Daredevil Turns Somersault in Specially Built Automobile (Oct, 1932)

Daredevil Turns Somersault in Specially Built Automobile
ONE of the outstanding events of the International congress of daredevils held recently in St. Louis, Missouri, was an exhibition of automotive gymnastics. What are automotive gymnastics? Well, take a look at the photo at the right and you’ll see. The machine which is turning the somersaults has an especially sturdy frame built over the top on which the car rolls in performing its antics. Miss Helen McGee, an 18-year-old racing driver of Peoria, Illinois, is the pilot of the dizzy contraption.

  1. JM says: April 2, 200912:08 pm

    Somehow that looks more like a draw than a photo. Anyway, the curve of the top bars in the car make me think that it probably turn over and laid helplessly on its back like a turtle.

  2. Richard C says: April 2, 20091:12 pm

    Yes, it looks like a drawing, or combination of drawing with a photo (the background spectators look photographed). Note the sharp shadow of the car on the grass directly below, indicating sun directly overhead. But the tubes on the car which are currently horizontal don’t look like they’re being lit from above. In fact nothing on the car looks like it’s being lit by direct sunlight from above. Also note that the wheel spokes are blurred, indicating a shutter speed long enough so that they were rotating significantly while the shutter was open, but at the same time, the car is perfectly sharp, indicating that it didn’t move significantly during the exposure. And there’s the “line drawing” quality of the car that just doesn’t look right.

  3. Mike says: April 2, 20091:26 pm

    “International congress of daredevils ” Is that what they called the G20 years ago?

  4. John Savard says: April 2, 20095:31 pm

    Back in the 1920s and before – and until somewhat later in the Soviet Union – photographs appearing in books and magazines normally had this appearance. This was because the quality of halftone printing at the time was not considered adequate for photographs to be intelligible, so they were retouched in this manner to be easier to understand at a glance.

  5. Torgo says: April 2, 20099:40 pm

    Very true Mr. Savard. This was done even up until the 60s in many books and magazines.

  6. fred says: April 3, 20098:26 am

    she went bankrupt after rolling thru one too many stop signs

  7. Charlene says: April 5, 20097:31 pm

    How come we never hear about the International Congress of Daredevils any more?

  8. Nick Mondeo says: August 23, 20098:23 pm

    There is a french stuntman who performs this stunt with a truck


    I also seem to recall there was a guy with a quad (atv) who does the same thing

  9. Crash Moreau says: October 15, 20107:36 am

    Since the 70’s there has been many different vehiles that has the ability to roll from cars, motorcycles, quads 3 wheelers atv, cars, and even trucks. Some in the US and bigger stuff in Europe.

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