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1947 Auto Racing Highlights

Mauri Rose won the 500-mile Memorial Day race at Indianapolis, Indiana, on May 30. Rose battled with William "Wild Bill" Holland for more than a hundred miles, and Holland was ahead for more than fifty of them. Rose took the lead for good with 8 laps to go and beat Holland by 32.12 seconds.Both men drove Blue Crown Spark Plug Specials. Rose's average speed of 116.358 miles per hour was the second fastest in event history. The race was marred by the death of William "Shorty" Cantlon, whose car struck a wall at the close of the first hundred miles.

Mauri Rose winning Indianapolis
Mauri Rose winning Indianapolis

"Wild Bill" Holland won the 100-mile AAA Champ Car race at Langhorne, Pennsylvania, on June 22.

Walt Ader won the 100-mile AAA Champ Car race at Lakewood Speedway in Atlanta, Georgia, on July 4.

Charles Van Acker won the 100-mile AAA Champ Car race at Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on July 27.

On September 16 John Cobb, a 47-year-old fur broker, drove his Railton Mobil Special at 394.196 miles per hour over the straightaway of the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, making him the fastest man on land. In addition to breaking his own record of 368.9 m.p.h. (set at Bonneville in 1939), Cobb also became the first person to travel morethan 400 m.p.h. on land when he hit 403.135 m.p.h. during his second run.

The aluminum-alloy body of Cobb's Railton Mobil Special could be lifted in a matter of minutes to make repairs and/or allow Cobb to get into or out of the cockpit.
Railton Mobil Special

John Cobb is greeted by his wife at the end of his record-setting run.
John Cobb

Tony Bettenhausen set an AAA 100-mile dirt track record of 92.4 miles per hour at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, Illinois, on September 28.

Ted Horn was declared the 1947 National Automobile Racing Champion bythe contest board of the A.A.A. in December, with Bill Holland second. Horn took first place by winning the last national championship race at Arlington Downs, Texas, in November. His final points were 1,920, Holland's 1,610.

In the Year 1947

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The Robinson Library >> Recreation >> Automobile Travel and Racing

This page was last updated on November 26, 2017.