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  • Writer's pictureDavid Story

Babe Stapp

*The First Thirty Years is at the printer. I am now accepting pre-orders and the first 50 sold will get a signed edition.

On the down side, COVID19 has put off printing until at least next month.

Babe Stapp

Babe Stapp competed in his first Indianapolis 500 in 1927. He wanted to drive at the Speedway more than anything else. To get to the race from California he paid a guy twenty-five dollars to let him ride in the rumble seat of his Chrysler. It rained on him four of the seven days it took to get there. He started the race 24th on the grid but DNF’d with a bad universal joint — finishing 31st.

Stapp competed in 13 Indianapolis 500 races between 1927 and 1940. His best finish was fifth in 1939 driving an Alfa Romeo. As much as Stapp loved the 500 he never stopped competing on the dirt and asphalt and in 1935 he captured the AAA Medwest point championship. He quit racing for a time after Bill Spence, a close friend, was killed at the Speedway in 1929. 

In 1932 Stapp served as driver (doubling for Frank McHugh) and technical director for the movie "The Crowd Roars” which was filmed at Ascot, starring James Cagney and Joan Blondell.


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