Jun 21 2013

Mystery Foto #21 Solved A 1906 B.L.M. Race

Frank Lawrance has forwarded information on his grandfather Charles Lawrance, the "L" in the B.L.M. car that was a candidate for competing in the 1906 American Trial for the Vanderbilt Cup Race.

The above 1928 photo shows Charles Lawrence, who designed Charles Lindbergh's "Whirlwind" engine for the Spirit of St. Louis, in his 1906 B.L.M and president of the Wright Aeronautical Corp..

The Mystey Foto questions ares really a challenge from Frank:

-What happened to the car after 1928?

-Who was S.B. Hagerman, a possible owner of the car in 1928?

-Does the car exist today?

Let's try to help Frank find his grandfather's car.


Howard Kroplick

From Frank Lawrance

" I was doing some research on my grandfather for a cousin and came across your extensive knowledge of the Vanderbilt Cup Races and some of the cars of that era.

My grandfather, Charles Lanier Lawrance, was one of the three collaborators behind the BL&M racecar. I found photos of the car under a post written to you by a woman who had a photograph of the car and wanted information on it (2010). This time period (early 1900’s) was the beginning of my grandfather’s career  designing things mechanical, culminating in his design of the engine that flew Lindbergh to Paris. If my memory serves me correctly, he began the design and build of this car while attending Yale and it would come to frustrate him as his early attempts at endurance were trips from Yale to his family’s home in New York, not always with success.

I found another photograph of this car with my grandfather seated behind the wheel, taken in Atlantic City in 1928. At the time, it was said that the car was owned by a man named Hagerman. If you happen to have any kind of knowledge as to the whereabouts of the car, I would be very interested in hearing.

I greatly appreciate the effort you have put into the research and preservation of the history of the Vanderbilt Cup Races and the fact that you support such a worthwhile cause with proceeds from your books. "

The poster reads:

$4,000 B.L.M 1906

Breese Lawrance Moulton

This car was built 22 years

ago by Chas. L. Lawrance

The present builder of

Lindbergh's Wirlwind Motor

The car is owned by SB. Hagerman.

From Hugh M: "Photo may have been taken before it was finished - missing floor board and cut-out in front floor panel."

Update: August 29, 2013


Jul 02 2013 Alan Clendenen 11:49 AM

There was a BLM in the Harrah Collection, but was sold at one of the auctions.  I don’t know where it went.  Could be the same car.

Leave a Comment