Mystery Foto #3 Solved:Driver Arthur Chevrolet After His Marquette-Buick Broke Down in the 1910 Race
This weekend's Mystery Foto showed the importance of the Vanderbilt Cup Races to the drivers of the era.
Mystery Foto questions:
-Identify the driver.
Arthur Chevrolet, the brother aof Louis and Gaston Chevrolet
-Identify the race car.
The #3 Marquette-Buick
-Identify the Vanderbilt Cup Race and why the driver was so upset and so in despair.
The 1910 Vanderbilt Cup Race. During the 8th lap, the chain broke on his racer. Out of the race, Arthur collapsed in despair, perhaps, foreshadowing bouts of depression which he would suffer for the rest of his life.
Congrats to Greg O., Robert Greenhaus, Art Kleiner, Steve Lucas, Frank Femenias and Ariejan Bos for correctly identifying Arthur Chevrolet and the Marquette-Buick.
The Chevrolet Brothers
Arthur Chevrolet (center,1884-1946) was the middle brother of Louis Chevrolet (left,1878–1941) and Gaston Chevrolet (right,1892–1920). After brother Louis immigrated to America and earned enough money, he sent for Gaston and Arthur to join him. Once there, Arthur worked as an automotive mechanic and joined his brothers in automobile racing.
1910 Indianapolis Speedway Races
Arthur’s first three races were held at the Indianapolis Speedway on May 28, 1910 (finishing 4th in a Buick), July 2, 1910 (finishing 4th in a Marquette-Buick) and July 4, 1910 (finishing 5th in a Marquette-Buick). When he was not driving, Arthur worked on Louis’ Buick Bug (standing to the right of the driver’s seat).
1910 Vanderbilt Cup Race- October 30, 1910
Like his brother Louis, Arthur drove a Marquette-Buick in the race.
Arthur and his mechanician Bob Evans at the starting line with the #3 Marquette-Buick
Arthur on the Long Island Motor Parkway approaching the Merrick Avenue Bridge. The Meadow Brook Lodge can be seen on the left.
During the 8th lap of the 22-lap race, the chain broke on the Marquette-Buick. Out of the race, Arthur collapsed in despair, finishing 27th of the 30 entries.
1911 Indy 500 Race- May 30, 1911
Arthur drove the #16 Buick in the inaugural Indy 500.
The #16 Marquette-Buick started in the third row. After 30 laps, a broken crankshaft forced Chevrolet from the race. He finished 36th of the 40 entries.
1916 Indy 500 Race
In 1916, Arthur became a partner with his brothers in the Frontenac Motor Corporation. Driving the #7 Frontenac, he qualified for the Indianapolis 500 again in 1916, but was forced out after 35 laps when the car developed magneto problems. The following year, Arthur became a U.S. citizen
1920 Indy 500 Race
Arthur’s driving career ended during practice for the 1920 Indy 500 when he was severely injured in a crash. His brother Gaston (left) went on to win the race in a Monroe-Frontenac. However, a few months later Gaston was killed when he crashed on lap #146 of a Los Angeles Speedway race in Beverly Hills, California.
Chevrolet Brothers Manufacturing Company
In the 1920′s, Arthur and Louis owned the Chevrolet Brothers Manufacturing Company in Indianapolis that made cylinder heads for Fords and racing cars called Fronty-Fords. The Fronty-Ford creations consistently won at smaller race tracks across the country. In seven years, the company filled over 10,000 orders for cylinder heads and race cars. In 1928, Arthur filed with the US Patent Office for an “Overhead Valve Engine" and was awarded a patent on January 21, 1930.
Building Sprint Cars
Arthur Chevrolet also began building sprint type race cars and became one of the pioneer leaders in that field. In 1990, his efforts were recognized when he and his brother Louis were named to the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum.
Chevrolet Brothers Aircraft Company
In 1929 Louis and Arthur Chevrolet left the auto business altogether to form the Chevrolet Brothers Aircraft Company. They began producing and efficient aircraft engine called the Chevrolair 333. With the stock market crash, the brother lost the company to a Baltimore investor Glenn L. Martin who built a successful company around the engine.
The Death of Arthur Chevrolet
Despite Arthur’s talent for design and engineering, he had little talent for business and was often pushed out of the endeavors before he could reap the rewards. Arthur was financially broke and suffering from bouts of debilitating depression. He moved to Slidell, Louisiana to work as a master mechanic for the Higgins Engine Company. Four years later, he committed suicide, only nine days short of his 62nd birthday.
Until recently, it was assumed that Arthur Chevrolet was buried next to his brothers in an unmarked grave in Holy Cross Cemetery in Indianapolis. However, research indicated that he was actually buried in Slidell, Louisiana.
On Nov. 3, 2011, 100 years to the day after the founding of the Chevrolet Motor Co., the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, in conjunction with a local mortuary, furnished this cenotaph honoring Arthur Chevrolet near the headstones of his brothers in Indianapolis.