MAY, MEMORIAL DAY RACES AND THE MOTO-METER
May is the month when motorsports around the world really get moving. The two biggest race events will be May 27th’s Indianapolis 500-mile race and Formula 1’s Monaco Grand Prix both held on the United States Memorial Day holiday weekend.
This Indy 500 Race will also mark the 104th anniversary of the BOYCE MOTO-METER’s first use in a top-level motorsports race event. In 1913, the Indianapolis 500-Mile International Sweepstakes Race featured several Mercer Automobile Company factory sponsored racecars that used the then new automotive engine temperature sensing and indicating device Brand named the BOYCE MOTO-METER.
The BOYCE MOTO-METER was the first of its kind and was innovatively radiator-mounted in the direct line of the driver’s vision. At this time it was not yet commercially available to the general automobile owning public, nor had it been advertised or otherwise made known or aware to them.
In 1913, the top teams using the Boyce device were the aforementioned Mercer team along with Peugeot and Sunbeam. The top drivers using BOYCE MOTO-METERs, the only kind available, were pole sitter Caleb Bragg (#19) and second place finisher Spencer Wishart for Mercer; race winner Jules Goux (#16) for Peugeot; fourth place finisher Albert Guyot (#9) for Sunbeam, fourteenth place finisher Billy Liesaw (#17) in an Anel-Buick and fifth place finisher Theodore Pilette (#23) in a Mercedes-Knight.
Shown within the above photo from the 1913 Indy 500 Race are from Right to Left are Bragg (#19), Guyot (#9), Liesaw (#17) and Robert Evans in a non-motometer equipped Dusenberg (#5). Eventual Race Winner Jules Goux (#26) is in the next series of cars on the left side of the photo.
Frenchman and Peugeot driver Jules Goux ultimately won the 1913 race with Caleb Bragg friend and Yale University classmate of Motometer Company founder George Townsend II selected to start in the pole position. Both vehicles were BOYCE MOTO-METER equipped.
Race Fans, attendees and other drivers seeing this device on the top finishing and fastest automobiles in 1913 for the first time were thoroughly intrigued and impressed, they began making immediate and strong inquiries about them after the race. Suffice it to say that this 1913 Indy 500 race put the BOYCE MOTO-METER on the map for the Motometer Company and accelerated their eventual sales success prompting the following ads to be placed in industry trade publications (below).
The 1913 and 1914 Indy 500 and other major race wins aided in getting the top automobile manufacturers in America to sign contracts to have BOYCE MOTO-METERs supplied to their companies as standard installed equipment beginning with Mercer, then Haynes, Stutz, Packard and Simplex. These contracts lead to the Motometer Company’s early market dominance and overall market success.
This 2017 Memorial Day Indy 500 race event will blend with Formula 1, which holds its own annual race spectacular the Grand Prix of Monaco with two-time (2005 and 2006) Formula 1 Champion Fernando Alonso taking a leave from his Formula 1 driving duties for McLaren-Honda to drive an Indycar for Michael Andretti Autosports in Honda engine powered car.
Having never before driven an Indycar spec racecar or competitively on a high speed oval track Fernando will need to first qualify before getting to the real deal big event which is no small task.
A motor heat indicator will be present in Fernando’s IndyCar and those of his competitors among other temperature indicators and sensors in and around the vehicle thanks to Harrison Boyce’s 105-year old invention and 104th year anniversary of the BOYCE MOTO-METER’s initial world-class competitive level usage.
During the April 22nd weekend Verizon IndyCar race at Barber Motorsport Park in Birmingham, Alabama Fernando was seen smiling quite a bit as he meandered around the pits, in the NBC Sports announcers booth and signing autographs for the many fans jubilantly awaiting his presence. Fernando has been incredibly frustrated by the lack of competitive speed from his Formula 1 McLaren Honda over the past two seasons forcing an ever present frown upon his face.
It was great to see him more upbeat and rejuvenated by the prospects of being involved with something new like IndyCar. It is said that he is more seriously contemplating leaving McLaren Honda if they can't quickly develop a more competitive car.