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Grandfather - what are 'speed kings'?

oldhippie 15 Feb 10 - 04:42 PM
Will Fly 15 Feb 10 - 04:49 PM
curmudgeon 15 Feb 10 - 04:51 PM
Amos 15 Feb 10 - 05:16 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Feb 10 - 06:01 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Feb 10 - 06:09 PM
GUEST,leeneia 16 Feb 10 - 10:32 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Feb 10 - 02:33 PM
Amos 16 Feb 10 - 02:37 PM
oldhippie 16 Feb 10 - 05:21 PM
GUEST,999 16 Feb 10 - 05:30 PM
Edthefolkie 16 Feb 10 - 05:33 PM
Amos 16 Feb 10 - 06:33 PM
GUEST 18 Feb 10 - 09:59 AM
Charley Noble 18 Feb 10 - 10:09 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Feb 10 - 01:11 PM
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Subject: Grandfather - what are 'speed kings'?
From: oldhippie
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 04:42 PM

In the wonderful song "Grandfather" as recorded by the Kilkenny Krew out of St Johns Newfoundland, the lyrics in part are:

"In the old days Grandfather remembers so sweet
You should see the Ford Model A's on the street
The hot Roaring 20s were a young man's delight
With the straw hat and whiskey and speed kings and dice"

Anyone know what speed kings were?


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Subject: RE: Grandfather - what are 'speed kings'?
From: Will Fly
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 04:49 PM

I think "speed kings" were fast drivers in the early days of motoring. There were certainly silent films from the 1900s that had that as their title.


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Subject: RE: Grandfather - what are 'speed kings'?
From: curmudgeon
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 04:51 PM

A kind of footwear - high topped sneakers = Tom


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Subject: RE: Grandfather - what are 'speed kings'?
From: Amos
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 05:16 PM

There was   a popular amusement ride called the Speed King--midget autos.

"The Speed King Auto Racer was a midget two-seat roadster built by the R. E. Chambers Company of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania for use at the 1939 New York World's Fair where a 60-by-200 foot oval racetrack (the attraction was called the "Midget Auto Racers") saw approximately twenty Speed Kings in constant use whenever the Midway was open. As expected, the Speed King cars were very heavy and sturdily-constructed to hold up under such hard usage.
Earlier and simpler but similar models were built by the Traver Engineering company, Chambers' predecessor, and these older cars are still in regular use at the Kennywood amusement park in Pennsylvania.

The Speed King Auto Racer utilized a single-cylinder air-cooled and rear-mounted Cushman engine and mechanical rear-wheel drum brakes. Power was transmitted through a centrifugal clutch to a jackshaft and thence by chain drive to both rear wheels. Tires were 4.00x8. Each car was 36 inches wide and 91 inches in length with a wheelbase of 65 and 1/2 inches. Bodies were hand-formed, but the American Bantam Car Company of nearby Butler, Pennsylvania supplied pre-stamped radiator grilles to Chambers for Speed King cars.
A unique single-pedal control operated both the throttle and brake. When the pedal was depressed, the car was under throttle, and when the pedal was released, the brakes were applied. In addition, a remote braking mechanism was utilized; a forward-facing hook was mounted below each car, and the ride operator had only to raise a cable to stop all the cars. As each car passed over the cable, it snagged the hook, which activated the brakes."


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Subject: RE: Grandfather - what are 'speed kings'?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 06:01 PM

1913 silent film, "Speed Kings."
1915 silent Oliver Hardy film. "Speed Kings."

Professional drivers who raced the open wheel cars at fairgrounds, etc.
See adv., Early speed track racing


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Subject: RE: Grandfather - what are 'speed kings'?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 06:09 PM

A children's story was the "Speed Kings" by G. Gibbard Jackson, with motorcycle racing featured. Jackson wrote stories about auto racing as well.

Some of these automobile-motorcycle books for kids shown here:
Classic Cars


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Subject: RE: Grandfather - what are 'speed kings'?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 16 Feb 10 - 10:32 AM

Curmdgeon, your answer works best with the song:

"straw hat and whiskey and speed kings and dice"

The shoes would have been another must-have accessory.


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Subject: RE: Grandfather - what are 'speed kings'?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Feb 10 - 02:33 PM

Ckecking 'brand' names of the 1920s, I find Speed King roller skates and tires. No shoes or sneakers.


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Subject: RE: Grandfather - what are 'speed kings'?
From: Amos
Date: 16 Feb 10 - 02:37 PM

I demur--the thrills of life included whiskey and Speed Kings (not the shoes--either the drivers or the midget autos) and dice.


A


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Subject: RE: Grandfather - what are 'speed kings'?
From: oldhippie
Date: 16 Feb 10 - 05:21 PM

I tend to think the shoes fit the best.
Perhaps the definitive answer could come from the songwriter.
Anyone know Chris Hennessy?


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Subject: RE: Grandfather - what are 'speed kings'?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 16 Feb 10 - 05:30 PM

OH: I have written to a pub on the Rock. IF/when I get an answer, I'll post it here.


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Subject: RE: Grandfather - what are 'speed kings'?
From: Edthefolkie
Date: 16 Feb 10 - 05:33 PM

In the 1930s, the term was used of world land speed record chappies like Malcolm Campbell, Sir Henry Segrave, and John Cobb.


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Subject: RE: Grandfather - what are 'speed kings'?
From: Amos
Date: 16 Feb 10 - 06:33 PM

"n this day, Dec. 13, 2001, Michael Frank Goodwin was arrested for the 1988 murders of racing icon Mickey Thompson and his wife, Trudy. Thompson, known as the "Speed King," had set 500 auto speed endurance records, more than any other man in automotive history, including being the first person to travel more than 400 mph.

Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/bios/26411454.html?page=2#ixzz0fkDAU8tO"

"A Speed King Without A Kingdom
Craig Breedlove is the undisputed champion of a sport that has all but ceased to exist: pursuit of the absolute land-speed record. Down on his luck but far from despair, he is knocking on doors to raise the price of one more spectacular assaultÑbeyond the sound barrier"

If you Google "Speed King" and ignore rock songs and computer expressions, the vast majority of references have to do with land vehicles.


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Subject: RE: Grandfather - what are 'speed kings'?
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Feb 10 - 09:59 AM

Speed King automobiles: www.onelist.com/group/CarnivalCars


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Subject: RE: Grandfather - what are 'speed kings'?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 18 Feb 10 - 10:09 AM

"I tend to think the shoes fit the best."

Or if the "shoe fits, wear it!"

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Grandfather - what are 'speed kings'?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Feb 10 - 01:11 PM

After looking over the possibilities, the Speed Kings of automobile and motorcycle fame are best.
Barnstorming groups of Speed Kings and their vehicles used to race at fairgrounds all over the country. Every kid adored them.


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