Fall Speed Classic

Oakley, Kansas

Saturday - October 9, 1926

50 Miles

 

            The Fall Speed Classic was organized by Murriel Keiser8, secretary of the Oakley Advertising Club in conjunction with the Western Kansas Motor Show, an even staged to allow dealers in automobiles and motorized farm equipment from Logan, Thomas, Sheridan, and Gove counties to show off their wares.  The race was open to standard equipped automobiles of more than 25-horsepower.  A five-mile “stock Ford” race preceded the 50-mile feature race.  There was a $5 entry fee for the Ford race, winner-take-all event.

            5,000 spectators turned out to watch the races.

 

Entry List for the 50-mile Fall Classic:

DRIVER:

HOMETOWN:

CAR:

ENTRANT:

Babe Neff6

Winona, KS

Chevrolet

John Neff4

Jim White

Sharon Springs, KS

Frontenac

Jim White

Harry Kurtz2

Voda, KS

Buick 6

Harry Kurtz2

Bill Epps

Oakley, KS

Ford

Pierre “Pete” Bertrand

George Kinsley

Oakley, KS

 

George Kinsley

Walter Krhut1

Collyer, KS

 

Walter Krhut1

Carl Shick9

Oakley, KS

 

 

 

Winona, KS 

 

Hillery & Knapp5

Otto Zahn3

Ogallah, KS

 

Otto Zahn3

Ted Henderson10

Atwood, KS

 

Ted Henderson10

George Porter11

Quinter, KS

Chevrolet

George Porter11

____ Lipp7

Collyer, KS

 

Lipp Brothers7

 

 

Eventual second place finisher Harry Kurtz2 is shown here at left in his standard Buick six-cylinder overtaking Bill Epps in Pierre Bertrand’s Ford.  Epps finished the Fall Classic at Oakley in third place – Oakley Graphic photo

 

James E. “Jim” White of Sharon Springs, Kansas is shown here in his Frontenac right after winning the Fall Classic at Oakley, Kansas on October 9, 1926 – Oakley Graphic photo

 

            The only accident of the day occurred on lap two when Babe Neff6 and two other competitors ran off the northwest turn of the racetrack in a large crowd of dust.  Neff’s Chevrolet suffered carburetor trouble and was unable to return to the race.

 

Race Results for the 50-mile Fall Classic

Winning time: 58 minutes, 26 seconds

PLACE

DRIVER

HOMETOWN

CAR

ENTRANT

HOMETOWN

COMPLETED

REASON OUT

1

Jim White

Sharon Springs, KS

Frontenac

Jim White

Sharon, KS

50 laps

running

2

Harry Kurtz2

Voda, KS

Buick 6

Harry Kurtz2

Voda, KS

50 laps

running

3

Bill Epps

Oakley, KS

Ford

Pierre Bertrand

Oakley, KS

50 laps

running

4

Otto Zahn3

Ogallah, KS

 

Otto Zahn3

Ogallah, KS

50 laps

running

5

___ Connally

Collyer, KS

 

 

 

50 laps

running

6

Clovis Rankin12

Salina, KS

Frontenac

Clovis Rankin12

Salina, KS

50 laps

running

7

 

 

 

Hillery & Knapp5

Winona, KS

50 laps

running

8

Walter Krhut1

Collyer, KS

 

Walter F. Krhut1 

Collyer, KS

35 laps

tire came off

9

Babe Neff6

Winona, KS

Chevrolet

John Neff4

Winona, KS

2 laps

carburetor

 

 

Left to right:  Leslie L. “Babe” Neff, John W. Neff, and Clifford W. Jackson with the Neff’s Roof Chevrolet special.  Note that the fuel tank is mounted on top of the engine - Ruby White collection

 

 

 

 

1Walter Frank “Guts” Krhut (1893-1984) is buried in the Union Cemetery at Collyer, Kansas.

 

2Harry Kurtz (1893-1965) was the Buick dealer at Oakley, Kansas for a number of years.

 

3Otto Leonard Zahn (1904-2002) is buried in the WaKeeney City Cemetery at WaKeeney, Kansas.

 

4John William Neff (1885-1946) had a Chevrolet dealership at Winona, Kansas.

 

5This car was owned by Robert Lee Hillery (1888-1953) and Wilson N. Knapp (1889-1954).

 

6Leslie Levie Franklin “Babe” Neff (1907-1962) who also went by the nickname “Spec” Neff, was a son of John William Neff.

 

7The Lipp brothers of Collyer, Kansas were: Lawrence Lipp (1885-1956); George Lipp (1899-1981); Pete Lipp (1901-1964); and Frank Lipp (1908-1979).  It is believed that at least George and Pete Lipp were involved with the race car.

 

8Murriel P. Keiser (1900-1994) was a daughter of Al Keiser, publisher of the Gove County Advocate newspaper.  By organizing and promoting this race, she became the first known female auto racing promoter in history.

 

9Carl Shick (1894-1970) was an early motorcycle racer who owned a machine shop in Oakley, Kansas.

 

10Theodore Carroll “Ted” Henderson (1900-1998) was an automobile dealer who went on to serve in the Kansas State House of Representatives from 1944 to 1956.

 

11George Washington Porter (1907-1990) is buried at Redding, California.

 

12Clovis S. Rankin (1897-1967 is buried in Roselawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Salina, Kansas.

 

 

 

 

 

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