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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Golden Submarine: 1917

Golden Submarine: 1917

August 18, 1917. Racecar driver Barney Oldfield in the cockpit of his Golden Submarine at the Sheepshead Bay "speed carnival" in Brooklyn. 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. View full size.

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Top heavy

I saw this car or the reproduction of it run at the Antique Auto Hillclimb in Newport, Indiana, this year. Looked like it was a bit top heavy going on the crowned part of the road near the bottom of the hill. It would have been a truly wild ride in corners at a race track! At the very back of the car where the body narrows to a point is where the exhaust comes out. Looked like a jet powered car when the smoke came out.


I was lucky enough to see it - or a recreation at Goodwood...

It's great to see the original in context though. Thanks.

Unlike the politically correct racers of today

What I wouldn't give to see the next Indy 500 or Daytona winner interviewed in victory lane while chawing on a nice juicy cigar stub. I might become a race fan again.....


That car is truly ahead of its time, it looks like a Bonneville racer from the 40's. I don't see any roll cage though, safety was an afterthought apparently.

Admit it, Dave

You just started this site to showcase your gift for extremely clever and sometimes oh-so-subtle titles. They're often more entertaining than the photographs!

["Golden Submarine"? - Dave]

That ride was pimped!

I sure wish cars were interesting like this again. It does remind me of the Buckminster Fuller Dymaxion car except he used three wheels.

Golden Icon

The gold car in the photo below is a re-creation that's supposedly fairly accurate. It's in the Indy museum. The original is long gone.

There is, as of 2008, another Golden Sub replica, this one is a thoroughly modern reinterpretation of the original though.

Dan Webb's new Sub can be seen here. It's an amazing piece of handcrafted automotive art.

The golden egg

What a specimen of body work! The photo from joebogey shows it has survived; glad this was one egg that didn't go into a scrapyard omelet.


Wow, yes! Great to see some vintage racing and automobile themed pictures here on Shorpy. 'Ol Barney sure set the bar high, those old racer were NUTS! Not to mention the board track bikers.. crazy men.


Stop that car!

Flag him down -- that engine is smoking badly! Oh, never mind. It's just Barney.

State of the art

Considering seat belts weren't considered a saftey "must" until after WWII, this was a pretty swoopy car for the day. Here's a pic from

Joe from LI, NY

Big deal

We ALL live in a Yellow Submarine!

Thar he blows

Barney Oldfield, the ancestor of today's crash test dummy! Seriously, though, Barney and his compadres had to be unbelievably fearless to ride at pretty high speeds in those rigs of the day. True pioneers and, perhaps, truly ignorant of what a crash with no seat belts can do to the test dummy. Man, would I like to see the Golden Submarine tear past me today. Wow!

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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