1/3/1887 - 10/2/1955
Record updated 01-Mar-07
Eddie Hearne was an American racing driver active in the formative years of auto racing. He participated in the inaugural Indianapolis 500. He entered 120 races. He finished in the top 10 31 times. He won a total of 11 races.
Eddie Hearne was from Chicago the son of a gold-mining millionaire father. Eddie raced from 1908 until the early 1930s. He entered 120 races. He took pole twice and finished in the top 10 31 times. He won a total of 11 races, only crashed once and won a total of $120967
In 1908 he raced a Buick finishing 4th in the Savannah 200 International Light Car Road Race In 1911 he won the Algonquin Cup in a Benz. The Hill Climbs were held by the Chicago Motor Club at three locations in town. The first location was Perry Hill at the north end of town. This hill was used until 1909. Drivers raced their autos up the hill from a standing start. Winning these contests were important to car makers who wanted to show the general public that their car was the best in the country. The company could then advertise their cars in the national automobile magazines. Philip's Hill which was at the north end of town (North Main Street) was used for a flying start. Times were taken by the judges to find the fastest car in a slightly longer distance of one mile. The racers would start at the Morton House (now Shell Gas Station) and race past the cemetery along Route 31. Dundee Township decided to lower Perry Hill because of a disagreement with the Algonquin Hill Climb Association. The result was the Chicago Motor Club choose Jayne's Hill to replace Perry Hill. Jayne's Hill is now called Huntington Drive immediately south of the Prairie Bike Path. Jayne's Hill was used from 1910 to 1912. Algonquin had a population of less than 1,000 people during the Hill Climb years. During the Hill Climbs, train loads of visitors came to town along with all the automobiles from Chicago and suburbs.
During the 1909 races, there were over 5,000 visitors who came to see the races. The National Guard was used to help make the races safe for the crowds. At Indy that year in a Fiat he was black flagged.
At Indy in 1912 in a Case he went out with a broken crankshaft.
An ex-Indianapolis Burman special appeared on 22 August 1914 in the Elgin National Trophy, with Eddie Hearne at the wheel. He finished fifth.
In 1917 Eddie Hearne purchased a new Duesenberg and invited LeCocq to be his riding mechanic as Hearne ran the AAA championship circuit. They won sprint races in Trenton, NJ; Danbury, CT; and Richmond, VA before winning the Uniontown, PA board track race from the pole. They finished the year fourth in points for the AAA National Driving Championship.
In 1918 Hearne decided to join the Frontenac Team
In the 1919 Indianapolis 500 race LeCocq and Bandini had moved up to fourth position when a tire burst entering turn two on the 96th lap. The car slammed into the wall and burst into flames. Both men were covered in gasoline and burned to death before help could arrive. Howdy Wilcox won the race while Eddie finished second. He won the Motor Age Championship that year with 8,960 points, Roscoe Searles (7,288) was second and Howard Wilcox (6,200) third.
At Indy in 1920 in a Duesenberg he came 6th and in 1921 in a Duesenberg he came 13th.
Hearne completed 1644 miles during the 1922 AAA National Championship season to come 8th in points. The following year, in 1923 he drove 251 miles more and won the championship. Hearne had been second in the Championship as it neared its conclusion. Leading was Jim Murphy (Miller). Murphy planned to go to Europe to take part in several GP races. Murphy was confident that he could miss some US races without losing his championship lead. Unluckily for Murphy Hearne won one race and was second in another. So Murphy shortened his trip, returning to the 'States only to lose the Sitges race and thus the Championship. At Indy that year he finished 3rd in a Ballot.
At Indy in 1923 in a Miller he came 4th, in 1924 in a Miller he went out with fuel problems and in 1927 in a Miller he came 7th. The Weightman Duesenberg Special wound up with Eddie Hearne who kept it until the 1930s.