Dec 17 2019

Popular Mechanics (February 1938): George Robertson “Making of A Race Driver”

In a featured cover story in the February 1938 issue of Popular Mechanics (page 178), George Robertson, the winner of the 1908 Vanderbilt Cup Race, wrote " The Rough Road to Glory". The article described what Robertson believed it takes to become a race driver while highlighting several of his race experiences.


Howard Kroplick

In 1938, Major George H. Robertson was the general manage of Roosevelt Raceway. I was clear that Robertson believed there would be a 1938 Vanderbilt Cup Race.

"Among these hundreds of young chaps with a consuming ambition to pilot a racer are the winners of future Indianapolis and Roosevelt Raceway classics."

Note the photo of Robertson and Old 16 during the 1908 Vanderbilt Cup Race.

"Sometimes I think we old-timers- De Palma, Oldfield, Louis Chevrolet and the rest- had more on the ball than modern drivers."

Robertson described the accident while practicing for the 1910 Vanderbilt Cup Race .

It was the last time Robertson drove a race car at speed.

Cover article "The Flying Wing of the Future"

Check out the fascinating "The Flying Wing of the Future" on page 232 in the same issue of Popular Mechanics. 

The article predicted "tomorrow's airplane-a giant flying wing without a fuselage or cabin, carrying payloads of 150 passengers and tons of baggage."

Written 81 years ago, the color illustration on the 1938 Popular Mechanics cover amazingly looks like the Northrop B-2 Spirit. 


Dec 18 2019 Peter Shriver 8:09 AM

Howard, thanks for this article! Didn’t know about it.  Happy Holidays.

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