The Death of "Whistling Billy"

Published February 14, 1909 in the Indianapolis Star this article reports on a track race meet somewhere in Los Angeles featuring an appearance by Barney Oldfield in competition with a driver by the name of Gus Seyfried in the legendary race car, "Whistling Billy." Since the original Whistling Billy dashed through a fence at the Kennilworth track in Buffalo back in 1905 it is not clear to me whether the car described in this article is that "Whistling Billy" or a replacement using the same name.
According to the article the Whistling Billy, a White steam car, was destroyed in this event. Reportedly the White Company officials offered Seyfried a $1,000 bonus if he could best Oldfield. The result was a terrifying accident as the car inexplicably exploded, perhaps due to excess steam pressure for greater horse power, turned abruptly and crashed through the infield fence in front of the grandstand. The car rolled over several times bursting into flames. Fortunately for Seyfried, who had had another terrifying accident at Ascot Park in a different White car just weeks earlier in December, he was thrown clear and aside from cuts, scrapes he was fine. The car was destroyed. According to the article White racing team had been barnstorming the Southern United States with great success. A specific November 1908 race at Elm Ridge (Missouri, near Kansas City) is cited as a runaway victory for the car but it is not clear who drove it.
The article fails to report on how Oldfield fared.

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