Saturday, May 13, 2017

Earle C. Anthony and Lee Miles with his airplane, Los Angeles, 1935

The Miles and Atwood Special is on the trailer, and in front of it, are Anthony and Miles.

Miles was a living legend during the Golden Age of Flight. At the time this photo was taken he was the number one air racer in the National Aeronautics Association standings.

Earl C. Anthony is perhaps best known as the Packard distributor for the state California from 1915 to 1958.  He became a distributor for eighteen brands and by 1905 he was one of the founders of the Los Angeles Motorcar Dealer’s Association and in 1907 was a principle organizer of first Los Angeles Automobile Show.

Anthony and a group of fellow entrepreneurs opened L.A.’s first full service gas station in 1913 after becoming frustrated by the difficulties his customers experienced obtaining fuel for their cars. He was first in the country to use neon signs to advertise his business and founded radio stations KFI

In a qualifying flight for the 1937 Cleveland Air Races something went wrong with a cable, and caused the death of Lee Miles

Flying at about 200 feet he started around the first pylon. Apparently one of the fittings connecting the supporting wires that ran between the wing and the fuselage broke. The wing, losing that support, folded, and the imbalance of lift caused the whole plane to roll rapidly, so rapidly a pilot who viewed the accident said they couldn't count the revolutions.

The aircraft used solid wood spars. Fabric was attached using a relatively new process using screws with fabric tape covering, rather than conventional rib-stitching. The aircraft raced with a green livery waxed to a high gloss.

It set a world speed record for an aircraft under 770 lb over 62 mi course at 206 mph
Won 1933 Greve Trophy
Chicago Air Race - Straight Line speed record for aircraft with less than 375 cubic inch displacement of 225 mph.
In February 1934, the Miles and Atwood Special won the Shell Trophy


  1. Thank you so much for these!
    You are a man of my heart! :)

    1. You're welcome! I dig the early airplane racers!

    2. They don't call it the 'Golden Age' for nothing! ;)