by Michael Ferner
Originally from Kansas, but later operating out of Stanwood (IA), Johnny Gerber started building and racing cars soon after WW1, and by the early thirties had gained quite a reputation with his SOHC Chevy conversion in a bob-tail offset single-seater on the independent circuits of the Midwest. In 1932, he decided to build a new, “proper” monoposto with cross springs front and rear, and his own special steering set up without longitudinal drag links. The car was exceptionally small and very light, so that it was competitive even with its unorthodox 2.9-litre engine. By 1934, however, he began manufacturing his own blocks for a 3.6-litre version of his engine, still retaining the SOHC feature, as did a later 4.1-litre unit (1940).
In 1933, Gerber built a second, very similar car, and began competing regularly in AAA events of the East and the Midwest, together with Maynard Clark in the older car. Both drivers managed several wins that year, and finished in the top ten of the Hankinson and Eastern Circuit championships. With Gerber retiring from driving, and Clark suffering a career-ending accident in early 1936, other drivers such as Floyd Davis, Bob Sall, Jimmy Snyder, Billy Winn and Tommy Hinnershitz continued to win AAA races for the make right up to WW2. After the war, Gerber concentrated on officiating at Midget and Modified races, and his old cars and engines saw independent race action, mainly in California.
- 1937 #15 Gerber, ?, Gerber 220, J. B. Gerber, Jimmy Snyder (AC Syracuse)
- 1938 #15 Gerber, ?, Gerber 220, J. B. Gerber, Tommy Hinnershitz (9th Syracuse)
- 1937 #71 Gerber, ?, Gerber 220, J. B. Gerber, Jimmy Snyder (2nd Syracuse)
- 1938 #14 Gerber, ?, Gerber 220, J. B. Gerber, Frankie Bailey (ret Syracuse)
Last updated by Michael Ferner on 1 Jan 2012.
All text is copyright Michael Ferner 2012 - 2020.