Auto Polo

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Auto Polo

Post by MochetVelo » Sun Jun 01, 2014 9:37 am

Here are a couple images from the popular suicidal sport, Auto-Polo. The postcard image was apparently based on the photograph.

Auto_polo postcard.jpg
Auto_polo postcard.jpg (84.91 KiB) Viewed 4669 times

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Re: Auto Polo

Post by sinbad » Mon Jul 07, 2014 6:50 pm

That looks like it would be so much fun !

Jerry Alexander
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Re: Auto Polo

Post by Jerry Alexander » Wed Oct 15, 2014 5:51 am

These people were nuts! But they must have had fun. Glad that sport did not live on.

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Re: Auto Polo

Post by FullerMetz » Thu Oct 16, 2014 11:20 pm

Autopolo was an interesting sport. And yes, they were crazy. It has been discussed at length on the MTFCA forum.

First, it was a real sport. Played from the early '20s until about 1950. Copies of several advertisements and newspaper articles have been found and shared at various times. These have helped to show the many years the game was actually played. I cannot really share it, and maybe someone more adept at computer searches can find it somewhere on the web. But about 40 years ago, in a movie theater that specialized in unusual niche films, including early silent movies and films of other historic interest, I got to watch a circa 1948 Newsreel all about autopolo (I think it may have been a Movietone, but do not know for sure). It was quite a sight to watch. In the background were many (then) modern cars. If I recall correctly, the narrator was talking about life getting back to normal after WWII.

Second, the specific photo shown above has been scrutinized. It, along with several others, were staged. One of the first things noticed by a sharp-eyed model T hobbyist used to looking at old photographs, was that the wheels are all still. The photos have been around a long time, and been found from many sources. Film at that time was slow acting. Anything more than slight motion results in a blur. All the spokes, in all the wheels, are clear. Activity suggested by the position of the cars (if they were in motion) would require that several of the wheels would be spinning enough to be nothing but a blur. Notice also, that the two people in the air at the time of the photo, are slightly blurred. This indicates that they are, at that moment, moving faster than anything else in the photo.
If you look closely, you can clearly see what appears to be a wooden framework underneath the car numbered 4, holding it up in the air. It is less clear how the other car's one wheel is held up, however, several good ideas have been offered.
The general consensus of opinion is that the cars were set up, the people took positions, cameraman hollered, the two people jumped, and the picture was taken. As I said, there were several similar pictures in the series, some with different cars.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2

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