Oldfield at the Wheel

This is a great shot of Barney Oldfield waiting at the starting line of the 1914 Los Angeles to Phoenix "Cactus Derby" on the Pacific Electric bridge on El Monte Boulevard in LA. Oldfield started fifth, and, as a result, his Stutz Indianapolis 500 racer was assigned number 5. The first car was sent on its way at 5:30 a.m. - before dawn - and hence you can see the black background behind Barney. All the cars were surrounded by thousands of on-lookers (note the face of young man just over Barney's left shoulder) and the drivers had to speed their machines through a narrow corridor of human bodies to get underway. Tremendous theater.

Oldfield_at_the_Wheel.jpg71.42 KB