Joel Thorne

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Joel W. Thorne (16 October 1914 New York City – 17 October 1955 North Hollywood, California) was an American racecar driver, engineer, and playboy. He died when he crashed his private plane, after what witnesses described as "stunting",[1] into an apartment building, killing eight residents including a two-month-old baby.[2][3] Thorne raced his own cars is the Indianapolis 500, and later went on to attempt to design aircraft.

The 1946 Indianapolis 500 was won by a car built by Thorne and driven by George Robson.[4] One of Thorne's cars also won the pole position and finished second in the 1939 Indianapolis 500 with Jimmy Snyder behind the wheel.[5]

Indianapolis 500 results[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Big Spring Daily Herald, "Crash Victim made many headlines with escapades", page 16, Oct. 19th, 1955.
  2. ^ Mason City Globe-Gazette, "Plane Hits Apartment, Three Die", October 18th 1955, page 21
  3. ^ The Independent (Pasadena, California), "Playboy Plane Crash Ruled Not Fault Of Government". June 7th, 1957, page 22
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ "Prominent Racing Figure Is Injured". The Indianapolis Star. February 23, 1946. p. 14. Retrieved April 5, 2016 – via open access publication – free to read

External links[edit]