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  • Indy 500

    Who holds the record for must positions gained, a record that will never be broken?
    In 1932 Zeke Meyer started 38th in #37 Studebaker and finished 6th, gaining 32 positions.

  • #2
    Originally posted by paul shuffleburg View Post
    Who holds the record for must positions gained, a record that will never be broken?
    In 1932 Zeke Meyer started 38th in #37 Studebaker and finished 6th, gaining 32 positions.
    It could be tied by starting 33rd, but highly unlikely.
    Last edited by studegary; 12-03-2018, 04:37 PM. Reason: clarified and corrected
    Gary L.
    Wappinger, NY

    SDC member since 1968
    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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    • #3
      If a car starts 33rd and wins the race wouldn't he gain
      32 positions?

      Comment


      • #4
        Oh my gosh! A contrarian to StudeGary!

        Originally posted by paul shuffleburg View Post
        If a car starts 33rd and wins the race wouldn't he gain
        32 positions?
        HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

        Jeff


        Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain



        Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

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        • #5
          Originally posted by paul shuffleburg View Post
          Who holds the record for must positions gained, a record that will never be broken?
          In 1932 Zeke Meyer started 38th in #37 Studebaker and finished 6th, gaining 32 positions.
          Most positions gained, yes Zeke, but -


          There were 38 starters and zeke finished 6th.

          One *could* argue that Louie Meyer and Ray Harroun, both of whom won after starting 28th made more impressive runs. The only thing that stopped them from passing more cars than Zeke was the fact that there were no more cars to pass.

          Harroun won by a minute 43 seconds and Meyer by 3:14

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          • #6
            (copy)

            • Have there always been 33 cars in the starting field of the Indianapolis 500?



            • No. After 40 cars started in the inaugural race in 1911, the Contest Board of the American Automobile Association (AAA), the sanctioning body at the time, mandated a formula for limiting the size of a starting field according to the size of the track. It was determined that the safe distance between each car spread equally around a course would be 400 feet, thereby limiting the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway to 33 cars. Speedway President Carl Fisher, however, placed a limit of only 30 cars for the "500" between 1912 and 1914 and did not adopt AAA's 33 maximum until 1915. Although there had been numerous occasions between 1912 and 1928 when the field was not filled, the allowed number was increased during the Depression years to 40 cars between 1930 and 1932 (only 38 made it in 1930) and further to 42 in 1933. The maximum has been at 33 ever since 1934, although extenuating circumstances expanded the field to 35 starters in 1979 and 1997.

            HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

            Jeff


            Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain



            Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

            Comment


            • #7
              Didn't Hurtebise pass like 23 cars on the first lap in the Novi about 1964 or 5? ...or maybe it was Bobby Unser?
              Diesel loving, autocrossing, Coupe express loving, Grandpa Architect.

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              • #8
                Hi Mr. Shuffleburg, In response to your original post, here's a link to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway website's "Driver Records & Milestones", under "Miscellaneous", 9th bullet, "Greatest improvement from starting position: 32 spots - Zeke Meyer (38th to 6th - 1932). Cheers! https://www.indianapolismotorspeedwa...ace-milestones
                Last edited by MBM; 12-04-2018, 03:58 PM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by t walgamuth View Post
                  Didn't Hurtebise pass like 23 cars on the first lap in the Novi about 1964 or 5? ...or maybe it was Bobby Unser?
                  1963 Hurtubise started 2nd in a Novi, led one lap, dropped out at lap 102.
                  1964 Hurtubise started 14th, led 0 laps, dropped out at lap 141
                  1965 Hurtubise started 20th, broke transmission first lap, finished 33rd.1966
                  1966 Hurtubise started 22nd, led 0 laps, finished 17th

                  1963 Unser sttarted 16th, led 0 laps, finished 33rd
                  1964 Unser started 22nd, crashed on lap 2.
                  1965 Unser started 8th, led no laps, finished 19th

                  While the Novis were loud and fast they didn't accomplish much at Indy.

                  I don't believe anyone, ever, passed 20+ cars on a single lap.

                  The best first lap I recall is Parnelli Jones starting 6th and leading the first lap. It was, however, in a day-glo orange STP car, a turbine.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It should be pointed out that Meyer’s qualifying time was in the upper half of the 40 car field but he started 37th by virtue of the fact the he qualified on the last day. The car he drove (#37) was called the Hunt/Jenkins special when it ran in the previous (1931) race and it was piloted by Tony Gulotta. In that earlier event it was actually leading the race with less than 50 laps to go when Gulotta was involved in a accident that sent him thru the wall after skidding on oil left by a previous incident involving race leader Billy Arnold. Later that same year the car was repaired and set a record at the Pike’s Peak hill climb. It came back to run at Indy in ’33 as car #47 driven by “Slim” Corum finishing 12th. The car has survived and belongs to long time collector Bob Valpey of Center Harbor, NH. It is restored to its 1932 configuration wearing number 37. It still races in vintage race car competitions. It should also be mentioned that it was the prototype for the other four factory sponsored entries and it was the only one that did not belong to Studebaker (co-owned by Studebaker engineer George Hunt and professional endurance driver Ab Jenkins).
                    Below in sequence 1.) Car #37 at the 1931 Indy 500; 2.) Five car team in 1932 with Zeke Meyer in #37. 3. Car #47 (far left) at the 1933 Indy, note it did not have the new streamline body. 4.) Car #37 with Bob Valpey (3rd from right) at Michigan meet in 1995.

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                    Richard Quinn
                    Editor emeritus: Antique Studebaker Review

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                    • #11
                      During the stock block era of the early 1930's it is worth noting I think that Studebaker (and much later Ford) was the only manufacturer who was willing to lay their reputation on the line by entering a factory backed team.* Of course by 1932 Studebaker held just about every stock car record for speed and endurance that was on the books. The other car companies did not wish to risk failure and possibly public ridicule should their efforts end in failure (as did Ford in 1935).
                      Consider these facts re the 1932 races:
                      In the 1932 contest 70 cars were entered, only 40 would qualify
                      All the Studebakers qualified easily
                      Cliff Bergere qualified at 102.662 faster than any pole sitting car since the event began.
                      Only 16 cars completed the entire 500 miles.
                      The Studebakers that went out of the race did so because of issues with the wheels borrowed from another team. None of the 5 cars suffered any mechanical breakdowns.
                      Studebaker powered cars finished 3rd, 6th 13th, 15thand 16th.
                      The cars finishing 1, 2 and 4 were all-out racing machines (Miller powered) costing in excess of $50,000 each.
                      The Studebaker factory entries were said to be 85% stock and cost approx. $2500 to build.
                      During the entire event at least three Studebakers were always running in the top 10.
                      At least two of the Studebaker cars were outfitted for street use after the race and driven thousands of miles visiting dealers and doing promotional work.
                      Four of the five cars were eventually given new bodies and returned to action for the 1933 race. The 5th (belonging to Ab Jenkins) was part of the team but did not receive the new body. Their 1933 performance was even better than in’32 with 7 of the top 12 finishers being Studebaker powered.

                      *Hupp entered a car in ’32. Driven by veteran independent Studebaker racer Russell Snowberger it finished 5th. The car has been restored. Of course there were many other stock block entries but these were independents that received no factory sponsorship.
                      Last edited by Studebaker Wheel; 12-10-2018, 06:05 PM.
                      Richard Quinn
                      Editor emeritus: Antique Studebaker Review

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                      • #12
                        Richard - Thank you for the pictures and the interesting information.
                        Perhaps I am missing something in your data. How can three be always running in the top ten, yet there weren't three that ended in top ten finishing positions?
                        Many years ago, I was in the riding mechanic's seat in one. I remember it as being a snug fit. As you know, I am not very large.
                        Gary L.
                        Wappinger, NY

                        SDC member since 1968
                        Studebaker enthusiast much longer

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          That was the claim made by Studebaker and I believe that they were referring to the time during the race when all 5 Studebakers were still in the race and competing. During the event, one at a time, 3 of the Studebakers went out with wheel problems so that by the time he race was completed only two of the 5 five factory cars were still on the track.
                          Richard Quinn
                          Editor emeritus: Antique Studebaker Review

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                          • #14
                            Great info! Thanks for posting it.

                            I searched all my sources here and on the internet and cannot find any info on how many cars Herk passed on the first lap before twisting off his transmission input shaft. I wonder if Donald Davidson has a website?
                            Diesel loving, autocrossing, Coupe express loving, Grandpa Architect.

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                            • #15
                              Snug fit? You bet, especially for two 6-footers like RTQ and Mike Cleary. The passenger seat is 5 inches back from the driver to create a little shoulder room in the 32-inch wide cockpit. The drivers in the 1930s were pretty skinny guys, and the riding mechanics were mostly small guys.
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                              Gary Ash
                              Dartmouth, Mass.

                              '32 Indy car replica (in progress)
                              ’41 Commander Land Cruiser
                              '48 M5
                              '65 Wagonaire Commander
                              '63 Wagonaire Standard
                              web site at http://www.studegarage.com

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