“The Speed Kings” (a 1913 Silent Film)

While doing the research for the 1912 Indianapolis 500 race, I read quite a bit about the many drivers who participated in the event. One of them, Teddy Tetzlaff, had quite a career beyond his adventures at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In 1913, he was featured in the film “The Speed Kings” produced and directed by Mack Sennett, who also produced the Keystone Kops. “The Speed Kings” was billed as a comedy, and while it does have some slapstick silliness, it is not hysterically funny by today’s standards. I think the real stars of this show are the race cars.

The cars featured in this short film were state of the art for their time. The racing film footage was taken at actual races, not recreated scenes, so you can get a real sense of what it was like to watch a race in these early days of motorsports. I was quite surprised to see how close to the roadway the spectators were standing!

Enjoy this glimpse into the past. Try to imagine what a wonder it was for the people of that era. Motorsports, as well as movies, were still quite new.

On with the show!

In case you missed the earlier video about the 1912 Indy 500, here it is: