Joe Boyer

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Joseph E. Boyer, Jr.
Joe Boyer at the 1921 French Grand Prix (3-cropped).jpg
Born (1890-05-12)May 12, 1890
St. Louis, Missouri
Died September 2, 1924(1924-09-02) (aged 34)
Altoona Speedway
Tyrone, Pennsylvania
Known for 1924 Indianapolis 500

Joseph Boyer, Jr. (May 12, 1890 – September 2, 1924) was a co-winner of the 1924 Indianapolis 500.


He was born on May 12, 1890, in St. Louis, Missouri and grew up in Detroit, Michigan.

At the 1924 Indianapolis 500, Boyer participated in two different cars during the race. In his original entry (#3), he qualified 4th. On the 109th lap he was relieved. His relief driver went on to race until lap 176, when the car crashed in turn 1. On lap 111, Boyer climbed into the car of Lora Lawrence Corum (#15), driving relief for Corum. Boyer charged to the front of the field, and led the last 24 laps in Corum's car.

Corum and Boyer were scored as "co-winners," the first time in Indy 500 history that designation had been assigned. In three previous Indy 500 races (1911, 1912, 1923), the winner had relief help during the race, but in none of those cases did the relief driver finish the race; the original driver got back behind the wheel to finish those races.

He died on September 2, 1924, from injuries sustained in a crash at Altoona Speedway in Tyrone, Pennsylvania the day before.[1][2]Joe Boyer was my Great Uncle and I was named after him. He was the son of Benjamin Boyer and Anna Bodie. Benjamin owned Boyer Lake and sold the lake when it turned out to be rich in high quality iron ore. The man who bought it renamed it the Helen mine. Benjamin went on to search for gold after his wife died and farmed out the children to friends and neighbors. Benjamin was Henry Ford's best friend and owned the farm next to him. Benjamin went on to find two large gold mines. His sons became wealthy and had their own businesses. The haunted shacks machine shops, a chemical company, a candy company, Joe Boyer's auto repair shop. Joe Boyer funded Burrow's adding machine invention. After winning the Indy 500, Joe Boyer did an exhibition race in Altoona, PA in the same year. The race took place on a board track. During the race Joe Boyer crashed. He sustained a severe head injury and his legs were pinned in the car. They removed his legs to exstract him from the car. He hung in and died two weeks later.


  1. ^ Associated Press (September 3, 1924). "Boyer Fatally Hurt As 70,000 See Race. Detroit Driver, Trying to Overtake Murphy, the Winner, Crashes Through Rail". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-10-07. Joe Boyer of Detroit, injured yesterday in the 250-mile automobile classic at the Altoona Speedway, died at a local hospital at 12:23 this morning. 
  2. ^ "Boyer Died To Avoid Crowd At Auto Race. Glad I Saved Them, Were Last Words of Driver at Altoona. Blow-Out Caused Crash". New York Times. September 3, 1924. Retrieved 2012-10-07. Joe Boyer, speed king of the automobile world, went to his death on the ... and veteran racing men said it was a little short of miraculous that the car, ... 

Indy 500 results[edit]

Preceded by
Tommy Milton
Indianapolis 500 Winner
Succeeded by
Peter DePaolo