Earl Gilmore, was inducted into the Midget Hall of Fame in 1989. He is considered “The Father of M...idget Auto Racing” by many, and all agree that he was the Tony Hulman of the sport.
The builder of Gilmore Stadium owned the Gilmore Oil Company and sponsored race cars. He saw the potential for advertising his company’s products through midget auto racing.
The company’s colors were red and cream and its mascot was a lion.
Gilmore Stadium presented midget auto racing in Los Angeles from 1934 to 1950 and featured the “Turkey Night Grand Prix,” a tradition which remains to this day.
When the stadium was sold to CBS and dismantled, many thought the event had died with it, but after a four-year absence, another Midget Hall of Fame member, J.C. Agajanian, revived the nation’s oldest midget racing event.
It was with Gilmore’s backing that Fred Offenhauser developed the 97-cubic inch version of his famous racing engine and placed it in a chassis built by Indy 500 builder, Louis “Curly” Wetteroth. The engine dominated midget racing for 40 years.
Earl Gilmore died on Feb. 26, 1964.