Foreign "Speed Devils" - 1906

This image is derived from a picture published in the Wednesday, October 3, 1906 Indianapolis Star. The photo supported articles appearing in the paper reporting on preparations for the upcoming Vanderbilt Cup auto race on Long Island, New York. Americans were keenly interested in the dashing European drivers in their exotic machines from oh-so-far-away. The three pictured here are, from left to right on top, Arthur Duray and Victor Hemery. At the bottom is Felice Nazzaro. All were winning drivers and Hemery was the defending champion from his victory the previous year. Obviously, the pictures were modified to show the men with horns to underscore the reference to them as "speed devils."
Note in the copy below that the cutline writer calls them "reckless." This was common in those days and reflects a different nuance in those times as to the meaning of the word. While this was all part of sensationalizing promotion it also, I believe, did not mean to imply that the drivers were irresponsible. The reference was to underscore how brave and daring they were.
I also want to point out that of the three drivers Arthur Duray is the only one to compete in the Indianapolis 500, in 1914. Nazzaro raced in the United States twice, in the 1908 and 1910 American Grand Prize contests. Hemery also competed in the American Grand Prize, as well as the speed tournament at Ormond Beach.
The caption that originally appeared with the picture read as follows:
"At the left of the picture is Duray of France. Hemery, also a Frenchman, is at the right and Nazzaro, one of the five Italian entries is at the bottom. These men have become known as 'foreign devils' on account of their recklessness in speeding.
It is predicted that these men will be the ones the winners of the American elimination races will have to beat."
Note that Hemery did not compete in the 1906 Vanderbilt Cup.

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