Case Race Team – Indy 500 1911,12,13 -photo from racingjunk blog 9 Jagersberger on left?

Case Race Team – Indy 500 1911,12,13 -photo from racingjunk blog 9 Jagersberger on left?
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Comments on the CASE Team by Michael Ferner:
"Three Case cars had been built for the 1911 Indy 500, all three basically identical, with 4-cylinder T-head engines built by the Wisconsin Engine Co., 4 1/4 * 5 inches (283.7 CID/4649 cc). It does not really look plausible to assume that there were more cars, but we should investigate: what about Strang’s car at Jacksonville (March 31)? Occam’s razor leads us to suggest that it was the same car he raced at Indy, and indeed, looking at the pictures of the two unpainted cars, Strang’s looks slightly "used", while Jagersberger’s has a fresh finish. Did the team ever enter more than three cars? Not to the best of my knowledge. And the accidents? No "terminal" damage? The most difficult question, as only very few pictures exist to help us out. But we mustn’t forget that in those times, almost anything was repaired, over and over again – even the engines were likely special developments, and any damage, even major engine failures would be put back into action after suitable time in the workshop, as there would be no complete spare units, only parts. Yet we should be prepared for "transformations", i.e. cars being rebuilt with more or less major changes in appearance, and maybe even specification – this should become more clear in the process of our survey."
Michael Ferner

The three 1911 Indy 500 CASE cars:
""Won many dirt track races" is perhaps a bit of embellishment, but Jagersberger did win one big meeting at the Hawthorne track in Cicero/Chicago back in June, with the car still in its Indy specification, against a field containing Hughie Hughes in the Mercer, Bob Burman (Benz) , Ralph de Palma (Simplex) and Eddie Hearne (Fiat). The cars were rebuilt during the summer months, and Jagersberger crashed at a dirt track meeting in Columbis/SC early in November, putting an end to his promising career. He was then driving a sister car, called the "Eagle" which was later renamed as the "Bullet" and run until the late teens with many famous drivers at the wheel, including Hearne, Bill Endicott and Fred Horey. I believe that the "Bullet" was originally Will Jones’s Indy ride." Michael Ferner

From the notes of Michael Ferner:
"It should be noted, however, that the "Jay-Eye-See Special" had nothing to do with the J. I. Case Threshing Machine Co. It was a Fiat, rebuilt by Louis Disbrow who subsequently joined the Case team and renamed the car to please his new employer.
Nice picture of the "White Streak", by the way. www.flickr.com/photos/91981316@N06/15370338247/in/album-7… This is one of the 1911 cars, rebodied and rechassied. I can’t be 100 % sure, but I believe it’s the one raced by Jagersberger at Indy. Ah, that’s why I didn’t recognize the driver! I haven’t seen that many pics of Jagersberger that I remembered, and since it’s the rebuilt version of the car I only checked with 1912 pictures.
"Won many dirt track races" is perhaps a bit of embellishment, but Jagersberger did win one big meeting at the Hawthorne track in Cicero/Chicago back in June, with the car still in its Indy specification, against a field containing Hughie Hughes in the Mercer, Bob Burman (Benz) , Ralph de Palma (Simplex) and Eddie Hearne (Fiat). The cars were rebuilt during the summer months, and Jagersberger crashed at a dirt track meeting in Columbus/SC early in November, putting an end to his promising career. He was then driving a sister car, called the "Eagle" which was later renamed as the "Bullet" and run until the late teens with many famous drivers at the wheel, including Hearne, Bill Endicott and Fred Horey. I believe that the "Bullet" was originally Will Jones’s Indy ride."
"Excerpt from something I wrote on the Case, "Jay-Eye-See" etc. on another forum:" Michael Ferner
"The J. I. Case Threshing Machine Company (one of the best ever names for a racing team) of Racine in Wisconsin made automobile racing history by filing the first ever entry for an Indianapolis 500 Mile race on October 27 in 1910. Though the brand name still exists, it is no longer connected to the car manufacturing business (which went under in 1927), and the total output of racing cars never even reached double digits, but its importance in racing is still enormous since it formed the nucleus of the very first, and possibly biggest ever team of "historic" racing cars in the world – the team of John Alexander "Alex" Sloan, and his travelling circus show under the banner of the International Motor Contest Association, or IMCA for short.
In October of 1910, when that first Indianapolis entry had been filed, Case had only just begun manufacturing cars, and the racing car that was going to be raced at the Brickyard was no more than an idea in the mind of Lewis Strang, a young racing driver from New York. Although young in years, Strang had already acquired extensive experience in racing, having driven Isotta-Fraschini, Thomas, Renault, Buick, Fiat, Allen-Kingston, SPO and Jackson cars in competition during the last three years, mostly very successful, too.
It was hoped to test the Case as early as February 27, during the Mardi Gras Carnival races at New Orleans (LA), but the car could not be finished in time. Luckily, though, Strang got another chance on the last of March, putting the new Case through 300 miles of a beach race at Jacksonville (FL) – actually, he completed only 270 miles, finishing 6 laps down and in last place, but at least the reliability was there. With its small 4649 cc engine, the Case was not going to win anyway, but to go through such an arduous grind without much trouble was exactly the publicity that the Racine Company was looking for. The winning Pope (6389 cc) and National (7320 cc) cars were running in a different league, but the third placed Mercer (4927 cc) finished only 12½ minutes ahead, so the speed of the little Case was competitive, too.
On Memorial Day, the three Case cars lined up in the hopeful expectation of giving a good account of themselves: On Memorial Day, the three Case cars lined up in the hopeful expectation of giving a good account of themselves:

1911 Case #1, Lewis Strang, relief driver Elmer Ray
1911 Case #8, Joe Jagersberger, relief driver Louis Larsonneur
1911 Case #9, Will Jones, relief driver Russell Smith

All three cars now sported the flashy look of the #9 car, but none of them managed to stay in the race for more than 300 miles – the steering gear proved to be the weak point on the rough bricks of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Undeterred, the team commenced an exhaustive schedule of racing over the following weeks: the Algonquin Hill Climb on June 8, the Hawthorne Track race on the 11th, Kenosha Driving Park on June 18, and Wisconsin State Fair Park on the 21st. With fair success, as Jagersberger even won the main event at Hawthorne, but Strang was injured the following week in Kenosha (WI), just a few miles south of home base, breaking an arm and an ankle. Worse was to come, as within a month he was dead, crashing fatally during a reliability tour through Wisconsin – at zero mph!!! Strang had stopped his Case touring car at a newly built bridge, in order to let a horse-drawn carriage through, only to find the fresh road shoulder giving way, and tumbling down the steep embankment – he was pinned under the car, and killed instantly.
Bereft of its leading light, the team soldiered on, now headed by Jagersberger, an Austrian-born racing veteran, and a promising young Californian named Jay Mc Nay, but incredibly, within little more than a fortnight two more careers ended in Case racing cars during November, with Jagersberger suffering very serious injuries at the South Carolina State Fair races in Columbia, and Mc Nay perishing in a practice shunt at the Vanderbilt Cup and Grand Prize meeting in Savannah (GA)! That was the nadir of a debutant year that could perhaps be best described as "character building", but thankfully, fortunes improved from here on. Two factors or, to be more precise, two persons were chiefly responsible for that reversal of fortunes, and one of them had already joined the team previous to that disastrous month of November: Alex Sloan, a former member of the management team of the already legendary Barney Oldfield, Sloan was a master manipulator, educated and entrepreneurial, with a vast experience of sports in general, and racing in particular. It was probably he who contacted Louis Disbrow, the second piece of the jigsaw puzzle, and one of the leading drivers in the country, who had only just announced that he was leaving the Pope-Hartford factory team to branch out on his own, with a "new" car he had just purchased, of which more anon.

Disbrow was present at Savannah to race the potent Pope "Hummer", merely fulfilling his last contractual obligations for the team that was about to close its storied racing department, and consented to drive Jagersberger’s Case in one of the supporting races. It was an inauspicious debut for the driver, but Disbrow still joined the Case team over the winter, apparently liking the itinerary set out by Sloan: dirt track racing, dirt track racing, and more dirt track racing – every day of the week, if at all possible! That was right up Disbrow’s alley, who really didn’t care that much about road racing, having been reared on America’s dusty fairground ovals – he and Alex Sloan would be partners for the rest of his career, well into the twenties! The setup is now complete for our journey, the "magical mystery tour" with Alex Sloan and his travelling circus show: within a few short years, the "old" Case racing team will be totally revamped, expanded and disguised, and it’s so easy to lose orientation. So let’s start right here with our inventory:
Three Case cars had been built for the Indy 500, all three basically identical, with 4-cylinder T-head engines built by the Wisconsin Engine Co., 4 1/4 * 5 inches (283.7 CID/4649 cc). It does not really look plausible to assume that there were more cars, but we should investigate: what about Strang’s car at Jacksonville (March 31)? Occam’s razor leads us to suggest that it was the same car he raced at Indy, and indeed, looking at the pictures of the two unpainted cars, Strang’s looks slightly "used", while Jagersberger’s has a fresh finish. Did the team ever enter more than three cars? Not to the best of my knowledge. And the accidents? No "terminal" damage? The most difficult question, as only very few pictures exist to help us out. But we mustn’t forget that in those times, almost anything was repaired, over and over again – even the engines were likely special developments, and any damage, even major engine failures would be put back into action after suitable time in the workshop, as there would be no complete spare units, only parts. Yet we should be prepared for "transformations", i.e. cars being rebuilt with more or less major changes in appearance, and maybe even specification – this should become more clear in the process of our survey.
A little help may be provided by the nicknames the cars acquired during the year, presumably under the influence of Sloan’s management. The first occurrence of these nicknames that I can detect is from the September 13, 1911 meeting at Comstock Park in Grand Rapids (MI). Mc Nay was there with his Cutting, presumably as part of the Ernie Moross équipe with Bob Burman, Lee Oldfield (not Barney!) and Juddy Kilpatrick, complete with a team of cars including the Blitzen-Benz. Ray Harroun was also there, giving various "exhibitions" with the Marmon "Wasp", including a wheel-change race – if ever somebody tries to tell you, that both car and driver retired upon winning the inaugural Indy 500 don’t listen! Sloan arrived with only two cars, both carrying names much in the same fashion as the "Wasp" or the "Blitzen": Jagersberger was to drive the "White Streak", while the former Marmon chauffeur Lou Heinemann was down to drive the "Little Case Giant", or "Little Giant" for short. Interestingly, a few weeks later at Springfield (IL), the "Little Giant" was entered by one A. McFadden, as opposed to the Case factory (or Alex Sloan) for the other cars, as usual – anomalies like that will happen from time to time, and though I can’t be sure if it has any meaning, it’s perhaps best to take note just in case. This Mr. McFadden also appears to have gotten some seat time in the car during the afternoon, and this will also become a recurring theme: the swapping around amongst the drivers. Other than that, one Austin A. McFadden appears as the promoter of two race meetings at Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo (MI) the next July, both (naturally) attended by Sloan and his team. Racing is a small world indeed, even in America…

More on the "Jay-Eye-See":
Before the Case team started its 1912 campaign in California, Sloan saw to it that the press knew what to expect: for one thing, joining the team now as a full-time member was Louis Disbrow, as has been mentioned. The other big news item was the cars he was bringing to the team: early in November of 1911, it had been reported that Disbrow had bought the "200 hp Fiat" of E. W. C. Arnold, allegedly the car Felice Nazzaro had raced at Brooklands in 1908, (in)famous for its alleged lap record of over 121 mph – actually, it appears to have been an identical "twin" of that particular car, an 18,146 cc (190 * 160) OHV monster with an actual output of 175 hp, according to the most reliable sources. It had been driven for Arnold by Lewis Strang and Ralph de Palma in exhibitions at the Atlanta Motordrome, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Los Angeles Motordrome at Playa del Rey. Its only race appearance, as far as I can determine, happened in a 50-miler at Indianapolis on Labor Day of 1910, where de Palma finished 4th behind Eddie Hearne (Benz), Ray Harroun (Marmon) and Al Livingston (National) – not quite the performance of a champion!
Shortly after the purchase of the big Fiat, Disbrow announced plans to convert the car over the winter into the fastest dirt track racer in the world, but consented to a public tryout during a motorcycle meet at the Guttenberg track in New Jersey, during which the Fiat caught fire and inflicted painful burns on the driver. Both he and the car were restored to health by March 31 for their first competitive event at the Lakeside Inn Speedway near San Diego (CA), where the big Fiat sported the now well-known upside-down boat body as well as the name "Jay-Eye-See Special", and was reportedly powered by a 290 hp engine of 1,760 CID – first indications of the Sloan flair for embellishment that would become a virtual trademark for IMCA later on! Somehow, Sloan seems to have become "confused", and quoted the specifications of the new Fiat S76 record car instead (apart from adding another 30 CID for good measure) – oh, well… The quoted weight of 3,150 lbs. (1,429 kg) was likely more accurate, and indicative of some actual gains in that department – not really surprising, either, as the car had been devoid of any ornamental features such as bodywork, originally!"

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