Shorty Drexler

Carl Drexler

~ 1902 – 1959 (Jun 11)

AAA Big Cars 1932 – 1940

Shorty Drexler came by his nickname honestly, as he stood only 4’11″ “tall”, and pictures show him barely able to look over the scuttle of his racing car while standing beside it! From the eastern part of Ohio (Sebring, then Louisville, and later in life Canton), he became involved with racing in the mid-twenties, and would go on to race Big Cars and Midgets for three and a half decades. Like most of his contemporaries, he started out by building a special at home, together with his brother Paul, and raced it on numerous tracks in Ohio and western Pennsylvania. In late 1932, he graduated to AAA competition, and spent two and a half very successful seasons racing on the Eastern Circuit. Though he apparently never won a AAA main event, he had numerous top finishes, including at least five runner-up spots. His AAA career came to a grinding halt in February of 1935, when he was involved in the fatal accident of Johnny Stewart at an IMCA race at Tampa (FL), and though he survived and continued racing after a lengthy recuperation, he now concentrated on the independent races closer to home, where he enjoyed much success, albeit against lesser opposition. By 1937, he was billed as one of the major stars on John Sloan’s IMCA circuit, and later on starred on the MDTRA and CSRA circuits. After WW2, he discovered the Midgets (which must have suited him physically!), and in 1948 gave up the Big Cars entirely. He does not appear to have raced far from home during this period, but remained a formidable competitor on the local scene throughout the fifties. A racer to the very last of his days, he died of cancer in the summer of 1959.

© Michael Ferner