Please note that location entries may feature older photos or post card views that may not represent the current appearance or features of the attraction. This site is intended to be a historical as well as current record of various attractions but it is not always possible to have up-to-date information due to the vast number of locations featured here. We ask you consult the propietor for current information.
Source: Al Blixt
The Coliseum at the Michigan State Fairgrounds at 8 Mile and Woodward in Detroit was an incredibly popular venue for midget auto racing in the 1930's and 40's. Crowds of perhaps 5000 fans attended every Saturday night from November to April. It was a 1/7th mile flat concrete oval. I have a number of Coliseum race programs from 1935 to 1941.
One program from January 2nd, 1937 lists drivers such as Henry Banks, Vern Fritch, Ted Hartley, Art Hartsfeld, Jake Jacobson, Eddie Ostwick, Duke Nalon, Johnny Ritter, jimmy Snyder, George Witzman and Wally Zale. All were well-known midget drivers at the time who competed at many mid-West tracks in the summer and at indoor venues in the winter. A newspaper article featuring Wally Zale's photo in 1941 announced that 50 cars would try to qualify for the 12 spots in the 200 lap feature that Saturday.
Other well-known drivers listed as competing at the Coliseum in 1941 include Paul Russo, Johnny Wohlfiel, Cowboy O'Rourke, Tony Willman, Howard Dauphin, Ray Stauffer and Carl Forberg. I invite everyone interested in racing during the 30's and 40's to visit the site I have established to honor my dad, Al Blixt, Sr., who was a writer and photographer at the time. You can find it by searching for "Al Blixt Racing History".