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Thread: Lindley Bothwell

  1. #1
    Insider grogg's Avatar
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    Lindley Bothwell

    This entry alway fascinated me whenever I paged through the Fox Indianapolis 500 book.

    This driver was entered for the 1949 Indianapolis 500. He was entered in a Peugeot that was built around 1915 or so.

    Does anyone know the story around this entry and what were their expectations on making the race with such an old car?

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    Re: Lindley Bothwell

    Originally posted by grogg
    This entry alway fascinated me whenever I paged through the Fox Indianapolis 500 book.

    This driver was entered for the 1949 Indianapolis 500. He was entered in a Peugeot that was built around 1915 or so.

    Does anyone know the story around this entry and what were their expectations on making the race with such an old car?
    Isn't this the gentleman who entered a race just to see how well a truly old car would do, if updated with current technology?

    Bob

  3. #3
    Registered User itsanonwingthing's Avatar
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    Gregg, I had never heard of Mr. Bothwell until reading this post, but a Google Search did provide some info that might help with your questions. Some links

    Slot Forum message board post

    "The Fabulous Fifties is an unofficial association loosely and benevolently run by Art Evans, an authority in the history of postwar auto racing in California. Many famous ex-racers are members, and Jim Hall graciously accepted the award given by Ann Bothwell, widow of Lindley Bothwell, who attempted qualifying the Indy 500-winning Peugeot of Dario Resta in the 1949 race. While he failed, he actually went faster than Dario Resta with it!"

    Oregon State site (he was a Cheerleader)


    Indy Ferrari

    "Driving the 82-year-old car was owner Lindley Bothwell of Los Angeles. The car is part of his museum collection in Woodland Hills, an L.A. suburb. He took the car to Goodwood, England, in June and decided to bring it to Las Vegas for media day.

    Englishman Dario Resta drove the car to victory in a 300-mile race at Indy - it was shortened because of World War I. In the 1920s Resta sold the car to Art Klein, who re-sold it to Bothwell's father Lindley Sr. in 1948. The car then was taken to Indy in May of that year and put through a qualifying run for an average speed of 103.5 mph. Resta qualified the car at 94.40. "


    His name comes up more often associated with the History of Cheerleading, and he one of the best car collections in the US

    Photo of the 1913 Peugeot

    with a little more Google searching, you may come up with more info!
    It's a non wing thing...........................you wouldn't understand
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  4. #4
    quiet bat person ensign14's Avatar
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    I've seen the very car at Goodwood. Beautiful.

    Wasn't it an attempt to set a record at Indy? Damned if I know which record, maybe fastest lap with 2 up, or something to do with the engine.

    I believe the car was built in 1913 and is the only instance of a pre-World War I car entered in a top line post-World War II race.

    And Lindley had nowhere else to race it, did he? It did not conform to any formula and the vintage scene in the States was non-existent.
    "An emphasis was placed on drivers with road racing backgrounds which meant drivers from open wheel, oval track racing were at a disadvantage. That led Tony George to create the IRL." -Indy Review 1996

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    Bothwell's entry of the 1913 Peugeot at Indy in 1949 was motivated by two things. One was publicity for his sponsor, Mobil Oil. That was achieved because, then as now, much of the press corps that covered the race had little knowledge of racing, so many thought he was actually trying to qualify.

    Bothwell's personal goal was to better Howdy Wilcox's qualifying record of 100.01 set in a similar car in 1919. Lindley did finally run a lap at 103.25 and was awarded a special certificate by the AAA honoring his achievement.

    Since the slowest qualifier that year was Manny Ayulo at 125.799, you can see that Bothwell had no hope of making the race.

    The Peugeot remains at Bothwell's ranch in the San Fernando Valley, the certerpiece of a remarkable collection. Lindley died in 1986, but his wife Ann makes sure the cars are seen. The Peugeot has been to both the Goodwood Festival of Speed and the Monterey Historic Automobile Races.

  6. #6
    I had the great pleasure of working with Lindley Bothwell in the SCCA Stewards program.

    Here are a couple pictures of the Peugeot in its comfortable Southern California residence.

    For a little more background on Lindley's car collection, pages from a 1952 magazine article.

    --
    fsheff

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    I too knew Lindley through the SCCA stewards program. He was a Senior Steward when I entered the program in 1975. I do recall one of the annual Cal Club picnics at his ranch. All his cars were garaged in what was really a barn, there was a minature rail-road on the ranch, and the pineapple was fresh, having been flown in from Lindley's ranch in Hawaii on his personal 707. I am sorry that I can't remember the location, but it was in the San Fernando Valley, and the real estate value even in the 1970's would boggle the mind.

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    Good stuff here...thanks, everyone.

    A TrackForum Welcome to you, fsheff.

    And good to see some others back here again, too.

    Eagle

  9. #9
    Thank you for the welcome, Eagle104. Such a pleasure to be here.

    Originally posted by jm70
    I too knew Lindley through the SCCA stewards program. He was a Senior Steward when I entered the program in 1975. I do recall one of the annual Cal Club picnics at his ranch. All his cars were garaged in what was really a barn, there was a minature rail-road on the ranch, and the pineapple was fresh, having been flown in from Lindley's ranch in Hawaii on his personal 707. I am sorry that I can't remember the location, but it was in the San Fernando Valley, and the real estate value even in the 1970's would boggle the mind.
    The ranch is a jaw-dropper for sure. There are about six "barns" in my memory count, including the "museum' and workshop.

    I'd characterize the railroad as "narrow gauge" rather than miniature. The line was only 3/8 of a mile or so long. I suppose that is miniature by one measure.

    As to losing track of where the ranch is, I think there is some kind of magnetic field anomaly in that area, some disorienting force that causes normally clear minds to leak and directions to shift unpredictably. Even with a map. Especially with a map. The Flag Team had a rally that started at the Burbank Airport (or was it Glendale?) and wandered very few miles to end at the ranch, the point being to start partying, rather than really rally. I got lost, and I was a 'sweep' car with turn-by-turn instructions! They led me directly to the Rose Bowl. My last rally experience.

    --
    fsheff

  10. #10
    Couple more Peugeot photos. If I keep practicing I may get to be good at this.
    O N E . . . T W O

    Anent the collection: you may have seen part of it: several cars were featured in the recent movie Seabiscuit.

    --
    fsheff

  11. #11
    quiet bat person ensign14's Avatar
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    Originally posted by provamo
    Since the slowest qualifier that year was Manny Ayulo at 125.799, you can see that Bothwell had no hope of making the race.
    Somewhere, Chet Fillip is smiling...

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