Nov. 4, 1907: Final Crash Finishes Off Ford Runabout, but Driver Survives to Race Again


Note: This is an encore post from 2006.

Nov. 4, 1907
Los Angeles

About a year ago, Eugene Rowe’s little runabout was smashed by a trolley. After some repairs, it won a trophy, but a month later, it was wrecked in the Pasadena hill climb. And then it overturned in a ditch.

Undeterred, and practicing the route of a Thanksgiving run, Rowe and his friend Charles Fuller Gates set off for Box Springs in Riverside County, where the runabout overturned on a curve. Gates was pinned under the car, crushing his left leg. Rowe was thrown clear and although he was badly battered managed to free Gates from the wreck.

The men waited until another car came along and picked them up, and they were taken to Los Angeles on a Salt Lake train.

Doctors at California Hospital say they will be able to save Gates’ injured leg. The runabout, however, was abandoned because the wheels were flattened and it could not be moved. “The radiator was caved in, the tonneau was torn from the frame and the steering gear wrenched loose,” The Times said. “This last accident seems to have put the tough little machine out of business.”

Ps. It was a Ford.

Bonus fact: Gates, a noted racing cyclist of the 1890s, went on to referee motorcycle races and was last heard from in 1915.

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1907, Motorsports, Pasadena, Streetcars, Transportation and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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