Bert Dingley

Winner of the 1905 American Elimination Trial

Nationality: United States
Born: August 21, 1885 Oakdale, California
Died: April 7, 1966 Indianapolis, Indiana 80 Years

Bert Dingley was born on August 21, 1885 in Oakdale, California. He was one of the pioneer West Coast drivers. His first recorded race was at the Del Monte race track near San Francisco in 1904. He later raced for the Pope-Toledo team at the Los Angeles Agricultural Park, coming in first in three races and second in the fourth.







In 1905, Bert Dingley came to Long Island as part of the Pope-Toledo team to compete in the 1905 American Elimination Trial and the Vanderbilt Cup Race.Dingley is third from the left in the first row.







This was Dingley's #2 Pope-Toledo at the starting line of the 1905 American Elimination trial competing against nine other racers.







In what was to be his best performance on Long Island, Dingley came in first place, averaging 56.2 miles per hour over the 113 mile race. He was selected as one of the five American entries for the 1905 Vanderbilt Cup Race.







Pope-Toledo celebrated the victory with this ad.



















In the 1905 Vanderbilt Cup Race, Dingley's #3 Pope-Toledo competed against four American cars and 14 international racers.







Dingley can be seen here making the New Hyde Park Turn from Lakeville Road on to Jericho Turnpike. During the race, a cylinder of his Pope-Toledo broke down during the first lap.







After making repairs, Dingley was still running way behind in lap 6 when the race was stopped and finished 12th.

In the 1906 American Elimination Trial, Dingley was asked by his friend Herb Lytle to be the mechanician for a Pope-Toledo racer. The dynamic duo was featured on the cover of the September 20, 1906 issue of Leslie's Weekly.










The Pope-Toledo's headquarters were based at the Bulls Head Auto & Wagon Shed in Greenvale.










Their #2 Pope-Toledo finished fourth to apparently qualify as one of the five American cars. However, the car was disqualified for being towed to restart during lap 8.










Bert Dingley returned to the Vanderbilt Cup Races in 1910 as the driver of the #22 Pope-Hartford.







Here Dingley (right) posed with his teammate Jack Fleming (left) with a member of the Pope-Hartford team. Note the California flag that was proudly displayed.







Dingley can be seen here taking the Westbury Road from Old Country Road on to Ellison Road. Note the spectators watching from the trees and telephone poles.







At the end of lap 8, the #22 Pope-Hartford was running strong in fifth place among the field of 30 cars in the 22-lap 278 mile race. Note the men in the service "pit". The 1910 pit rules were revised allowing two of the pit crew to assist and driver and mechanician. However, this assistance was limited to the replenishment of water, oil, and fuel and the replacement of tires. These crew members could also crank start the car.







His car finished in tenth place, completing all 22 laps at an average speed of 59.90 mph. Jack Fleming finished in sixth place in the #17 Pope-Hartford.

In 1914 he was seriously injured while driving an Ono at Tacoma and spent months recovering in the hospital. Bert Dingley died at the age of 84 on April 7, 1966 in Indianapolis, Indiana