Wolters On ‘18 Henderson Breaks Mt. Wilson Record

New time of 26 Min. 24 Seconds Smashes Best Auto Record-9.3 Miles of Roadway In Poor Condition-One Spill

By Unknown, Photography by Unknown

From the April 1918 issue of Motorcyclist Magazine

Los Angeles, March 26.-When August (Blick) Wolters shot his ‘18 stock Henderson up the 9.3 miles of serpentine Mt. Wilson toll road, near Los Angeles, in 26 minutes, 24 seconds, this morning, he had the immense satisfaction of knowing that he had traveled that particular mountain highway in faster time than anyone has ever before traveled it. Many automobiles have gone up against the Mt. Wilson course in record trials, but the best time that has ever been made by a four-wheeler on this famous roadway of 144 hairpin turns is 26 minutes, 56 1-5 seconds. With a margin of 32 1-5 seconds to its credit, the Henderson tonight presents a target at which future record aspirants will probably shoot in vain for some time to come.

Game Rider and Powerful Machine

The story of Wolters’ successful attack on the Mt. Wilson record is the recital of a game, heady rider’s use of all his skill and knowledge in the face of adverse conditions and the record of a machine that is a marvel of speed and power and endurance. The Mt. Wilson toll road is a good mountain highway,-under dry weather conditions it is an excellent road. It attains an elevation of 5,886 feet at the summit and the real climb starts at the lower toll house, which is at 1,250 feet elevation. The road connecting these two points is 9.3 miles in length, all up-hill, with exactly 144 abrupt, hairpin turns, average grades of 10 per cent and several pitches of 18 per cent. The winter rains have furrowed the roadway with numerous ditches. Cross-wise drains further remove the road from the boulevard class. Road crews have scratched over the surface, loosening it just enough to make traction difficult, and the recent rains and snow have made the inner side of the road an ever-present danger on the turns. Under these conditions the record attained by the Henderson four-cylinder is all the more remarkable.

But here’s the story of “Blick’s” ride, as told by C. Jaffe, Pacific Motorcyclist’s representative:

Seven-thirty in the morning at the foot of Mount Wilson toll road and cold as a first line trench in December. There were “Blick” Wolters, Tennant Lee, George Rubsch., Percy Cahoon, Lieut. James E. Helpling, Jack Fletcher, and quite a number of others known along the Row.

Why were we there? Oh, “Blick” had been sulking around for a month, ever since some four-wheeled gas wagon driver had started bragging about his 26:56 1-5 run up the trail.

“Blick” would make Doug Fairbanks look like an amateur when it comes to optimism. He had been talking about 20 flat over the course, even hinting about 19, as if it were a little before-breakfast spin for appetite purposes.

At the lower toll house the crowd separated, some of us hurrying on to the top and the others, including the challenger, remaining below to receive the word to start. We were a merry little crowd when we started for the top. 20! Why, there was nothing to it! “Blick” could stop to pick wild geraniums along the way, and make that.

We hadn’t gone over a half a mile, however, when Lee yelled back at us, “Barring accidents, the boy is going good if he makes it under 23.” We didn’t say anything-we were just contemplating that road.

By the time we reached the Half-Way House it was the concensus of opinion all around that the lad wouldn’t have much time for reading or knitting if he was to do the trip in 25.

Roadway of Ruts, Rocks and Ruin

The road is always closed at this season of the year, so the bad spots can be fixed. This was just a couple of days after the Grand Opening, and it looked like we’d slipped into a theatre at 7:30 with the curtain due to rise at 8:15.

By Unknown
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