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1930s/40s Bill Vukovich (not) Gilmore Stadium Midget Post-Race Crash? (VIDEO)

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Jesper Hvid
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1930s/40s Bill Vukovich (not) Gilmore Stadium Midget Post-Race Crash? (VIDEO)

Post by Jesper Hvid » 5 months ago

This I've had for some time, I can't locate it in any topic, but I've found another version of it, with a note on the back.

ImageImage

Ted Manning also took the photo.

The item description:
INCLUDED IN THIS LISTING IS THE ONE PHOTO SHOWN. THE ALBUM PAGES ARE FALLING APART. I WILL BE ENCLOSING THE BOTTOM PART OF THE ALBUM PAGES WITH THE WRITING AS SHOWN IN THE LAST PHOTO.
I AM GUESSING THIS RACE WAS HELD AT GILMORE STADIUM AND I'M NOT SURE IT WAS A TURKEY NIGHT GRAND PRIX. I'VE BEEN KEEPING BUSY TRYING TO IDENTIFY THE DATES AND PLACES. THE PREVIOUS OWNER DID A GREAT JOB IDENTIFYING THE DRIVERS!
I HAVE ADDED 500 MILE RACE TO MANY LISTINGS. MANY OF THESE DRIVERS WENT ON TO COMPETE IN INDY 500 MILE RACES. I WILL BE LISTING A BOX LOAD OF 1939, 1940 AND 1941 PHOTOS INCLUDING MORE MIDGET BUT MORE 500 MILE INDY RACING.
PHOTO IS 5" X 7" AND THINNER PAPER. THIS DOES HAVE A PHOTOGRAPHER'S STAMP SO I AM LISTING AS REPRODUCTION. I ALWAYS WELCOME COMMENTS AND ADVICE FROM VIEWERS.
PLEASE EMAIL ME WITH ANY QUESTIONS.
https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/ ... 1727370495

The Thanksgiving "Turkey Night" midget event was held at Gilmore in 1934-50, so the pic may actually just be from the last year. Gib Lilley (sp?) who caused the accident is another clue, but I'm not sure I'm reading the name correctly.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkey_Night_Grand_Prix

Can't be either of the years 1945, 1946 or 1947, as Vukovich didn't win then.

http://www.ultimateracinghistory.com/ra ... rackid=810

I found the incident curious enough to merit an identification attempt, so please help if you can. I've done the Worthpoint back catalogue for eBay items I might have missed, and sure enough, there were several things of interest, and you've seen all of those in the latest of my posts.
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Post by Michael Ferner » 5 months ago

It's Gib Lilly.

Gilmore Stadium ran more than one race a year, in fact it was a weekly track, and we're talking California so that's about 50 races a year. Both Lilly and Vukovich began racing in the thirties, although I'm not sure either raced at Gilmore before the war, as Gilmore was mostly AAA-sanctioned then, and I don't believe either joined AAA before 1948. However, during 1945 and '46 the URA sanctioned Gilmore, and that was both Lilly's and Vuky's club. '45 can't have been much, so that likely leaves '46, and '48-'50 - 4 years, roughly 200 main events. I have at least partial results for about 100 of them, including three 75-lappers won by Vuky (Sep 2 and Nov 11 in 1948, and May 12 in 1949), and I checked all three reports again but none mention a crash after winning a heat (which should rate a mention in a newspaper, I'm sure).

I agree, this is an interesting incident, and it would be good to know the particulars, but it's not going to be easy to identify the event. Midget research in this era is *quite* difficult because of the sheer mass of races (we're talking thousands per year!), but some day someone will have all the results, I'm sure. I'm not particularly keen on being that person, but as things stand I don't see many others involved in this business, so maybe it will be me. But don't expect rapid progress in this matter.
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Post by Jesper Hvid » 5 months ago

Thanks for the effort so far. I vaguely remember Manning's name from the old Revs site, so perhaps the same image is there, with possible specifics. I'll have a look. And I think 1930s is the right decade.
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Post by Michael Ferner » 5 months ago

Hang on, where does it say Gilmore Stadium? It's just a guess by the guy who sells the picture, right? Gilmore usually ran Thursday nights, and this is a daytime race!! That crash wall looks very peculiar, I'm sure that can be identified.
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Post by PTRACER » 5 months ago

So. This is the most random coincidence that could have ever possibly occurred.

I was looking through Getty images just now and decided to type in 'racing crashes'. Now, some old Midget video pops up and I decide to take a look.

What do I find? Well, I find a video of this crash, don't I? Here's a screenshot for comparison:

Image

The video is here: https://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/vi ... e/91807450

It's actually a clip from a 1947 motion picture called 'Born To Speed'. The car number is #52.

Does that help @Michael Ferner or @Jesper Hvid ?
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Post by Jesper Hvid » 5 months ago

Yes, Gilmore is out, and so are probably the 1930s. Thanks for the video! Haven't seen BTS. We can invest in that, see what else is on there.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Born-to-Speed- ... :rk:1:pf:0
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Post by Michael Ferner » 5 months ago

Actually, everything past 1947 is out, which makes the thirties much more likely!

Great find, Paul - amazing coincidence!! :O
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Post by PTRACER » 5 months ago

Michael Ferner wrote:
5 months ago
Actually, everything past 1947 is out, which makes the thirties much more likely!

Great find, Paul - amazing coincidence!! :O
For sure! I've "obtained" a copy of the movie. All movie scenes on the track were filmed at Bakersfield Speedway. It also mixes up with some 'stock' footage, which may also be Bakersfield. So that would leave us with 1946/7, right?
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Post by Jesper Hvid » 5 months ago

Yeah, something like that. Vuko was barely out of his teens in the late 1930s, anyway, so that's unlikely.
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Post by Jesper Hvid » 1 month ago

Image
You only have to read the lines of scribbly black and everything shines.

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