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'Pushmobile' races the latest rage in Bulloch County
Bulloch History
roger allen
Roger Allen

Note: The following is one of a series of articles looking at events in the history of Bulloch County.

“Pushmobiles,” essentially a four-wheel car with a very basic frame and some sort of steering mechanism, became the craze with young boys in the early 1900s.  

It wasn’t long before pushmobile clubs formed. Eddie Rickenbacker, the famous World War I flying ace, was in a race believed to have taken place in Flushing, Long Island on Nov. 17, 1906.  

The Bulloch Times issue of Jan. 24, 1912 revealed “Now for the Races! Speed Kings Coming Friday to Witness Contest Between Statesboro’s Bravest.” 

It declared, “Statesboro's bravest will take their lives in their hands and race for the magnificent cash prizes and the championship of Statesboro. The contest will be under the auspices of the local pushmobile club.” 

So far, the paper reported, “there are 12 entries for next Friday's contest. It will be a thriller (as) the bold drivers annihilate space as they drive around the courthouse square.” 

In addition, “they actually take their own lives in their hands (also the lives of the multitude of spectators) as they negotiate the sharp turns at the corners.” 

The paper ended by stating, “the probability is that the track-side will present a scene of carnage with demolished machines from one end to the other when the great event is over.” 

The organizers stated “A magnificent purse has been raised from the entrance fees raised from the entrance fees, 10 cents for each car (augmented) by additional contributions from friends of the club.” 

And, “prizes will be awarded as follows: first $1.50; second, $1; third, 75 cents; and fourth, 50 cents.” The first known formal pushmobile race in Statesboro didn’t take place until the afternoon of Friday, Jan. 26, 1912. 

The first, car #1 was a “Bentz” driven by “Rabbit” Caruthers; car No. 2 was a “National” driven by Lester Wilson; car No. 3, a “Fiat” by Leo Kimmel; and car No. 4, also a “Bentz,” which was driven by Shelton Paschal. 

Car No. 5 was a “Marmon,” driven by Fred Waters; No. 6 was another “Fiat, driven by “Snooks” Davis; No. 7 was another “Fiat,” driven by Jake Kimmel; and No. 8 was a “Buick 100,” driven by Horace Sample. 

Car No. 9, a “Lozier,” was driven by Charley Fordham; car No. 10, another “Mercer” driven by Robin Quattlebaum; car No. 11, a “Cole 30,” driven by Lovell Anderson; and car No. 12, was a “Stutz,” driven by Bernard McDougald. 

The Bulloch Times of Jan. 31, 1912 announced the winners. “Car  No. 5, a “Marmon” was driven by Fred Waters, and completed the course in 9 minutes and 17 seconds. His prize was $1.50.” 

Second place, car No. 12, a “Stutz” driven by Bernard McDougald, who finished the race in 9 minutes and 42 seconds. He took home the $1 prize. Third place went to car No. 11, a “Cole 30” driven by Lovell Anderson. 

Anderson finished the race in 10 minutes and 7 seconds. He took home 75 cents for his efforts. Fourth place went to car No. 9, a “Lozier” driven by Charley Fordham. 

“Six hundred, or 8oo persons, old and young, male and female, attended the races, which were run around the court house square for 10 estimated 1 ½ miles (and) the winner made about 9 miles an hour.” 

Roger Allen is a local lover of history who provides a brief look each week at the area's past. Email him at

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