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Speed Maniac: 1920

Speed Maniac: 1920

Washington, D.C., circa 1920. "Empress Theater, Ninth Street N.W. (Washington Herald)." Now playing: Tom Mix in The Speed Maniac, sandwiched between Hong Kong Restaurant and the Marines. National Photo glass negative. View full size.


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The car looks like a 1919 Overland, probably a Light Four 90 with 5-passenger touring body. It was powered by a four cylinder 32-hp engine and sat on a 106 inch wheelbase. The car cost $985.00. This was the last year for this body style. The next year Overland's had a much more of a square or box appearance at the front and hood louvers would be introduced.

The 1919 model year can be visually separated from 1918 by the lack of rectangular detail on the body panel covering the chassis. Even Overland overlooked this detail as it continued to show the rectangular detail in some 1919 ads such as the one shown below.

A Few Good Men

I wonder how many young men went in to get their pants hemmed and wound up in the Marine Corp.

The Speed Maniac

Sadly prophetic for its star, as Tom Mix lost his life in a 1940 auto accident where speed played a factor. The Cord roadster he was driving that day was salvaged and later reconditioned; it's story and restoration were featured in the Antique Automobile Club of America's magazine a few years ago.

What's playing?

I wonder what movie is playing this week?


Noticing the other poster, advertising the Lloyd Hamilton movie, I wondered who that actor was, and found this disturbing tale bubbling to the surface in most accounts:

While working on a Ham and Bud comedy in the autumn of 1915, he suffered a compound fracture of his left leg and was unable to work for months afterward. The injury is said to have inspired the mincing walk he affected in his later solo comedies. In September 1931 he was struck by a car and fractured his left leg again. After his release from the hospital two months later, he was demonstrating to his friend Rex Lease how well he could walk without crutches when he fell and broke his right leg.

Movie Posters!

In the spirit of the American Pickers show, can you imagine what those Tom Mix movie posters would be worth today if someone had preserved them?

Mix in a Race Car?

I guess Tony stayed back in the barn, muttering imprecations at his agent.

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