Sam’s first real ride was “Old 96,” this Elto outboard-engined midget run by Slim Ruhland.
Photo: Courtesy Alice Hanks
Sam Hanks may have been a quiet man who preferred to keep to himself, but at the wheel of a racing car he became a formidable force
Between the two world wars, as Americans watched the Roaring Twenties tumble into the Great Depression and erode into the Dust Bowl, any young man working hard to make a living with his skill at the wheel of a racing car had two primary measures of success. One was the AAA National Championship, a series of races on fairground ovals around the country, the other the main event of that series, the annual 500-mile contest at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with victory there the most coveted goal of all.
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