NEWS!!!!!!! McGuinness is writing a racing column in the Herald Standard, covering Roaring Knob and area race results, hot shots and happenings. It runs weekly during season and monthly off-season. Watch McGuinness being interviewed on GoingLive FCTV!
In 1912, ten years after bringing the first car to Uniontown, George Titlow started the first automobile club in Fayette County, PA.
This immediately led to three annual Summit Mt. Hill Climbs and ultimately, to the famous Uniontown Speedway board track.
In 1996, author/publisher/historian, Marci Lynn McGuinness, published Yesteryear at the Uniontown Speedway, after 2 years of research into the track that brought the rich & famous to Uniontown for 7 years. Recently, a collection of photographs from the board track has been donated to McGuinness. This prompted her new book project, Speedway Kings of SW PA & Region, 100 Years of Racing. Half of the book is on the Uniontown Speedway board track, the second half is on tracks from the 1920's through 2011 including Jennerstown, Guseman's New Uniontown Speedway, Morgantown Speedway, and many more. The author has interviewed local Speedway Kings and gathered their racing photographs. Join L.J. Dennis, Mel Minnick, Jr., the Bendishaw brothers, Russ Redshaw, Ste ve Baker, Garry Sisson, Bobby Lake and many more, as they share their daredevil stories on dirt. Why do they do it? The Rush, the Checkered Flag, and the Need for Speed.
McGuinness is also in the early stages of producing a feature film based on the story of the board track, which was sponsored by Universal Films President, Carl Laemmle and the elite of America during the coal & coke boom.
1916 Uniontown Speedway board track under construction. Carl Laemmle, Universal Films President, right in vest, passing the Universal Trophy from Billy Taylor (deceased that year in WWI) to driver, Ralph Mulford, 1918. Louis Chevrolet, 1916 winner, looks on (mustache) behind Mulford. Resta leans on hood to left.
Barney Oldfield (standing) speaks w/ protege, Tommy Milton in front of the newly built press stand. Right, Oldfield has Louis Chevrolet on his tail in a dead heat that won Oldfield and his new Golden Submarine a pot of gold worth $5000.00. May 16, 1918.
Above is the diagram of the Uniontown Speedway board track. The creek running through the infield is the stream along Adrian's Market parking lot. The track took up a large part of Hopwood, running from the National Road to the rail road tracks. Folks walked from the infield through a tunnel to the grand stands to the left.
Yesteryear at the Uniontown Speedway Cover photo: The crowd gathers in front of the Summit Hotel on top of Summit
Mountain, Uniontown, Pennsylvania. Summit Mountain Hill Climbs preceded
the Uniontown Speedway Boardtrack. Both attracted the rich and elite,
brought in by special trains. 1914
See Hemmings Motor News review/blog below...
Meet investors Henry Ford, Carl Laemmle, Willie Vanderbilt, silent film star, Vivian Prescott and her husband, Event Manager for the Speedway, George Titlow, who brought the elite to Uniontown, and Charlie Johnson who charmed the wealthy and a lovely starlet, before taking the money from the last race and running to Cuba.
Uniontown literaly flowed with money and millionaires during the coal and coke boom. Live early auto racing through the characters who created the excitement and the cars!
Barney Oldfield and Ralph
DePalma are America’s Speed Kings in 1916, when Uniontown, Pennsylvania,
the wealthiest town in the country, builds the nation’s greatest automobile
racing board track. Charlie Johnson charms the funds out of Universal Films
President Carl Laemmle, Henry Ford, Willie Vanderbilt and steel barons, then after
7 years of fame and fortune, runs to Cuba with the money.
Relive early auto racing
through the lives of Tycoon, George Titlow, and Speed King, Charlie Johnson,
from 1902 through 1922. Meet Louis, Gaston and Arthur Chevrolet, Barney
Oldfield, Ralph DePalma and Tommy Milton. See them perform amazing feats in the
day’s top racing machines, going up to 109.46 mph on a 1 1/8 mile, steeply-banked,
wooden oval track.
Witness one of the worst
tragedies in racing history as 5 die at the Preliminary Opener. Dance with
George and Anna Titlow, Charlie Johnson and his loves, as they take film stars
elite for an historical, heart-wrenching ride at the track during the coal and
Millions of racing fans,
automobile enthusiasts, and history buffs will race to theaters.
Marci McGuinness is the
author and publisher of 26 books. She specializes in southwestern Pennsylvania regional
history, uncovering unique stories. The high energy writer speaks at car club
meetings and shows, schools, organizations and events, spreading the word about
the Uniontown Speedway board track and the development of the National Pike and
She is presently working on a feature film.
Recent reviews by: Hemming Motor News, the Jaguar Journal, and
the Vette Gazette.
They call it Ohiopyle, the deep valleys of southwesternmost Pennsylvania, which few realize today has an equally deep automotive heritage. First, it’s penetrated by U.S. Route 40, the original National Road, which first took pioneers into the great frontier west of the Alleghenies in the early 1800s. Automobiles were popular with the industrial elite from nearby Pittsburgh, and beginning in 1913, competitive hillclimbs took place on National Road. Later, a famed board speedway was built nearby.
This book Yesteryear at the Uniontown Speedway, tells its story. Ohiopyle historian Marci Lynn McGuinness has published a welcome, affordable look back at this track, which opened in 1916 at the dawn of the wild, dangerous board speedway era. At 1.125 miles around and with 34-degree banking in the corners, steeper than Daytona, Uniontown was deadly, claiming two drivers before Tommy Milton, later to twice win the Indianapolis 500, captured a 200-lapper on the boards. In 128 pages, with liberal photography, the author recounts the full history of the hillclimbs, the board track (which closed in 1922) and the dirt track that ran nearby, also in Hopwood, from 1940 through 1947. Order by mail. More of McGuinness' books at: www.ohiopyle.info.