Monday, June 4, 2012

Samsung Transportation Museum Part Sixteen: 2nd Floor Gallery – Racing Zone

The second floor gallery of the Samsung Transportation Museum is much smaller than the first. That’s because the first floor lobby is open to the roof, so there’s a good view of it once you climb the stairs. Despite that, there are still two exhibition spaces, the first of which is devoted to auto racing.

There are several cars representing the history of racing. When I was there, the oldest car on display was a 1917 Hudson Super Six Racer, with the most recent being a 2000 Hyundai Tiberon or possibly the unidentified BMW (I’m thinking an M3). We’ll take a closer look at some of them in today’s post and cover more tomorrow.

1917 Hudson Super Six Racer
1917 Hudson Super Six Racer by Kate Tompkins

I found this car fascinating. I assume the answer has something to do with aerodynamics, but I’ve never understood why these old racers are pointed at the back, but not at the front.

According to Wikipedia, Hudson built cars in Detroit from 1909 to 1954, at which point they became part of American Motors, who continued to produce them at a factory in Wisconsin until 1957. While Hudsons were once fairly common, they seem to be a rare breed today. I’ve only seen one other Hudson, a 1951 at a local car show, and it was quite heavily modified.
1917 Hudson Super Six Racer by Kate Tompkins

The “Super Six” in the 1917 Hudson’s name refers to its straight six engine, found in most Hudsons to the very end of production. PsychoOnTyres says there were four of the 1917 Hudson racers in the 1919 Indy 500. A Hudson bearing No. 27 like the one in the Samsung museum is the 7th photo in the photo gallery from the 1919 Indy 500. It finished in 8th place, driven by Canadian Ira Vail.

1931 Leon Duray Indy 500 race car
1931 Leon Duray Indy 500 race car by Kate Tompkins has a great article on racer Leon Duray, and there’s another at Dick Ralstin’s racing home page. Judging from the latter website, the car in the museum is (or is a replica of) a 16 cylinder car Duray had manufactured for the 1931 Indy. It overheated in six laps and never finished the race.


  1. Duray's 16 cylinder engine from this car is listed on eBay. Search for eBay Item No.

  2. Duray returned home to Los Angeles and after a brief one-year retirement, Duray qualified 29th for the 1931 ‘500’ in a car equipped with a supercharged 16-cylinder two-cycle engine of his own design financed by Cliff Durant. As described in the September 1931 issue of Popular Mechanics magazine, the engine was comprised of four cylinder blocks, and the crankshaft had eight crankpins, with each pair of bores linked to one crankpin. In the paired bore, the pistons moved up and down in tandem, below a single combustion chamber. At the base of the stroke, one piston uncovered the exhaust port, while the other uncovered the intake port, all fed by a gear-driven supercharger. Duray’s engine proved powerful but all month long, it constantly overheated, as the water jackets proved too thin and the cooling water quickly boiled away. During the race, the car quickly overheated and retired on lap six and finished 37th in Leon’s final ‘500’appearance, but Duray entered the Myron Stevens Whippet-based chassis equipped with a variety of engines at the Speedway through 1937.

  3. Please may I borrow the image of the Duray V16. I want to use it in a conversation on a forum. I will credit you with the image.


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