Ray Crawford
26/10/1915 - 1/2/1996

Ex WWII fighter pilot, Crawford drove in the AAA and USAC Championship Car series. he made 13 starts, including 3 at Indy. He finished in the top ten six times. He also came fourth at Monza in the Race of Two Worlds in 1958.

Ray Crawford died 25 years ago, he was 81


Ray Crawford was born in Roswell, New Mexico. He was a WWII fighter pilot who later drove in the AAA and USAC Championship Car series. He made 13 startes in the 1954-1959, including the Indianapolis 500 races in 1955-1956, and 1959. He posted 6 top ten finishes.

where the best of Grand Prix racing would race the best of Champ Cars.

In 1958 he competed in the Race of Two Worlds at Monza in Italy. This was where the best of Grand Prix racing would race the best of Champ Cars. However the European cars were all but withdrawn when it became obvious the race cars from the USA would be dominant around the Monza banking which had been increased in 1954.

In preparations for the race, Pat O'Connor had tested a 5.5 litre V8 Chrysler car there in April of 1957. He managed a run of 226 miles at an average of 163.4mph, with a best lap faster than 170mph. O'Connor had qualified on pole for the Indianapolis 500 at an average speed of 144mph!

Americans dominated the event but the European F1 cars got their own back, sweeping the board at the inaugural US GP at Sebring just one year later.

Ray was there driving the Crawford Maguire Mirror Glaze Special. He qualified 12th at an average speed of 263.641 Kph. He finished 10th in the first heat, won by Jim Rathmann, 8th in the second heat, also won by Rathman. He then came 4th in the third head having been passed by Phil Hill just two laps from the finish. Rathman was again the winner. The result was worked out on the aggregate time. Jim Rathman was easily the winner followed by Jimmy Bryan, the team of Mike Hawthorn/Luigi Musso/Phil Hill were third and Ray Crawford was fourth.

Unfortunately the Automobile Club of Milan made a financial loss and it was never held again.

Ray later ran a chain of food markets around the Los Angeles area where he died in 1996.

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