Posted on: March 16, 2011
Gasoline Alley Unplugged
By: Donald Davidson
1925 Indianapolis 500 Winner Pete DePaolo
Tagged as: Duesenberg, Indianapolis 500, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Pete DePaolo, Race Winners, racing
There are 6 comments for this post.
I think he sang “Back Home Again” for a race in the seventies.
I think the Vukovich accident web sight has a recording of him interviewing Vuky in 1955.
Both of these jive with Donald’s comment about his voice.
Coincidentally, last night I listened for the first time to my newly purchased download of the 1971 race, at which Peter DePaolo sang “Back Home Again in Indiana.” It’s available elsewhere on this website, and is certainly worth a listen if anyone is interested in getting it. I’ve heard of Peter’s book “Wall Smacker”, but I’ve never seen it. If anyone knows where I might be able to obtain a copy for my collection, I would appreciate hearing from you.
Rougher than tape, these wooden steering wheels were wrapped with 1/16″, cotton kern mantle, Venetian blind cord. Some times the line was painted, or shellacked so as to keep it taught. This was done to give the driver a firm grip when the wheel became sweaty & oily, according to my Pop, who worked for National for a short time in the late teens. Pete’s looks to have been close wrapped, then over-wrapped again with wide wraps. I did this to my old Ford truck one time. It works great, but I would not have cared to race 500 miles over bricks, hanging on to that thing either!
Peter also wrote a book about his parents “Going To See My Sweetheart”. I don’t know if it was ever published. I have a typed copy that Peter gave my parents.
Being from South Jersey, there’s a kind of Peter DePaolo connection, as I belive he lived in Vineland, N.J during the
mid 20′s. Peter was also in charge of the Ford factory teams in the mid 50′s before Nascar stopped them in 1957.
There are quite a few copies of “Wall Smacker” currently listed on eBay. I’m a friend of Peter’s son and have a screenplay titled The Brickyard Boys based on his life and the years he raced at Indianapolis. It’s adapted from the book and his memoirs.
Let me know what you think?
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