Reed & Mulligan

by Michael Ferner

Stanley L. Reed was a power boat racer from Detroit (MI), and got into car racing by buying a Miller FD in 1927. He campaigned that car for a few years with modest success, and usually entered it in company with one Thomas J. Mulligan, about whom I wasn’t able to find out much, if anything. The team also appears to have campaigned a Fronty during those years, and for drivers they searched out mostly local talent, like Bruce and Al Miller, Howard Taylor, Sam Ross or Bert Karnatz. There may also have been links to another Michigan entrant, namely William M. Yahr from Ann Arbor, but information is sketchy, at best. In later years, the team apparently raced under the name of “Fronty Sales Co. of Michigan”.For the 1930 Indy 500 and the “Junk Formula”, the team disposed of the front-drive and built a pair of two-seater rear-drives instead. By then, a distinctively eastern “notion” had entered the organisation (perhaps Mulligan was an Easterner?), and Roy W. Painter, a mechanic from Pittsburgh (PA) appears to have been instrumental in the building of one of the cars, which may or may not have been based on a 1924 Miller 122 (ex-Tommy Milton) which had been campaigned as the “Pittsburgh Miller” at times. Another Pennsylvanian, Jimmy Gleason was earmarked for the drive. Anyway, the car wasn’t very successful, and was possibly consumed in the building of the 1932 Lupasa/Graham, or (more likely) the 1935 LMN/Miller. Perhaps it still sits rotting in a barn someplace?

The other car was a smart looking Fronty-Ford, to which a well known (and probably at least partially apocryphal) story is attached: about halfway through the race, the rough ride on the brickyard had broken the front spring which was replaced by one sourced from an oblivious spectator’s car, and returned after the finish without the original owner finding out! Like similar other stories, it probably only served to highlight the simplicity of this sort of car, being built almost entirely of stock Ford parts. It didn’t win much prize money on the tracks, but then again it hadn’t cost the earth to build it in the first place! For the following year, it got a new Model A-based engine with a rare left-hand exhaust (perhaps a “Stagger Valve”???), and as such it appears to have graced the dirt tracks for many more years.The single-seater Fronty also got a look in at a few Championship events, and was once even graced by the presence of Billy Arnold in its cockpit when the Miller-Hartz blew its engine in practice and Haustein courteously offered his ride. Arnold, however, wasn’t exactly thrilled by the performance of the little racer, and came in again after only about ten minutes to hand the car back to Haustein, who soldiered on to finish fourth, albeit many, many laps behind the winner, Shorty Cantlon in the Miller-Schofield. Still, the eight points earned that day “contributed” to Arnold’s National Championship title, won by almost 400 points from Cantlon.

Reed-Mulligan/Miller ‘IC-30’

- 1930 #7 Waverly Oil, white, Miller 122, Reed & Mulligan, Jimmy Gleason (9th Langhorne, ret Indy, ret Altoona, 10th Bridgeville), Roy Painter (dns Altoona)
- 1931 #52 Painter, ?, Miller, R. W. Painter, Roy Painter (dnq Indy)

N.B. 1931 entry suspect

Reed-Mulligan/Frontenac ‘IC-30’

- 1930 #41 Fronty (Ford), green/black/white, Frontenac SO, Reed & Mulligan, Chet Miller/Paul Bost (13th Indy), Chet Miller (5th Detroit, ret Altoona), Bert Karnatz (5th Akron), Paul Bost (6th Bridgeville, dns Altoona, dns Syracuse)
- 1931 #26 (Mistle) Fronty, green/black/white, Frontenac DO214, Fronty Sales Co., Gene Haustein (ret Indy, ret Detroit, 10th Altoona, dns Altoona, 4th Syracuse)
- 1932 #23 Fronty (Sales), ?, Frontenac, Fronty Sales Co., Gene Haustein (dns Indy, dns Detroit, ret Chicago, 9th Syracuse, ret Detroit)
- 1933 #23 (35) Fronty (Ford), ?, Frontenac, Fronty Sales Co., dnp Indy, Bob Zauer (12th Syracuse)

Reed-Mulligan/Frontenac ‘SC-26’

- 1930 #44 Fronty Ford, ?, Frontenac, Reed & Mulligan, Billy Arnold/Gene Haustein (4th Akron), Gene Haustein (ret Bridgeville, dns Syracuse)

N.B. year of built estimated, very uncertain vintage

Last updated by Michael Ferner on 14 Dec 2009.

All text is copyright Michael Ferner 2009 - 2024.