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American Roadster: 1909

American Roadster: 1909

American roadster at the Vanderbilt Cup, 1909. View full size. George Grantham Bain Collection.


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Did Not Start?

The Vanderbilt Cup Race website states that this vehicle did not start the race.

See the starting lineup details here.

William Edward Haupt (July 10, 1885, East Cameron, PA - April 16, 1966, Elkins Park, PA) started racing in 1906. He was 5' 3" tall with blue eyes and light colored hair. In the 1908 Vanderbilt Cup, in a Chadwick Big Six he came in 10th. He completed in four Indianapolis 500 races with a best finish of 9th in 1913.

He became the first driver to win in a supercharged car by adding a blower to his Chadwick and winning the Giant's Despair Hill Climb at Wilkesbarre, PA on May 30, 1908 (photo below). In the "Special Against Time" race his time was 1:38 and 2/5 seconds , which was 11 seconds faster than the winner the previous year. He also won the "Free For All" race with a time of 1:41 and 2/5 seconds.

He became a works driver for Benz (before it was Mercedes-Benz) and later was a teammate at Duesenberg with Eddie Rickenbacker, the future WWI Ace. Haupt worked as an aircraft engineer later in life.

Bad luck...

Willie Haupt (at the wheel) was not so lucky in the 1909 Vanderbilt Cup... With his American #2, he was the first of the 16 starters to get off the race in the first lap, by a broken crankshaft.

Very steam-punk.

Very steam-punk.

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