Fred Frame

Fred Frame

3/6/1894 - 25/4/1962

Fred Frame was born in New Englander, but moved to Los Angeles in 1914 where he worked as a gardener and motorcycle mechanic for a wealthy family. 

He started racing at Ascot in 1919, winning his first race in 1926 at Santa Maria, California.  He scored his first major AAA win that same year, in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  Shortly after that, he returned to the northeast, competing in the AAA Fair circuit from Maine to Pennsylvania.

In 1933, as part of the World Fair in Chicago, the Elgin races were revived for one more time. Two races were held, and many of the top drivers of the day competed. Fred won The first race, for stock roadsters.

He first raced at Indianapolis in 1927, competing there 11 times, scoring 6 top ten finishes.  In 1931, driving a Duesenberg, he finished second.  In 1932, he brought a Wetteroth chassis with a Miller engine.  He qualified in 28th and went on to take a narrow victory over Howdy Wilcox at 104.144 mph. Frame's car was a copy of Arnold's Hartz Miller right down to light gray and blue paint. Apparently following the race a check of the total lap record showed the actual winner was Wilcox. The Speedway management faced the error and paid the equivalent first prize to Wilcox who, being a gentleman and a professional said no more. This is completely unconfirmed.

In total, Fred led a total of 85 laps during his Indy 500 appearances: 11 in 1929, 58 in 1932, and 16 in 1933.   His final Indy 500 was run in 1938.

In 1938, Frame switched to the IMCA circuit and won throughout New England, until the war broke out.

He returned to racing after the war as an owner but after his son, Bob, was killed in a sprint car crach at Owatonna, Minnesota in 1947, Fred retired from racing.

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