So, i’ve written several times about a relative of mine, Lee Frayer. Lee had his own car company (Frayer-Miller) during the early 20th century, raced in the first Indy 500 and takes credit for several innovations (invented the first V6 automobile, introduced air cooling innovations that companys like VW latched onto years later, invented the first wire wheels, etc.) Being a car guy, im fascinated by the history…
Well, i just discovered that one of the Frayer-Miller cars won an economy race that was held in 1906 between Los Angeles and Pismo Beach (it was mentioned in a June 17, 1906 LA Examiner newspaper.) The race was promoted by Earle C. Anthony, who was an early California Packard dealer, as well as the founder of the well known AM radio station in Southern California, KFI.
In this race, the contest for the economy prize was to demonstrate the lower expense of traveling in an automobile machine, versus other forms of transportation used during those times. The notable means of making this trip would have been via train, which would have cost a tad over $6.00 (that seems expensive to me, being 1906 and all…)
E.H. Howe carried 5 passengers with him in his Frayer-Miller. Took him 2 days to do the trip, at a cost of $1.27 per passenger (everything in connection with the car was considered — cost of oil and gasoline consumed, wear and tear on the car, cost of repairing punctures, and any broken parts of the machine.) Also take into consideration that there really wasnt very good roads then (more like wagon trails,) and broken springs, etc were a big problem with the cars during the race.
Here’s a picture of a Frayer-Miller that would have been similar to the one that won this race:
Add comment December 27th, 2009