American racing driver Lewis Henry ‘Lou’ Moore drove in Indy 500 nine times, from 1928 to 1936. He is best remembered as the pole sitter of the 1932 Indianapolis 500, while his best finish was 2nd place in his first Indy 500 in 1928. After his driving career ended in 1936, Moore became a competitive car owner. Moore-owned entries won the Indianapolis 500 five times: in 1938, 1941, 1947, 1948 and 1949. After the World War II Moore ordered two new Indy roadsters to Emil Deidt, Southern California-based chassis builder. Moore did not have the money to build his cars in time for the 1946 race but one year later they were ready. Cars powered by near-standard Offenhauser four-cylinder engine were sponsored by the Blue Crown Spark Plug company and known as Blue Crown Specials. To improve tyre wear, the car was fitted with inboard front brakes to reduce unsprung weight. Despite having only some 275 hp, their lightness and excellent fuel consumption allowed the cars to make the race distance on a single pitstop for fuel and new tyres. Moore hired 41-years old Maurice “Mauri” Rose and 40-years old Willard “Bill” Holland to drive his cars in Indy. Rose was experienced Indy driver, he had started at the Brickyard since 1933, and was the winner of the last pre-war Indianapolis 500 in 1941. Holland, on the contrary, was the Rookie, despite had a good reputation in big car racing. Holland won 1940 AAA Eastern championship in 1941, finished 4th in the AAA national championship in 1946 winning 15 Eastern and 1 Midwestern “big car” races. Rose and Holland qualified as 3rd and 8th respectively, and in the final stages of the race both Moore’s cars were in the first two places. Moore wanted to make sure that his two drivers held position. This meant that he would win the largest amount of prize money allowing him to pay off most of his debts. The pit crew displayed a confusing chalkboard sign with the letters “EZY” to Holland, presumably meaning for him to take the final laps at a reduced pace to safely make it to the finish. Mauri Rose ignored the board, and charged to catch up to Holland. Holland believed he held a lap lead over Rose, and allowed him to catch up. The two drivers waved as Rose passed Holland, with Holland believing it was not more than a congratulatory gesture. For Moore himself it would have been better if Holland had won. Bill had signed a contract for 30% of all prize money, Mauri had a contract for 40%. Moore continued to enter his Deidt cars with Rose and Holland until 1950, Rose won again in 1948, and Holland was the winner of 1949 race.
|1947||AAA National Championship||Indianapolis 500|
|Mauri Rose||27||Lou Moore|
|Deidt||Offenhauser||Blue Crown Spark Plug Spl.|
|1:43||M.A. Scale Models|