Al Blixt, Sr *

Inducted into the Michigan Motor Sports Hall of Fame in 2014


BlixtSrAlwcamera1948 72(1905 – 1961)

1905 Born January 9 in Visby, Sweden, grew up in Detroit, Michigan. Became a journeyman electrician in 1922.
1924 Photographed first auto race at Mt. Clemens, Michigan.
1925-31 Photographed at numerous Michigan & Ohio tracks including Ann Arbor, Jackson, Toledo and AAA big car races at Michigan State Fair Grounds.
1932 Began documenting Michigan auto racing at the new VFW Speedway (later Motor City Speedway) in Detroit. Photographed early stars like Bert Karnatz, Carmine Frazzini, & Wilbur Shaw. Married Ella Nora Erlandson.
1935 Began photographing midget racing including all the great drivers of the era including Wally Zale, Curly Mills, Howard Dauphin, Glen Myers, Johnny Wohlfeil, Eddie Ostwick, Ronney Householder, Jake Jacobson, Johnny Ritter, Jimmy Brock, Tony Willman and many many others.
Blixt,Al#16Fronty 1935 721937 First photos published in National Auto Racing News (later National Speed Sport News).
1938 Hired by Walter Bull to be the Michigan Representative for the new Illustrated Speedway News. Began covering races throughout the Midwest. Contributed stories, driver bios and a weekly column until 1952. Often working five or six events per week, Blixt reported and photographed races at Motor City Speedway as well as oval in Flint, Milford, Grand Rapids, Battle Creek, Lansing, Davison, Northville, Jackson, Toledo, Winchester, Terre Haute, Greenville, Dayton, Cleveland, Chicago, Windsor (Ontario) and many more.
BlixtAlwMidgets1930sCp 721938 Blixt photos of Wilbur Shaw’s Indy 500 victory fill the front page of the Illustrated Speedway News.
1938-51 Publishes up to 100 stories and columns per year in Illustrated Speedway News (except during WWII) until his retirement from racing. His ISN stories put Michigan in the front page of the nation’s racing news nearly every week.
1940-41 Becomes Michigan Representative for Central States Racing Association (CSRA). Officiated at numerous CSRA races in Michigan. Publicity Director for Bigelow Field in 1941.
1942-45 Worked in Meadville, PA and Plymouth, IN as electrical foreman building defense plants. Son, Albert B. Blixt, Jr. born January 25, 1945.
1946 Appointed Program Director at Motor City Speedway joining promoter Andy Barto, starter Big Bill Mitchell and announcer Carson Zeiter when it reopened after WWII. Motor City Speedway hosted races three nights week including midgets & motorcycles and later roadsters (hot rods).
BlixtAl Logo A 721946-51 Key member of the management team that saw Motor City Speedway draw up to 225,000 fans per year to see midget stars such as Sam Hanks, Duke Nalon, Duane Carter, Al Bonnell, Carl Forberg, Art Hartsfeld, Ralph Pratt, Neal Carter and Iggy Katona. Also covered a new generation of drivers like Jack Goodwin and Rollie Beale was now competing with old-times like Al Miller and Paul Russo.
1949-50 Served as AAA Steward for 100 Mile National Championship races at Michigan State Fair Grounds.
1952 Retired from racing at the end of 1951 and died ten years later at the age of 56. His legacy lives in the scrapbooks of hundreds of drivers and race fans of his era and in the many books written since about the period by race historians like Jack Fox and Buzz Rose.