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American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Pre-WWII Racing


The New York Times
August 5, 1906

Miss Emily Potter Wins at Long Beach-One Car Stuck in Sand.

Automobile races at Long Beach are synonymous with automobile submersions by the incoming tide, and both were in evidence on the stretch of beach there yesterday.  The Long Beach Country Club, which had made two ineffectual attempts before to hold races on the narrow strip of fairly hard beach when the tide is low, succeeded in its third effort.  Four events were held, one being a half-mile race for women.  It was won by Miss Emily Potter, who drove Jack Rutherford's 40 horse power Peerless car, starting from scratch.

Two weeks before the same car was nearly submerged by the incoming tide.  Rutherford occupied the seat beside Miss Potter, and as soon as the car had crossed the line, they made a skillful change of places and Rutherford brought the car to a stop before it ran down into a gully well up onto the beach, which the tide had filled with water two or three inches deep.  Miss Dorothea Potter, who drove C. A. Hudson's Oldsmobile, got second place, but her car was not managed as skillfully in stopping as the winning machine.  She ran it too far down, it struck hard in the soft sand in the attempt to turn around, and the Oldsmobile went through practically the same experience that the Peerless had done previously.

Miss Dorothea Potter, unlike her sister, did not try any athletic dodges of wading in the water and tugging at the wheels.  This work was left to Rutherford, Hudson, and a dozen other young fellows, who by their frenzied and chiefly ineffectual antics, afforded great amusement to the crowd gathered along the beach.  The tide was very close to the motor when the needful horse appeared.  The young autoombilists hailed its arrival with glee, for the more they worked at the car the more deeply imbedded in the sand it became.  A stout rope, a good pull by the faithful horse, and a lot of shouting, combined to free the machine from its trouble, and when hauled up on the dry sand the car was quickly run down to the road fronting the hotel.

The best time of the day for one mile was made by Ralph Monjini, who is to drive the Matheson Vanderbilt Cup car.  He drove a 40 horse power Matheson touring car in 1:29, very good time for the mediocre speed conditions.  Rutherford was second with his Peerless in 1:34 1-5, and E. R. Strong was third in his Pierce car.  C. A. Hudson won the event for cars costing less than $2,500 with his Oldsmobile in 2:04 for the mile, and the single cylinder race was captured by Stanley Mott with an 8 horse power Oldsmobile.

Among the members of the Long Beach Country Club who managed the affair were Gen John T. Cutting, Col. A. E. Dick, Wallace Guilford, R. F. Ayres, A. T. Davies, Percy Thompson, Capt. F. Gilson, and Peter Miller.  The summaries:

One Mile, for Single-Cylinder Cars.-Won by Stanley Mott's 8 horse power Oldsmobile.  Time-3:11.  Driven by owner.

One Mile, for Stock Cars Costing Under $2,500.-Won by C. A. Hudson's 26-28 horse power Oldsmobile runabout.  Time-2:04.  Driven by owner.

One Mile, for Stock Cars Costing $2,500 and Over.-Won by Ralph Monjini, driving 40 horse power Matheson; time-1:29.  "Jack" Rutherford's 40 horse power Peerless, driven by owner, second; time-1:34 1-5.  E. R. Strong's 40 horse power Pierce, driven by owner, third; time-1:45 3-5.

Half-Mile Race, Handicap, for Women Drivers.-Won by Miss Emily Potter, driving "Jack" Rutherford's 40 horse power Peerless, (scratch;) time-0:52 1-5.  Miss Dorothea Potter, driving C. A. Hudson's 26-28 horse power Oldsmobile, (8 seconds,) second.  Mrs. Peter Smith, driving her 12 horse power Franklin, (20 seconds,) third.

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