“Wild Jimmie Costa – The Italian Champion from Turin, Italy”

James Jim “Jimmie” Costa, Jr.

1891 – 1922

 

 

              

Jimmie Costa, Jr.

Missouri State Fair collection

 

 

In an effort to give the auto races more of an international flavor, Jimmie Costa, Jr. was often touted by race promoters as being “The Italian Champion from Turin, Italy” although he was actually born May 19, 1891 at Anthony, Kansas, the younger of two sons born to James Jim Costa, Sr. (1856-1946) and his wife, Thina “Nina” (Dix) Costa (1854-1922).  Although James Costa, Sr.’s father was born in Italy, there is no evidence that Jimmie Costa, Jr. was ever even there.

Jimmie Costa, Jr.’s first job was as a clerk in his father’s hardware store in Anthony.  That only lasted a few months before he went into business for himself.  He became the Buick distributor in Anthony in 1910 and opened “B and B Auto Sales”.  The “B and B” stood for “Buick and Burg”, both being brands of automobiles that he sold.  The business also handled several brands of farm machinery.

In 1912, Jimmie Costa, Jr. contracted with Ralph Ambrose “Pappy” Hankinson (1879-1942), to participate in auto polo matches that Hankinson promoted around the United States as a means of filling time with entertainment for the race fans between the races that Hankinson also promoted.  While playing auto polo, Jimmie Costa, Jr. partnered with another auto polo player and race car driver contracted to Hankinson, Roy Raymond “Ray” Rountree (1897-1922) of Portland, Oregon, so they could share their travel expenses.

Jimmie Costa, Jr. was married to Lehettible “Hettie” (Kane) Costa (1890-1926) in Ft. Smith, Arkansas on Christmas Day, 1911.  He then served two years in the Missouri National Guard where he reached the rank of 1st Lieutenant in the Cavalry.  Upon receiving his discharge from the service, he and Hettie returned to Anthony where they made their home in a house on North Pennsylvania Avenue.

In 1917 and while continuing to travel quite a bit to play auto polo, Jimmie Costa, Jr. and a brother-in-law, Dell F. Hale (1880-1948), formed a partnership and opened the Hale & Costa garage at 322 West Main Street in Anthony, where they sold new Chevrolet and Grant Six automobiles, as well as used cars, gasoline, Barney-Oldfield-brand tires and various farm supplies.  They also sold auto parts and did mechanical work on all types of vehicles including farm machinery.  Jimmie Costa, Jr. personally specialized in engine work; building and repairing “high speed motors” in particular.  He hired fellow race driver and mechanic, Billie Headrick (1891-1943) to assist him in the garage with that task.

The following is an incomplete list of the auto races that Jimmie Costa, Jr. participated in.

After wrecking his own “Costa special” Ford at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia, Missouri in 1919, Jimmie Costa, Jr. expanded his role with Hankinson by filling in as a driver of the Hankinson’s “house cars” when needed.  All of the cars that both Ray Rountree and Jimmie Costa, Jr. drove in Hankinson promoted races were “house cars” which were owned, or leased by Ralph Hankinson or, more likely, by J. Alex Sloan (1880-1937) who was the head of I.M.C.A.:

 

August 10, 1911 – ½ mile dirt oval – Anthony Downs at Anthony, Kansas

Finish:  Costa entered this 5-mile race but he did not finish either in either 1st or 2nd place.

Feature race winner:  Watkins Reneau of Manchester, Oklahoma.

  

October 16-17, 1912 – The length of Main Street in Anthony, Kansas

Finish:  A newspaper article published five years after the fact, mentioned that Costa had competed in these races but what he drove, where he finished, or even who might have won, are currently unknown.

 

August 7, 1914 – ½ mile dirt ovalAnthony Downs at Anthony, Kansas

Finish:  Costa entered these races but the race results have yet to be located

 

July 28, 1917 – 2 mile oiled dirt oval Dodge City Speedway northeast of Dodge City, Kansas

            Promoter:  Johnny Mais of Salina, Kansas

Car:  Costa’s own 16-valve Ford known as the “Costa special”

Finish:  Costa’s name does not appear in the published results of these races.

Feature race winner:  Glenn Breed of Salina, Kansas in his Hudson “Super-Six” #1

 

August 25, 1917 – ½ mile dirt oval Ottawa County Fairgrounds in Minneapolis, Kansas

            Car:  Costa’s own 16-valve Ford known as the “Costa special”

Finish:  Costa’s name does not appear in the published results of these races.

Feature race winner:  Harold Roller of Abilene, Kansas in his 16-valve Roof Ford special

 

July 4, 1918 – 2 mile oiled dirt oval Dodge City Speedway northeast of Dodge City, Kansas

            Promoter:  Johnny Mais of Salina, Kansas

Car:  Costa’s own 16-valve Ford known as the “Costa special”

Finish:  Costa’s name does not appear in the published results of these races.

Feature race winner:  Glenn Breed of Salina, Kansas in his Hudson “Super-Six” #1

 

August 11, 1919 – 1 mile dirt oval Missouri State Fairgrounds in Sedalia, Missouri – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

            Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

Car:  Costa’s own 16-valve Ford known as the “Costa special”

Finish:  Costa crashed through a fence and fell 25 feet down an embankment, causing extensive damage to his Costa special Ford.  He was strapped to his seat and was unconscious for about four minutes.  He also suffered numerous cuts in this accident.

 

August 22, 1919 – ½ mile dirt oval Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

            Car:  Hudson “Four” special

Finish:  Costa entered these races but his name does not appear in the published race results.

Feature race winner:  Leon Duray of Cleveland, Ohio in a Case

     

August 29, 1919 – ½ mile dirt oval Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

            Car:  Hudson “Four” special

Finish:  Costa entered these races but his name does not appear in the published race results.

Feature race winner:  Leon Duray of Cleveland, Ohio in a Case

     

August 31, 1919 – ½ mile dirt oval Baldwin Park at Quincy, Illinois – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

            Car:  Hudson “Four” special

Finish:  Results of these races have yet to be located.

     

September 1, 1919 – ½ mile dirt oval Baldwin Park at Quincy, Illinois – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

            Car:  Hudson “Four” special

Finish:  Results of these races have yet to be located.

     

September 20, 1919 – ½ mile dirt oval Colcord Speedway at the Old Oklahoma State Fairgrounds on the east side of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

            Car:  Hudson “Four” special

Finish:  These races were canceled due to rain.

     

September 24, 1919 – ½ mile dirt oval Colcord Speedway at the Old Oklahoma State Fairgrounds on the east side of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

            Car:  Hudson “Four” special

Finish:  4th in the 20-la Victory Sweepstakes race behind George Clark of Dallas, Texas in a Duesenberg owned by J. Alex Sloan of Minneapolis, Minnesota; John Boling of Tulsa, Oklahoma in a Hudson and Dick Seip of Oklahoma City in a Chevrolet.

Feature race winner:  George Clark of Ft. Worth, Texas in a Duesenberg

     

September 27, 1919 – ½ mile dirt oval Colcord Speedway at the Old Oklahoma State Fairgrounds on the east side of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

            Car:  Hudson “Four” special

Finish:  5th in the 6-lap race for “Division B cars” behind John Boling of Tulsa, Oklahoma in a Hudson, Tuck Fordyce of Tulsa, Oklahoma in a Mercer owned by J. Alex Sloan of Minneapolis, Minnesota; John Boyd of Tulsa, Oklahoma in a Packard and Dwight Mercer of Bartlesville, Oklahoma who was driving a Rajo Ford known as “The Ford”.

Feature race winner:  Dick Seip of Oklahoma City in a Chevrolet.

 

September 28, 1919 – ½ mile dirt oval Vinita Fairgrounds at Vinita, Oklahoma – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

            Car:  Hudson “Four” special

Finish:  Results of these races have yet to be located.

 

October 1, 1919 – ½ mile dirt oval Marvel Park in Parsons, Kansas – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

            Car:  Hudson “Four” special

Finish:  DNF in a 6-lap race after John Boling of Tulsa, Oklahoma crashed into Costa.  Boling’s Hudson overturned and caught fire in the incident but both drivers managed to escape without injury.  The race was won in 4:02.6 by Dwight Mercer of Bartlesville, Oklahoma who was driving a Rajo Ford known as “The Ford”.

Feature race winner:  George Clark of Ft. Worth, Texas in a Duesenberg

     

October 8, 1919 – ½ mile dirt oval West Side Racetrack in Wichita, Kansas – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

Car:  Hudson “Four” special

Finish:  Postponed until October 9, 1919 due to rain.

     

October 9, 1919 – ½ mile dirt oval West Side Racetrack in Wichita, Kansa – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

            Car:  Hudson “Four” special

Finish:  5th in time trials with a lap of 35.2 which was only slower than the laps turned in by George Clark of Ft. Worth, Texas in a Duesenberg; Dick Seip of Oklahoma City in a Chevrolet; Harry Davies of Kansas City, Missouri in a Nippon and Mark Jenkins of Des Moines, Iowa in a Stutz.

4th in the 2nd 4-lap heat race behind George Clark of Ft. Worth, Texas in a Duesenberg; Dick Seip of Oklahoma City in a Chevrolet and Mark Jenkins of Des Moines, Iowa in a Stutz.

One of the eight cars that competed in the Wheat Show Sweepstakes but did not finish in any of the top four places.

Feature race winner:  George Clark of Ft. Worth, Texas

 

 

The Severyite

Severy, Kansas – October 9, 1919 – Page 5

 

October 10, 1919 – ½ mile dirt oval West Side Racetrack in Wichita, Kansas – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

            Car:  Hudson “Four” special

Finish:  These races were canceled due to cold weather.

 

October 11, 1919 – ½ mile dirt oval Wilson County Fairgrounds at Fredonia, Kansas – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

Car:  Hudson “Four” special

Finish:  Results of these races have yet to be located.

 

October 18, 1919 – ½ mile dirt oval Johnson County Fairgrounds at Clarksville, Arkansas – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

Car:  Hudson “Four” special.  [Note:  This car was sold to Roy Davison of Sabetha, Kansas after the 1919 racing season had concluded.]

Finish:  Results of these races have yet to be located.

 

May 23, 1920 – ½ mile dirt oval Peoria Fairgrounds at Peoria, Illinois – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

Car:  Fiat special #28

Finish:  1st in time trials despite burning out a bearing on the home stretch and having to coast under the finish wire.

Feature race winner:  George Clark of Ft. Worth, Texas in a Duesenberg #8 owned by Larry Stone of Birmingham, Alabama.

 

May 26, 1920 – ½ mile dirt oval Cass County Fairgrounds at Logansport, Indiana – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

Car:  Fiat special #28

Finish:  Results of these races have yet to be located.

  

May 29, 1920 – ½ mile dirt oval Springbrook Park in South Bend, Indiana – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

Car:  Fiat special #28

Finish:  1st in the 2-lap time trials with a time of 1:07.1 for the two-lap distance.

Won the 6-lap 3-cornered race in 3:33.0 over Larry Stone of Birmingham, Alabama in a Peugeot special.

Feature race winner:  Jimmie Costa of Anthony, Kansas in the Fiat special #28

  

May 30, 1920 – ½ mile dirt oval Springbrook Park in South Bend, Indiana – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

Car:  Fiat special #28

Finish:  Won the feature race by 2.67 seconds over George Clark of Ft. Worth, Texas in a Duesenberg #8 owned by Larry Stone of Birmingham, Alabama.

Feature race winner:  Jimmie Costa of Anthony, Kansas in the Fiat special #28

 

May 31, 1920 – ½ mile dirt oval Butler County Fairgrounds at Hamilton, Ohio – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

Car:  Fiat special #28

Finish:  Results of these races have yet to be located.

 

June 5-6, 1920 – 1 mile dirt oval Fort Miami Speedway at Toledo, Ohio – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

Car:  Fiat special #28

Finish:  Newspaper reports say that Costa broke two standing Ohio state speed records at these races but no other results of these races have yet to be located.

  

June 12, 1920 – ½ mile dirt oval Marion Fairgrounds at Marion, Ohio – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

Car:  Fiat special #28

Finish:  Results of these races have yet to be located.

  

June 20, 1920 – ½ mile dirt oval Lake County Fairgrounds at Crown Point, Indiana – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

Car:  Fiat special #28

Finish:  Costa set two new track records only to have them both broken minutes later by Larry Stone of Birmingham, Alabama in his Duesenberg #8.

  Won the 4-car match race over Larry Stone of Birmingham, Alabama in his Duesenberg #8

Feature race winner:  Ray Rountree of Portland, Oregon

  

 

Jimmie Costa, Jr. in the Fiat #28

August 20, 1920 issue of the Bute (Montana) Minor newspaper

 

July 4-5, 1920 – Racetrack name not given at Kansas City, Missouri – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

Car:  Fiat special #28

Finish:  Results of these races have yet to be located.

  

July 11, 1920 – ½ mile dirt oval Independence Fairgrounds at Independence, Missouri – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

Car:  Fiat special #28

Finish:  Turned in a 1-mile time of 1:09.0 and a 2-mile time of 2:36.0 in speed trials.  Both times were new track records but no other results of these races have been located.

  

July 12, 1920 – ½ mile dirt oval Independence Fairgrounds at Independence, Missouri – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

Car:  Fiat special #28

Finish:  Results of these races have yet to be located.

  

July 22, 1920 – ½ mile dirt oval Harrison County Fairgrounds at Missouri Valley, Iowa – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

Car:  Fiat special #28

Finish:  Results of these races have yet to be located.

  

July 30, 1920 – ½ mile dirt oval Brown County Fairgrounds at Hiawatha, Kansas – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

Car:  Fiat special #28

Finish:  2nd in 2-lap time trials with a time of 1:12.0 which was only slower than the time turned in by Larry Stone of Birmingham, Alabama in his Duesenberg #8

Won the 1st 4-lap, 3-cornered invitational match race in 2:42.0 over Larry Stone of Birmingham, Alabama in his Duesenberg #8.  The victory paid Costa, Jr. $100 from the purse.

Won the 2nd 4-lap, 3-cornered invitational match race in 2:39.0 over Larry Stone of Birmingham, Alabama in his Duesenberg #8.

Won the 20-lap, Liberty sweepstakes “Free-for-All” race in 13:20.0 over Earnie Fosnaugh of Indianapolis, Indiana in a Severen special #34 who finished in 2nd place.

Feature race winner:  Jimmie Costa, Jr. of Anthony, Kansas in the Fiat special #28

 

August 1, 1920 – ½ mile dirt oval Nevada Fairgrounds at Nevada, Missouri – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

            Cars:  Fiat special #28

Finish:  Few results of these races have been located to date.

Feature race winner:  Larry Stone of Birmingham, Alabama in his Duesenberg #8

 

August 11, 1920 – ½ mile dirt oval Marvel Park in Parsons, Kansas – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

            Cars:  Fiat special #28, a Drexel and an Essex special

Finish:  3rd in time trials in the Fiat special with a 2-lap time of 1:10.4 which was only slower than the time trials run by Larry Stone of Birmingham, Alabama in his Duesenberg #8 and Oscar “Swede” Anderson of Chicago, Illinois in a Chevrolet #15.

Won the 1st 4-lap, 3-car heat race of the Invitational race in 2:33.8 in the Fiat over Larry Stone of Birmingham, Alabama in his Duesenberg #8.  The Fiat “sustained a broken rear axle frame” in this race necessitating Costa to switch to the Drexel and Essex special for the rest of the races run on this day.

3rd driving the Drexel in the 2nd 4-lap, 3-car heat race of the Invitational race behind Larry Stone of Birmingham, Alabama in his Duesenberg #8 and Oscar “Swede” Anderson of Chicago, Illinois in an Essex.

2nd driving the Essex special in the 3rd 4-lap, 3-car heat race of the Invitational race behind Oscar “Swede” Anderson in a Chevrolet #15.

2nd driving the Essex special in the 4th 2-lap, 3-car heat race of the Invitational race behind Larry Stone in his Duesenberg #8.  The total purse for the 4 heat races that made up the Invitational race was $750.

Won driving the Essex special in the 7-car, 10-lap Sweepstakes race in 6:34.4 over Johnny Watters in a Drexel.  The total purse for the Sweepstakes race was $1,000.

[Note:  Jimmie Costa, Jr. served as captain of the British Auto Polo team with Roy Raymond “Ray” Rountree as his “Mallet Man” and, together, they defeated the American Auto Polo team by a score of 4 to 1 on this afternoon.]

Feature race winner:  Jimmie Costa, Jr. of Anthony, Kansas in an Essex special

     

 

Jimmie Costa, Jr. in the Fiat #28 in 1921

Missouri State Fair collection

 August 12, 1920 – ½ mile dirt oval Marvel Park in Parsons, Kansas – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

            Cars:  Fiat special #28

Finish:  2nd in time trials with a 2-lap time of 1:07.2 which was only slower than the 2-lap time trial turned in by Larry Stone of Birmingham, Alabama in his Duesenberg #8.

              Won the 1st 6-lap heat race in 3:47.2 over Paul “Mickey”Clancy of Fargo, North Dakota in an Essex.

              2nd in the 2nd 6-lap heat race just a ½ car length behind Cleo Sarles of Des Moines, Iowa in a Rajo special.

Feature race winner:  Larry Stone of Birmingham, Alabama in his Duesenberg #8

     

August 16, 1920 – 1 mile dirt oval Missouri State Fairgrounds in Sedalia, Missouri – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

            Cars:  Fiat special #28

Finish:  Results of these races have yet to be located.

     

August 27, 1920 – ½ mile dirt oval Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

            Cars:  Fiat special #28

Finish:  Costa entered these races but his name does not appear in the published race results.

Feature race winner:  Ray Claypool of Kansas City, Missouri in a Simplex

     

September 3, 1920 – ½ mile dirt oval Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

            Cars:  Fiat special #28

Finish:  Costa was entered in these races but his name does not appear in the limited published race results.

Feature race winner:  Dave Koetzla of Detroit, Michigan in an Essex

     

September 13, 1920 – 1 mile dirt oval Montana State Fairgrounds at Helena, Montana – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

            Cars:  Fiat special #28

Finish:  3rd in the 1st 3-mile heat race behind Oscar “Swede” Anderson in a Chevrolet #15 and Larry Stone of Birmingham, Alabama in his Duesenberg #8.

                  DNF the 2nd 3-mile heat race due to valve trouble

Feature race winner:  Larry Stone of Birmingham, Alabama in his Duesenberg #8

     

September 16, 1920 – 1 mile dirt oval Montana State Fairgrounds at Helena, Montana – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

            Cars:  Fiat special #28

Finish:  3rd in the 1st 3-mile heat race behind Oscar “Swede” Anderson in a Chevrolet #15 and Larry Stone of Birmingham, Alabama in his Duesenberg #8.

              3rd in the 2nd 3-mile heat race behind Larry Stone of Birmingham, Alabama in his Duesenberg #8 and Oscar “Swede” Anderson in a Chevrolet #15.

              3rd in the 3rd 3-mile heat race behind Larry Stone of Birmingham, Alabama in his Duesenberg #8 and Oscar “Swede” Anderson in a Chevrolet #15.

There was an accident near the end of the 10-car, 10-lap “Free-for-All” race that resulted in riding mechanican, Chuck Curran, suffering a broken finger.  Costa stopped to aid Curran and was thus ruled to be a non-finisher in the race.

Feature race winner:  Paul “Mickey” Clancy of Fargo, North Dakota in an Essex #4

     

 

Jimmie Costa, Jr. in the Fiat #28 in 1921

Missouri State Fair collection

September 18, 1920 – 1 mile dirt oval Montana State Fairgrounds at Helena, Montana – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

            Cars:  Fiat special #28 and an Essex #4

Finish:  2nd in his Fiat special #28 in a 2-mile match race behind Larry Stone of Birmingham, Alabama in his Duesenberg #8.

              Won the 3-mile “Battle of the Champs” race in in the Essex #4 in 3:15.8 over Oscar “Swede” Anderson in a Chevrolet #15.

Feature race winner:  Larry Stone of Birmingham, Alabama in his Duesenberg #8

     

September 23, 1920 – 1 mile dirt oval Midland Empire Fairgrounds at Billings, Montana – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

            Cars:  Fiat special #28

Finish:  Costa was entered in these races but his name does not appear in the limited published race results.

Feature race winner:  Larry Stone of Birmingham, Alabama in his Duesenberg #8

     

September 24, 1920 – 1 mile dirt oval Midland Empire Fairgrounds at Billings, Montana – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

            Cars:  Fiat special #28

Finish:  Results of these races have yet to be located.  Costa, Jr. was also entered in races scheduled for this date at the Lane County Fairgrounds at Eugene, Oregon but those races rained out.

     

September 25, 1920 – ½ mile dirt oval Colcord Speedway at the Old Oklahoma State Fairgrounds on the east side of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

            Cars:  Fiat special #28

Finish:  Costa Jr.’s name does not appear in the published results of these races.  He was also entered in races scheduled for this date at the Lane County Fairgrounds at Eugene, Oregon but results of those races have yet to be located so it is unknown if Costa, Jr. made it back to Oklahoma from Montana in time to race at Colcord Speedway, or if he stayed in the Northwest to race at Eugene, Oregon.

Feature race winner:  Lou Scheibell of Des Moines, Iowa in his Chalmers.

     

September 29, 1920 – ½ mile dirt oval Colcord Speedway at the Old Oklahoma State Fairgrounds on the east side of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

            Cars:  Fiat special #28

Finish:  Costa’s name does not appear in the published results of these races.

Feature race winner:  John Boyd of Tulsa, Oklahoma in a Hudson special.

     

October 2, 1920 – ½ mile dirt oval Colcord Speedway at the Old Oklahoma State Fairgrounds on the east side of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

            Cars:  Fiat special #28

 

The 300 h.p. “Blitzen Benz #2” that Jimmie Costa, Jr. drove for exhibitions in 1921 and early in 1922.

Finish:  Costa’s name does not appear in the published results of these races.

Feature race winner:  John Boyd of Tulsa, Oklahoma in a Hudson special

     

April 16, 1921 – 1 mile dirt oval Columbus Driving Park at Columbus, Ohio – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

            Cars:  Fiat special #28

Finish:  These races were postponed until April 17, 1921 due to rain.

     

April 17, 1921 – 1 mile dirt oval Columbus Driving Park at Columbus, Ohio – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

            Cars:  Fiat special #28

Finish:  Few results of these races have been located to date.

Feature race winner:  Ray Rountree of Portland, Oregon in an Essex #4

 

April 22, 1921 – ½ mile dirt oval Covington County Fairgrounds at Andalusia, Alabama – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

            Finish:  These races were postponed until April 23, 1921 due to rain.

 

April 23, 1921 – ½ mile dirt oval Covington County Fairgrounds at Andalusia, Alabama – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

            Finish:  Costa’s name does not appear in the published race results.

            Feature race winner:  Bob Robinson of St. Louis, Missouri in a Green-Dayton

 

August 8, 1921 – 1 mile dirt oval Missouri State Fairgrounds in Sedalia, Missouri – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

            Cars:  C-B special

Finish:  Few results of these races have been located to date.

Feature race winner:  Jimmie Costa, Jr. of Anthony, Kansas in the C-B special

 

August 27, 1921 – ½ mile dirt oval Wausau Valley Fairgrounds east of Wausau, Wisconsin – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

            CarsC.R.G. special #30 and the 300 h.p. “Blitzen Benz #2”

Finish:  Although entered in these races, they were canceled due to rain.  After the cancelation, some “exhibition races” were run on the very slippery racetrack just to appease the crowd.

 

September 3, 1921 – 1 mile dirt oval Michigan State Fairgrounds at Detroit, Michigan – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

            Cars:  Premocar-Duesenberg owned by J. Alex Sloan of Minneapolis, Minnesota in the races and the 300 h.p. “Blitzen Benz #2” for exhibition runs

Finish:  Won the 15-mile feature race in 15:53.6 over Harry Davies of Kansas City, Missouri in a Premier special

Feature race winner:  Jimmie Costa, Jr. of Anthony, Kansas in a Premocar-Duesenberg owned by J. Alex Sloan of Minneapolis, Minnesota

 

September 4, 1921 – 1 mile dirt oval Michigan State Fairgrounds at Detroit, Michigan – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

            Cars:  Premocar-Duesenberg owned by J. Alex Sloan of Minneapolis, Minnesota

Finish:  2nd in the 2nd 5-mile race behind Harry Davies of Kansas City, Missouri in a Premier special.  Costa led this race until the final turn on the final lap when his car caught on fire forcing Costa to slow down.

Feature race winner:  The feature race was canceled due to rain.

 

September 11, 1921 – 1 mile dirt oval Michigan State Fairgrounds at Detroit, Michigan – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

Finish:  Although entered in these races, they were canceled due to rain.

  

September 24, 1921 – ½ mile dirt oval Marion Fairgrounds at Marion, Ohio – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

Cars:  Premocar-Duesenberg owned by J. Alex Sloan of Minneapolis, Minnesota in the races and the 300 h.p. “Blitzen Benz #2” for exhibition runs.

Finish:  1-mile ehibition run in the 300 h.p. “Blitzen Benz #2” in 37.4.

                  Won the 4-car, 6-lap featurel race in the Premocar-Dusenberg, owned by J. Alex Sloan, in 3:58.4.

Feature race winner:  Jimmie Costa, Jr. of Anthony, Kansas in a Premocar-Duesenberg owned by J. Alex Sloan of Minneapolis, Minnesota

 

October 1, 1921 – ½ mile dirt oval Erlanger Track at the Cincinnati Fairgrounds at Cincinnati, Ohio – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

            Cars:  Premocar-Duesenberg owned by J. Alex Sloan of Minneapolis, Minnesota in the races and the 300 h.p. “Blitzen Benz #2” for exhibition runs

Finish:  Results of these races have yet to be located.

 

 

 

Wausau Daily Herald

Wausau, Wisconsin – August 26, 1921 – Page 5

 

 October, 1921 – ½ mile dirt oval at Birmingham Mid-South Fairgrounds at Memphis, Tennessee – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

            Cars:  Premocar-Duesenberg owned by J. Alex Sloan of Minneapolis, Minnesota in the races and the 300 h.p. “Blitzen Benz #2” for exhibition runs

Finish:  Results of these races have yet to be located.

 

November, 1921 – 1 mile dirt ovalAlabama State Fairgrounds at Birmingham, Alabama – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

Finish:  Nothing more is currently known about these races.

 

February, 1922 1 mile dirt ovalAlabama State Fairgrounds at Birmingham, Alabama – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

Finish:  Nothing more is currently known about these races.

 

February 11, 1922 – ½ mile dirt oval Florida State Fairgrounds at Jacksonville, Florida – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

Cars:  300 h.p. “Blitzen Benz #2”

Finish:  Nothing more is currently known about these races.

 

March 27, 1922 – ½ mile dirt oval Tri-State Fairgrounds at Dothan, Alabama – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

            Cars:  Premocar-Duesenberg owned by J. Alex Sloan of Minneapolis, Minnesota in the races and the 300 h.p. “Blitzen Benz #2” for exhibition runs

Finish:  Races postponed until April 1, 1922 “due to the non-arrival of several special cars.”.

 

March 29, 1922 – ½ mile dirt oval Covington County Fairgrounds at Andalusia, Alabama – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

Cars:  Premocar-Duesenberg owned by J. Alex Sloan of Minneapolis, Minnesota in the races and the 300 h.p. “Blitzen Benz #2” for exhibition runs          

Finish:  Races postponed until April 1, 1922 due to the wet racetrack.           

 

March 30, 1922 – ½ mile dirt oval Tri-State Fairgrounds at Dothan, Alabama – Sanctioned by International Motor Contest Association (I.M.C.A.)

               Promoter:  Ralph Hankinson of Russell, Kansas

            Cars:  Premocar-Duesenberg owned by J. Alex Sloan of Minneapolis, Minnesota and the 300 h.p. “Blitzen Benz #2”

Finish:  These races were postponed until April 1, 1922 due to rain and then rescheduled for April 3, 1922 due to a scheduling conflict with the races at the Covington County Fairgrounds at Andalusia, Alabama.

 

Jimmie Costa, Jr. had planned to compete in races he had helped plan at Anthony Downs in Anthony, Kansas on March 31, 1922 but Ralph Hankinson asked him to take the 300 h.p. “Blitzen Benz #2” to some races he was promoting in the southeastern United States, so Costa changed his plans joining Ray Rountree and William Lloyd Fisher (1890-1922) of Mack, Colorado for the trip south.

Fisher had been a pilot in the 25th Royal Flying Corps during World War I and was a member of Mabel Cody’s Flying Circus, as well as a race car driver himself, competing under the aliases “Jules Deverraux” and “John Devereaux”.

Fisher had just finished a performance with Mabel Cody’s Flying Circus in Macon, Georgia when the three men took off from the Macon airport the afternoon of March, 31, 1922, on their way to Atlanta, Georgia, with their eventual destination being Andalusia, Louisiana as all three were scheduled to compete in the races at Andalusia the next day; April 1, 1922.  It has yet to be learned why they decided to squeeze three men into Fisher’s single passenger airplane however.  Just after they took off from Macon, Georgia, the airplane collided with a guy wire on a 60-foot smokestack in the yards of the Macon, Dublin & Savannah Railroad and plummeted to the ground in flames between two trains in the railyard.  Badly burned, all three men were rushed to the Macon hospital where Costa passed away at 10 p.m. that same night.  By midnight, Rountree had passed away as well.  Fisher survived for five months in the Macon hospital before he too, succumbed to his injuries.

Jimmie Costa, Jr.’s body was returned to Anthony, Kansas for services and he was buried near his mother and brother in the Costa family lot in Forest Park Cemetery at Anthony.  Eventually, Costa’s wife, Hettie, and his father were buried in the same Costa family lot.  Jimmie Costa, Jr. had one brother, Charles Costa (1888-1897).  He also had a half-brother, Harry Van Gilder and a half-sister, Mable May (Costa) Hale (1882-1958), wife of Dell F. Hale.  Jimmie Costa, Jr. and his wife had no children and were separated at the time of his death.  Hettie had moved to Arkansas City, Kansas and had taken a job in the J. C. Penney dry goods store there.

Dell F. and Mable May (Costa) Hale were the parents of a son, John Kramer “Jack” Hale (1908-1976), who worked as a bookkeeper in the Hale & Costa Garage.  He was only 14 years old when Jimmie Costa, Jr. passed away but, when he became an adult, Jack Hale dabbled some in auto racing himself, but not to the extent that his uncle, Jimmie Costa, Jr., had.

Although not buried in the Costa family lot, Jimmie Costa Jr.’s paternal grandmother is also buried in Forest Park Cemetery.

If you know anything more about Jimmie Costa, Jr. and especially about his involvement in auto racing, please contact Bob Lawrence at: sprintguy @ cox.net

 

 

 

 

 

Autograph signed in 1917