2012 Great Race: 1917 Hudson Indy Racer

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I haven’t been able to determine if this 1917 Hudson Indy racer owned by Gary Kuck actually competed in the 1919 Indy 500 (there was no race in 1917 or 1918 due to World War One), since replica Hudson Indy racers have competed in the Great Race before.

From Psycho On Tyres:

In 1917 Hudson built four 2100lb racing versions of there Super Six models, called Super Six Specials, these featured stock frames that had been shortened and lightened, blue printed 115 hp motors with larger valves and ports, high lift camshafts and light weight pistons along with a two carb manifold. The Super Six Specials were taken by special railway cars that served as rolling workshops to tracks for Ira Vail, Billy Taylor, Ralph Mulford and AH Patterson to drive the cars up to August 1917 when the Great War required resources be used elsewhere. Major wins were recorded at Omaha, Tacoma and Minneapolis with many placings and wins at minor events during the war shortened season. In 1919 four of the 1917 Super Six Specials were entered privately for the Indy 500, Canadian Vail and US driver Ora Haibe qualified 10th and 26th respectively finishing the race in the same order 8th and 14th.

According to the official results, there were two Hudsons entered in the 1919 Indy 500 plus two cars based on Hudsons. Looking at what historical photos of the Hudsons entered in the race that year, though, the Kuck car doesn’t look quite identical so it may be a replica. Replica or not, competing in an event like the Great Race in a 95 year old open race car is as real as it gets.

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Additional video after the jump.

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