Earl Gilmore

EARL GILMORE made many important contributions to automobile racing during the ten-year period prior to World War II. He owned and operated Gilmore Stadium in Los Angeles, which gained national attention as perhaps the nation’s finest venue for midget car racing from 1934 to 1950 when it was closed to make way for television studios for CBS (Columbia Broadcasting System). As president of the Gilmore Oil Company, he originated the Gilmore Economy Run (for production cars), which Mobil Oil eventually sponsored through 1968. Gilmore also sponsored many first-rate cars in Indianapolis 500 races, including Kelly Petillo’s 1935 winner, Wilbur Shaw’s 1937 winner, and other prominent drivers such as Rex Mays, Mauri Rose, Doc MacKenzie, Al Gordon, Stubby Stubblefield, and 1932 runner-up Howdy Wilcox II. He provided financial support for land speed record runs by Sir Malcolm Campbell at Daytona Beach, Florida, and John Cobb on the Bonneville Salt Flats of Utah. In addition, Ab Jenkins drove a Gilmore-sponsored Mormon Meteor to 21 land speed and endurance records at Bonneville.

Year Inducted: 1987