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Caleb Bragg

Full Name:
Caleb Smith Bragg
Born:
23rd November 1885
Cincinnati, Ohio
Died:
24th October 1943 (Aged 57)
New York City, New York
Nationality:
American
Most recent race (in database):
Biography

The son of a wealthy publishing tycoon, Caleb Bragg was a millionaire playboy who made his mark as a racing driver, aviator, speedboat pilot and businessman nonetheless.

Education and pioneering racing career

He first dabbled with racing cars while studying at Yale University but it was after his graduation that he became serious. He appeared for the April 1910 inaugural meeting of America’s first board track at Playa del Rey in Venice, California. The dapper, well-dressed and handsome newcomer soon impressed the racing fraternity by beating Barney Oldfield in a match race with a Fiat S74.

Bragg then drove the car in the 1911 Indianapolis 500 and American Grand Prize – leading the opening laps at Savannah before finishing fourth. Second at Santa Monica in 1912, he drove as Teddy Tetzlaff’s relief driver in the second placed Fiat at Indianapolis.

1912 American Grand Prize winner

His greatest triumph came in October of that year when battling Tetzlaff and Ralph de Palma in the American GP at Milwaukee. Bragg was kinder on his tyres than the former and de Palma crashed on the final lap (seriously injured but escaping death) to allow the young socialite to take a famous victory.

He qualified on pole for the 1913 Indy 500 at 87.498mph only to retire from the race. Bragg led briefly again a year later and drove a Mercer in both the Grand Prize and Vanderbilt Cup of 1915.

Aviation and World War I

A test pilot in the United States Army during World War I, he set new altitude records by flying at over 21,000 feet in 1917. His interest in aviation continued after the war as Governor of the Aero Club of America.

Bragg also tried his hand at speedboat racing in 1924 and was a star of that sport for three years. He continued his successful career in the aviation business as a senior executive with Wright Aeronautical, Langley Aviation and then C.M.Keys Aircraft Service before his health began to fail towards the end of the 1930s.

Championship seasons

Season Name Starts Poles Podiums Wins Position Points
1915 AAA National Championship
Californian Motor Car Corporation
2 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1914 AAA National Championship
Mercer Automobile Co
1 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1913 AAA National Championship
Mercer Automobile Co
1 1 0 0
0% win rate
0
1912 AAA National Championship
EE Hewlett
Caleb S Bragg
2 0 2 0
0% win rate
320
1911 AAA National Championship
Caleb S Bragg
2 0 0 0
0% win rate
120