Feb 02 2013

From the Barney Oldfield Collection: Four Classic Photos and One Mystery

Wayne Carroll Petersen, the great-great-nephew of the legendary racer Barney Oldfield, has provided these five historic photos from the Barney Oldfield Collection. Can anyone help Wayne identify the one mystery image?

Enjoy Super Bowl Sunday,

Howard Kroplick

Driver Tommy Milton sitting in a Frontenac at the 1921 Indy 500 Race surrounded by Barney Oldfield and Louis Chevrolet. Milton piloted the Louis Chevrolet-owned Frontenac to victory with an average speed of 89.621 mph in a race full of attrition. Only nine of the 23 starters were running at the finish. Barney Oldfield sitting in the Premier designed to compete in the American Trial for the 1905 Vanderbilt Cup Race.Oldfield was likely preparing the racer for a vintage parade lap at the 1924 Indy 500 Race. Henry Ford, Barney Oldfield and Edsel Ford with a "Ford Special Racer". The car was powered by a Frontenac engine designed by Louis and Gaston Chevrolet and ran in the 1924 Indy 500 Race. Barney Oldfield posing with some of his many trophies.

Mystery Photo

Can anyone identify this gentleman found in Barney Oldfield's photo collection?


Feb 03 2013 hugh nutting 1:27 AM

There were 3 Ford Barber-Warnock specials entered in the 1924 Indy. 26,27 and 28. 26 did the best driven by Bill Hunt came in 14th.  No 28 driven by Alfted Moss, Stirling’s father was 16th and the car used for this photo shoot 27, was driven by Fred Harder and came in 17th.  They had Louis Chevrolet Frontinac OHV Model T engines. The chassis were built with after market parts sold by speedster parts shops. The bodies were by Morten-Brett of Indianapolis. Barber-Warnock was the Indianapolis Ford dealership.

Feb 03 2013 Ted 9:19 PM

You all probably notice on the top,bottom and both sides of the photo,something is inscribed on it,can’t make it out,this may lead to who he is. Are they words,codes or what?,that’s something to work on

Feb 04 2013 Ed 12:31 AM

I have a booklet with photos from the 1911 Vanderbilt Cup Races, run in Savannah, GA.  The “mystery gentleman” looks somewhat like the mechanic, Billy Chandler, who served Ralph Mulford, who won the 1911 event in a Lozier.  The poses are very different, of course, with Chandler and Mulford in full racing gear in my booklet.  Mulford gave great credit to Chandler’s strategy for the win.

Mar 08 2013 Ekaterina 2:54 AM

I believe that is one of the Cliff Durant MILLERS, the one drvien by Frank Elliot in the 1923 Indy 500. The louvers in the radiator shell are unique, so is the shape of the tail compaired to other MILLER race cars of that era.

Jan 24 2017 Chuck Rudy 8:32 PM

From the looks of the right front tire on the Premier it’s safe to say Barney did at most a parade lap.  The rip in the sidewall doesn’t look healthy enough for on high speed ride into turn one at Indy.

Mar 27 2020 Sue 1:46 PM

My grandfather Walter Livingstone raced with Oldfield in the early 1900s. I found records of one race where he is listed in 1907.  He was an employee and later business partner of Henry Ford.  Has anyone ever heard of him?

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