bad luck, the Milwaukee races surely would have taken their place in the history of the sport as a wildly successful event, and would most certainly have been repeated. As it was, there would be no second chance for road racing in Milwaukee.

Finn examines how the year 1912 was a pivotal moment in American racing, when it was becoming evident that it would be difficult to run races on open roads much longer. Problems with crowd control, liability, the unpredictable costs of staging the events on public roads, and of course, the difficulty in capturing revenue from the attending crowds, were making it more and more difficult for organizers and host communities to run these prestigious races. 

Another notable accomplishment of the Milwaukee Vanderbilt Cup and Grand Prize races was the outstanding performance of Gil Anderson driving the Stutz, featuring an engine designed and built by Milwaukee's own Wisconsin Motor Manufacturing Company - taking third place, the highest ever accomplished up to that time by a small displacement American stock chassis car!

Technical details:
Publisher: Racemaker Press
Author: Joel E. Finn
Format: 29.5 x 22.5 cm, Hardcover
Pages: 214
Illustrtaions: 225 black-and-white images
Language: English
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