Apr 27 2010

Dario Resta and the Peugeot- Repeat Winner of the Vanderbilt Cup Race

As a follow-up to last week's post on the 1915 Peugeot EX-3, Harold Osmer, an expert on West Coast racing and co-author of the book Real Road Racing:The Santa Monica Races, has provided this wonderful photo of the winning Peugeot at the 1916 Vanderbilt Cup Race held in Santa Monica. As in the 1915 race, the Peugeot was driven by Dario Resta.

Harold provided the following note on the photo:

Caption: "A lot of people after driving a race like that 1916 Santa Monica Vanderbilt Cup] would have cried aloud for some stimulant such as alcohol. Resta simply requested a bottle of milk, and drank the same to the dregs before dismounting." -LA Times-

Keep in mind that when Miller had a look at the Peugeots, he immediately recognized that the key to race engine design and engineering lay in precision, as opposed to brute force. Seeing the French engines first hand enabled him to finalize his own designs and thus produce the Miller engines, unsurpassed on American board tracks. Millers begat Offenhauser, which, in turn, begat Meyer/Drake.

Thus, the early Peugeot race cars are, quite unmistakedly, the most significant race cars ever built.

Dario Resta and the Peugeot would be the last winner of the William K. Vanderbilt Jr. Cup. The 1916 race was captured in this 30-second newsreel.

Thanks Harold for your contribution to VanderbiltCupRaces.com!


May 03 2010 Randy Reed 12:19 PM

While it is very true that Dario Resta was a repeat winner driving a Peugeot, it should be noted that it was in two different models. 1915 was in a L56 and 1916 was in a L45. The Peugeot family of early race cars were very significant in race engine design, but their race performance was very much on a par with their contemporaries such as Delage, Stutz, Mercedes and Deusenberg. The two most notable races, the French GP at Lyon in 1914 and the Indianapolis 500 in 1915 resulted in a defeat by the 4.5 liter Mercedes. Earl Cooper was crowned US Champion in 1915 driving for Stutz with an engine copied from the Mercedes.

May 16 2010 Howard Kroplick 2:18 PM

Hi Randy:

Thanks for the information!


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