David Bruce-Brown

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David Bruce-Brown
David Bruce-Brown in his Fiat at the 1912 French Grand Prix at Dieppe (2) (cropped).jpg
Bruce-Brown at the 1912 French Grand Prix
BornDavid Loney Bruce-Brown
(1887-08-13)August 13, 1887
Manhattan, New York, U.S.
DiedOctober 1, 1912(1912-10-01) (aged 25)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
Cause of deathBlunt force trauma to the head sustained in the crash
Achievements1908 Shingle Hill Climb (New Haven, CT)
1908 Daytona Speed Trials
American Grand Prize in both 1910 and 1911

David Loney Bruce-Brown (August 13, 1887 New York City – October 1, 1912 Milwaukee, Wisconsin) was an American racecar driver.

Early life[edit]

David Loney Bruce-Brown was born on August 13, 1887, the son of George Bruce-Brown (b. 1844) and Arabella Loney (b. 1853) and the brother of William Bruce-Brown (b. 1886). His father had previously been married to Virginia Greenway McKesson (d. 1878), of the McKesson family, with whom he had two children, Catherine Wolfe Brown (b. 1877) and a son, George McKesson Brown (b.1878).[1] His paternal great-grandfather was George Bruce (1781–1866) and his maternal aunt, Mary Loney (1850–1936), married Frederick Roosevelt (1850–1916), the son of James I. Roosevelt.[2]

He attended the Allen-Stephenson School in New York City, and then the Harstrom School in Norwalk, Connecticut, a prep school for Yale.[2]

Racing career[edit]

Having bluffed his way into auto racing at the age of 18, he turned out to be a natural talent behind the wheel and won the 1908 Daytona Speed Trials. He then went on to win the American Grand Prize in both 1910 and 1911 as well as numerous other races. He also participated in the 1911 and 1912 editions of the Indianapolis 500.[3]

He clocked in a 0.33 3-5 world's one-mile amateur straightaway record, beating the previous holder, William K. Vanderbilt Jr.'s record.[4]


Bruce-Brown was killed during practice, along with his mechanic Tony Scudelari, for the 1912 American Grand Prize and 8th running of the Vanderbilt Cup races, which were held in Milwaukee.[5][4] His car was repaired and driven by Barney Oldfield in the Grand Prize to a 4th-place finish. The coroner's jury which investigated his death determined that the road was too narrow that they were racing on.[6]

Indy 500 results[edit]



  1. ^ "Vanderbilt Cup Races - Driver Bio - David Bruce-Brown". www.vanderbiltcupraces.com. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
  2. ^ a b Winship, Kihm (27 September 2009). "The Loney Family - Skaneateles". kihm6.wordpress.com. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  3. ^ "David Bruce-Brown | First Super Speedway". www.firstsuperspeedway.com. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
  4. ^ a b "BRUCE-BROWN KILLED IN AUTO RACE TRIAL | Young New Yorker Hurled to Death on Vanderbilt Cup Track Near Milwaukee". The New York Times. October 2, 1912. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
  5. ^ David Bruce-Brown, ddavid.com
  6. ^ "Auto Race Course Too Narrow". The New York Times. October 9, 1912. Retrieved 13 September 2016.

External links[edit]