Photo from the Bob Garner collection
The “Black Panther” with its Dual Right Rear Wheels
Even though large tires had been developed for use on the right rear of sprint cars, aircraft engineer and car owner “Georgia Bob” Garner came up with this dual right rear wheel setup that was used on the “Black Panther” sprint car until it was legislated out of competition. Not visible in these photos is the conventional single wheel that they put on the left rear. The dual wheels were fitted with tires of different hardness and tread design allowing each tire to flex independently which kept more tire surface on the racetrack than did the larger, single tires used by most of the competition. The dual wheel setup provided great traction, especially off of the corners. In fact, Garner first put dual wheels on both sides but that combination only served to lift the front of the car completely off of the racetrack making it impossible to steer. Other drivers joked that, since driver Charlie Lutkie did not have an ICC license, he should not be allowed to use the dual wheels. It did not take racetrack management long to decide that they just wanted one tire on each corner of the racing cars and the dual wheels were quickly regulated to a corner of the garage.
Photo from the Charlie Lutkie collection