Sunday, May 1, 2016

Albert Champion

Photo From Here

I just finished reading this one - the history of Albert Champion, bicycle racer and spark plug magnate. Not only are Champion Spark plugs named after him but the AC in ACDelco stands for Albert Champion. He was the first person to ride a motorcycle over sixty miles per hour on a board track in addition to his setting many bicycling records on the popular board tracks and velodromes of the day. He won the Paris-Roubaix cycling race in 1899 and was the French motorpacing champion five years later. His spark plugs powered many of the tanks, trucks and planes involved in WWI, along with two and four wheeled racing machines, passenger and commercial vehicles. His AC plugs got Lindbergh across the ocean as well. In spite of his fame and fortune, things didn't end well for Albert, however, dying at the age of 49 after getting punched in the chest by his second wife's boyfriend. Neither of them fared too well after that either. Albert's buried in Paris in the same cemetery as Jim Morrison, by the way.

I'm fascinated by the time period when all this occurs. Albert's story occurs during the same time frame as William Stout and they would have traveled in over-lapping circles. The Champion book has a bibliography in the back. Before I return the book to the library, I'm going to jot down a few of the books listed and see about reading more of the development of the early days of the bicycle/auto/aircraft industries. I'm also planning on taking a trip this year to check out the Studebaker Museum (thanks Barb). Even though the museum is relatively close, I've never been there. No excuse for it. The Missus and I did have brunch at the Studebaker Mansion one time, though. So I've got that going for me.

So much to learn but so little time to learn it. 

No comments: