Historical Albion Michigan
By Frank Passic

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Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.

LUEDTKE BROTHERS OFF TO THE RACES

Morning Star, July 27, 1997, pg. 23

[Originally titled "Off to the Races"] The sport of auto racing certainly has taken off in recent years, producing many enthusiasts and fans in our area. The sport is not new, however, as there have been numerous Albionites who have been involved as drivers on area tracks through the years.

During the 1940s and 1950s, "midget" auto racing was big in this area. Two brothers in particular were heavily involved in the sport. They were George (1915-1991) and Lewis C. (1917-1989) Luedtke, sons of Carl and Bertha (Riever) Luedtke. George worked at Union Steel and Lewis at American Transit Lines as a truck driver. During their spare time they worked on their midget cars which measured less than 8 feet in length and weighed less than 900 pounds.

The brother would race on tracks in Michigan and Ohio, and won enough money to pay for the expenses of their hobby. Lewis in fact won the Class B midget championship in 1948. At a track in Owosso, their car made it around the track in 16.02 seconds in 1946, with the record at the time being 13.86 seconds. A race consisted of three times around a 1/4 mile track.

From our Historical Notebook this week we present a 1946 photo of George Luedtke with his 8-foot length midget car containing a V-8 engine. How many area residents recall the midget racing of the Leudtke brothers here in Albion?


George Luedtke

Next: JACK HOOD VAUGHN


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