The Union Boss and the Most Successful Race Car in History

"Umbrella Mike" Boyle was the scourge of Chicago in the first half of the twentieth century. The notoriously corrupt leader of one of Chicago's most powerful unions associated with mobsters and corrupt politicians, and could freeze the city in gridlock on a whim. But at the height of the depression, Umbrella Mike changed the face of auto racing, and created one of the most dominant teams in motor sports. The "Boyle Special" was one of the most successful cars ever to run.
This is original content based on research by The History Guy. Images in the Public Domain are carefully selected and provide illustration. As very few images of the actual event are available in the Public Domain, images of similar objects and events are used for illustration.
Special thanks to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum:
Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, @IMSMuseum
Video Courtesy the Firestone Archives
You can purchase the bow tie worn in this episode at The Tie Bar:
All events are portrayed in historical context and for educational purposes. No images or content are primarily intended to shock and disgust. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Non censuram.
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The History Guy: History Deserves to Be Remembered is the place to find short snippets of forgotten history from five to fifteen minutes long. If you like history too, this is the channel for you.
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Script by JCG
#history #thehistoryguy #Motorsport

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  • Several viewers are questioning the claim of "most successful race car in history." Part of the point, actually, was to spark a discussion, as that sort of discussion makes history fun. Realize, though, that the Boyle Special was a single car- not a car model, but just one car. What single race car had a better record?

    The History Guy: History Deserves to Be RememberedThe History Guy: History Deserves to Be Remembered27 өдрийн өмнө
    • @caribman10 wow, what an original insult! Never heard that before. You think that up on your own or did your mommy help? I apologize if you don't like humor. Maybe you should remove that stick and stop being so serious. You apparently either crave attention or are just extremely uptight and petty

      Peter GoezinyaPeter Goezinya5 өдрийн өмнө
    • If it was Boyle's car, who would consider passing it?

      Colin KeppleColin Kepple13 өдрийн өмнө
    • @htmonaro1969 Not on a percentage basis. 100% win rate is impossible to top.

      Andrew RollasonAndrew Rollason13 өдрийн өмнө
    • Ford GT40 Mark IV -- Only entered two races and won them both: 1967 Sebring 24 hours and 1967 Le Mans 24 hours...

      Scott L.Scott L.13 өдрийн өмнө
    • @Peter Goezinya Wow, that must've sounded really clever in that echo chamber you call a brain...please note this is a site for adults.

      caribman10caribman1013 өдрийн өмнө
  • IBEW LOCAL #0068 .......

    paleolithictechpaleolithictech4 цагийн өмнө
  • Boyle and Henning??? As in, "Hennings" Motor News????

    Dwight st. johnDwight st. john5 өдрийн өмнө
  • I would enjoy the continuing history of the car .... where it is today?

    orion bennettorion bennett10 өдрийн өмнө
  • Chicago politics has not changed, still ran by thugs.

    TheJHMAN1TheJHMAN111 өдрийн өмнө
  • Wilbur Shaw looks very like actor Robert Shaw. On another note, Chicago, like many port cities, is corrupt probably because it is a fabulous gold mine of transit due to its location. It started as a shipping hub with the I&M canal, then added railroads, trucking, trans-shipment and aviation, billions in goods passing through, providing tax revenue and opportunities to anyone with even a little hustle. It’s a port city on steroids. And yes, it’s still very corrupt. Recently, a Democratic party official was indicted for graft-related offenses. For years, he’s been the guy who picked judges in Cook County. Unsurprisingly, his wife became Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court. Just an example.

    Bob24Bob2413 өдрийн өмнө
  • I don't know if you done a podcast on meat packing in Chicago or even the riot there around the turn of last century, but it might be of interest to your subscribers. I wrote a paper on some aspects of labour relations in meat packing before WWII in the US, Argentina and Australia. I submitted it to the leading Labor History journal in Australia, Labour History, last year. When researching it, I found several fascinating events, although these were also hinted at in Upton Sinclair's book, The Jungle (1903). Just a suggestion.

    htmonaro1969htmonaro196914 өдрийн өмнө
    • Grandfather worked in New York and Chicago meat plants around the turn of the century. Homesteaded in Canada in 1905 onwards and spent most of his life in a rural setting. No wonder.

      Dwight st. johnDwight st. john5 өдрийн өмнө
  • 2:45 we also ask how so many of our politicians can be worth hundreds of millions of dollars while only making $175k/year

    Brandon LinkBrandon Link14 өдрийн өмнө
  • Very timely since we currently have a mafia boss in the oval office.

    Brian MooreBrian Moore14 өдрийн өмнө
  • Just out of curiosity was he and Tony Boyle related?former labor leader UMW.💰💰💰💰💰💰💰

    vern wallenvern wallen17 өдрийн өмнө
  • If you were a fan of early racing, in other areas not just Indianapolis. You may want to look at the history of Long Island Vanderbilt motor Parkway. It was originally built as a private race track for the Vanderbilts. The path of it still exist today as motor Parkway. We are commuters use it to go to work each day.

    Neil KurzmanNeil Kurzman18 өдрийн өмнө
  • I am surprised. That he did not just go to Europe. AND. Steel. 1. William.s

    Designs BillyDesigns Billy18 өдрийн өмнө
  • You lost some weight, looking good.

    ht40ht4019 өдрийн өмнө
  • Hmmm...Chicago a city with a crooked past, and still even now. Wasn't Barack Hussein Obama (Soetoro) from Chicago?? Wasn't Michelle Obama from Chicago...Of course they both were. Crooked city, crooked people.

    George WhiteheadGeorge Whitehead20 өдрийн өмнө
  • Wow... That's pretty wild!

    Captain CobbCaptain Cobb21 өдрийн өмнө
  • Unions have always been nothing but Democrat protected criminals.

    Mr. PigMr. Pig22 өдрийн өмнө
  • "The Quad City Times reported" I was like oh crap that's my local newspaper. still printing

    cazperzcazperz22 өдрийн өмнө
  • Try doing the History of the Lotus 49

    Peter BrazierPeter Brazier23 өдрийн өмнө
  • Illinois politics is still a cesspool. Especially Gov. Pritzker and his Chicago cronies.

    John SmithJohn Smith23 өдрийн өмнө
  • I am the electrician doing the boyle racing shop renovation. It will be a brewery and a small museum displaying the car. THG always comes through with great content.

    Kenny Babbitt JrKenny Babbitt Jr23 өдрийн өмнө
  • Indy is an awesome place to visit. The sense of history is palpable everywhere around the facility.

    Robert DevonRobert Devon23 өдрийн өмнө
  • A friend of mine, who recently passed, did the restoration of the car hauler truck. Robbie Sheets, Sheets Body Shop, Parkersburg, IN. Photos on body shop FB page

    Darrel JorgensenDarrel Jorgensen23 өдрийн өмнө
  • Wow another IBEW criminal. President of philly IBEW local 98 is going to court in June after FBI raided his house & office. He got arrested last month for threatening a union contractor after his nephew demanded to get a 40 hour pay check while AWALL. A union rep bobby pretty boy henon gets paid $60,000 from local 98 while working what used to be a full tkme job as city representative for northeast philly. O yea FBI is taking henon to court.

    izzy garboizzy garbo23 өдрийн өмнө
  • The most successful pair of cars in Speedway history would have to be the front drive Blue Crown Spark Plug Specials. 1 & 2 in 1947 and 1948. 1 in 1949 with the second car out with a broken magneto strap. 2 in 1950. Impressive 4 year run for the two cars. Bill Holland was my dad's favorite driver when he was a kid.

    ProJoe BiochemProJoe Biochem23 өдрийн өмнө
  • The Bathurst 1000, as it is currently known, raced up and down Mount Panarama at Bathurst in New South Wales, has a special place in Australian Motor Sport history. It has, over the years, attracted many drivers and teams from around the world, including America. For almost 2 decades, one man, Peter Brock (Brockie), driving Holdens (mostly) dominated 'The Mountain', earning him the nickname 'King of the Mountain'. Perhaps these 2 legends of Australian Motor Sport might make an interesting subject for a future episode of The History Guy?

    John NeederJohn Needer24 өдрийн өмнө
  • Union pirates, boy I tell ya

    Mr.NaughtyPantsMr.NaughtyPants24 өдрийн өмнө
  • Which single race car had the Worst record in history? A story in perseverance.

    itsdonaldoitsdonaldo25 өдрийн өмнө
  • Excellent video young sir

    HighLiner15HighLiner1525 өдрийн өмнө
  • The story of a real piece of shit

    delinquentdesigndelinquentdesign25 өдрийн өмнө
  • Another arch-capitalist (admirable) feigning care of worker's concerns solely for personal gain (bad, aka all communism ever). Love the story, despise the corruption.

    Bryan GuzikBryan Guzik25 өдрийн өмнө
  • I love your channel and your way of presenting any topic in an interesting light, you could probably make watching grass grow interesting. I have to have to say, I miss your old intro.

    Brother LynchBrother Lynch25 өдрийн өмнө
  • Great post, HG! I wish I could say "the good ole days." 1. Timothy 6:10 every time.

    Gary McAleerGary McAleer25 өдрийн өмнө
  • I lost my appetite for unions in the late 80s. The company I worked for had a union strike. I had to cross the picket line every day for weeks. The guys on strike were jerks to us, even though they were making good money at the time.

    Rick in TexasRick in Texas25 өдрийн өмнө
  • I like your new glasses.

    Bobby WintersBobby Winters25 өдрийн өмнө
  • He got a presidential pardon? seems like some things have never changed.

    Bad XergeBad Xerge25 өдрийн өмнө
  • Corrupt guys named "Mike" in Illinois politics - some things never change.

    Montana HoserMontana Hoser25 өдрийн өмнө
  • If Donald Davidson said it, I believe it. Nice of the H.G. to reference Davidson in this video.

    Richard MourdockRichard Mourdock26 өдрийн өмнө
  • Illinois hasn't changed a bit from Boyle's time.

    ifga16ifga1626 өдрийн өмнө
  • I've always felt the two most infamous but prevalent Indiana pastimes were driving too fast and interstate crime. I've always been a student of history, and the more I learn about my home state, the more I feel like that sentiment is right. Boring place, gotta make life interesting somehow.

    CSelHCSelH26 өдрийн өмнө
  • Mr. History Guy, if you have interest in a story about a racing fan of the Indy 500 who became known as “Mr. First in Line”, check out Lawrence “Larry” Bisceglia. He was the first spectator in line to enter the Speedway for the month of May for some 30 years or more. I don’t want to give it all away but he became so popular he hobnobbed with all the greats of the 500 and in the 60’s Ford gave him a new van/motorhome conversion as a PR move! No other spectator had a sponsor! Oh, and do Brock Yates as well. He sadly passed from Alzheimer’s but his son Brock Jr. carries his legacy forward. PS: Props to a fellow St. Louisan, I’m a Chesterfield son living in Kansas since 2002.

    Bryan CohnBryan Cohn26 өдрийн өмнө
  • I love your channel. I do NOT love your new opening scene.

    J QualmannJ Qualmann26 өдрийн өмнө
  • Unions and Gangsters both tend to employ thugs.

    freesk8freesk826 өдрийн өмнө
  • What a life, he attempted all of it without harsh worry about the outcome. You don't see that type of attitude towards life anymore, even the people that stand out today seem water down compared to the people of the past

    Kevin GuthrieKevin Guthrie26 өдрийн өмнө
    • Risk management. A Presidential PARDON? and then just kept going. He obviously was deep in the "correct" lawyers and connected people who wanted him right where he was!! The first "teflon" guy before teflon was invented.

      Dwight st. johnDwight st. john5 өдрийн өмнө
  • Now we can't even trust the [Includes Paid Promotion] bubble . . . where's the "paid promotion"? I was on the edge of my seat.

    Blue BoatsBlue Boats26 өдрийн өмнө
    • The Tie Bar gives me bowties in exchange for credit in the video description.

      The History Guy: History Deserves to Be RememberedThe History Guy: History Deserves to Be Remembered26 өдрийн өмнө
  • I can organize a group of photographers around the nation (and possibly the world) to capture footage of some of your locations (ie., Lucky Luciano's casino in Malibu, which still exist on PCH today). That way you're not forced to rely on still pics and archival shots which are cool from a historical standpoint, when available, but on a long(er) story some "live" video footage could add some visual appeal and appear less static. Aerial/drone footage is also an option (think an orbit of the Indy track), etc. Cheers, and with or without the live video footage, your videos are great. Keep them coming.

    AG PhotographyAG Photography26 өдрийн өмнө
  • Please consider making an episode about those nazi racers you mentioned here. This is the first I’ve heard of them and I’d be very interested to hear more.

    B FrankB Frank26 өдрийн өмнө
  • Nice new opening graphics!

    Rusty SRusty S26 өдрийн өмнө
  • wilbur Shaw Shelby County Indiana native

    Seeds on Rich SoilSeeds on Rich Soil26 өдрийн өмнө
  • We prefer 'gangland-adjacent.'😄

    Robert McGovernRobert McGovern26 өдрийн өмнө
  • ...only served a 5 month sentence, on account of Woodrow Wilson setting him free... See ANY single issue with this? A progressive president setting a criminal free, just because he is a union boss? Do I have any "union boss" electrical products in my house? Should I be concerned? steve

    Steve SkousonSteve Skouson26 өдрийн өмнө
  • Union’s has done nothing to help the real Laborers. Just about the money 💰.

    Robert AbellRobert Abell26 өдрийн өмнө
  • Love these stories. :)

    Deconverted ManDeconverted Man26 өдрийн өмнө
  • ibew yesterday today and tomorrow

    Andrew FischerAndrew Fischer26 өдрийн өмнө
  • I want to say that the bobble head in the background:)

    Kaiser Wilhelm IIIKaiser Wilhelm III26 өдрийн өмнө
  • It's just astounds me how people think how powerful a person is is something to look forward to look up to. 99% of the time how powerful a person is is directly to how terrible of a person they are. History tells us this and nobody listens.

    Buck Fiden!Buck Fiden!26 өдрийн өмнө
  • "Most Successful Race Car in History" Mercedes -AMG F1 has entered the chat... Can-Am McLaren has entered the chat... McLaren MP4 has entered the chat... Porsche 917 has entered the chat... Audi R8 Le Mans has entered the chat... Lancia Delta Integrale WRC has entered the chat... AND multiple eras of Lotus and Ferrari are waiting to enter the chat...

    Scott L.Scott L.26 өдрийн өмнө
    • Yeah, I was expecting this to be more about Offenhauser...

      rockets4kidsrockets4kids26 өдрийн өмнө
  • Glad to see Doug DeMuro’s father is doing well. Keep up the vids!

    Boss Boom BoxBoss Boom Box26 өдрийн өмнө
  • ...The Governor of Illinois was indicted for.... has been the the most repeated statement in political history....

    Tim WatsonTim Watson26 өдрийн өмнө
  • Interesting story 🤓

    A GooglerA Googler26 өдрийн өмнө
  • I worked at a Jack in the box in the early 70’s while in high school,I had to join up or look somewhere else.

    Dale SorensenDale Sorensen26 өдрийн өмнө
    • ?? What state/province/canton was THAT??

      Dwight st. johnDwight st. john5 өдрийн өмнө
  • Great story. Thanks history guy

    Cliff MennengerCliff Mennenger26 өдрийн өмнө
  • Amazing that somebody can go through life causing so much trouble for people and get away with it! What a bastard!

    Mad MattMad Matt26 өдрийн өмнө
  • I was a member of the IBEW in the 1960s and they controlled all work in the trade. We had to sign in at the local and they decided if and where you were going to work. A $5 bill `accidentally` left in your membership card would `accidentally` slip into an open drawer on the desk. No $5 - no job and they didn't even buy an umbrella.

    RJ MunRJ Mun26 өдрийн өмнө
  • I've seen this car, at the 2019 Hoosier 100 at the Indy Fairgrounds. Beautiful machine. I didn't know there was such a colorful history behind its owner.

    Locker RacingLocker Racing27 өдрийн өмнө
  • I really wish you would pick an intro and stick to it. Most of them are so random. It's like you purchased a pack or something and just use a different one each video even though most of them don't fit your brand.

    TJ MarxTJ Marx27 өдрийн өмнө
    • @TJ Marx I agree, but it ain't my channel, and I do like most of the content.

      LizJLizJ26 өдрийн өмнө
    • @LizJ my mistake. I wish he would stop.

      TJ MarxTJ Marx26 өдрийн өмнө
    • @TJ Marx Sorry, I wasn't clear. Yes, he does a different intro every time and he uses Viddyoze to create them.

      LizJLizJ26 өдрийн өмнө
    • @LizJ Untrue, there's a different random intro sequence every video

      TJ MarxTJ Marx26 өдрийн өмнө
    • THG has and does, using a program called Viddyoze.

      LizJLizJ26 өдрийн өмнө
  • Romero, Romero. Wherefore art thou Romero?

    Denys ArcuriDenys Arcuri27 өдрийн өмнө
  • 14:19 'Racing Capital Of The World' Believe that, if you will.

    GerryGerry27 өдрийн өмнө
  • May I say his, back in the day if you wanted a job in anything you had to know somebody in the family even if got a job as a busboy you had to know someone

    Cornbreadfed KirkpatrickCornbreadfed Kirkpatrick27 өдрийн өмнө
  • Boy I've been in the museum a million times ,the basement is the kool spot couldn't belive all the cars

    john needyjohn needy27 өдрийн өмнө
  • Illinois politics "was" controlled by thuggish and corrupt govt. Yes was lol.

    Chief SlinginBeefChief SlinginBeef27 өдрийн өмнө
  • "Killing of the leader of the Ice Cream Truck Union" is a sentence I would have never thought I'd hear.

    K1ddkanuckK1ddkanuck27 өдрийн өмнө
  • Chicago and my hometown share a unique history, since it sits approx. halfway between Chitown and Indianapolis and was often a waypoint between the two for certain folks (mobsters). I've been to the track several times, and marvel at the history. Thank you for highlighting a place that was a critical part of my upbringing.

    dhession64dhession6427 өдрийн өмнө
  • I've followed the history of the Indy 500 for decades, and I did not know the story about Boyle. Thanks.

    blastforthblastforth27 өдрийн өмнө
  • Would you ever be interested in doing an episode on the Mille Miglia ?

    darragh mckennadarragh mckenna27 өдрийн өмнө
  • WILSON!!!

    KatieandKevin SearsKatieandKevin Sears27 өдрийн өмнө
  • Illinois is still run by crooks. Voter fraud happened🇻🇳🖕 space ghost👻🇺🇸🙏

    Casey HannaCasey Hanna27 өдрийн өмнө
  • I recognize some of these names from the Indianapolis 500 video, that's quite great.

    TheHylianBatmanTheHylianBatman27 өдрийн өмнө
  • Did you contract the Virus, you look a bit under the weather, Gods Speed !

    Where the hell is Donald Trump ?Where the hell is Donald Trump ?27 өдрийн өмнө
    • @The History Guy: History Deserves to Be Remembered Glad to hear ! God Bless !

      Where the hell is Donald Trump ?Where the hell is Donald Trump ?27 өдрийн өмнө
    • I am perfectly healthy.

      The History Guy: History Deserves to Be RememberedThe History Guy: History Deserves to Be Remembered27 өдрийн өмнө
  • The guy sounds like a thug.

    Boyd The GoofballBoyd The Goofball27 өдрийн өмнө
  • Not much has changed in Illinois they're all still crooks.

    lee graveslee graves27 өдрийн өмнө
  • Very well done! I take in as many of these bits of history as I can when I can. This is a interesting story about a race car. Have you done a story about"Broadway Freddy"? He was a NHRA funnycar owner/driver starting in the late 60s. He also was a member of the Gambino crime family. Interesting story! Please keep up the great work!!!

    Ken W.Ken W.27 өдрийн өмнө
  • Remind anyone of our last election?

    Full Wave ReckedFull Wave Recked27 өдрийн өмнө
  • It's highly strange to find a corrupt union boss ;) Depending on the definition of most successful I would have to say the the Niki Lauda Brabham BT46B is by far the most successful race car of all time. Surely it is the ONLY car that has won at every race it ever competed at.

    Alan HAlan H27 өдрийн өмнө
  • Mr. History Guy. I used to like you better. However, I am starting to dislike your posts. Especially, when you simply smirk at unlawful activity. "Unions and the mob were intricately linked" is a good example. Maybe a post of how the Nazis made Germany better or how the starvation of Ukrainians made Russia better or how the despots in Latin America made their economies better might be a post coming soon to your network. Glorifying thuggery never advanced civilization. You can do better. p.s. I never got to car part. I had to turn you off.

    michaelinminnmichaelinminn27 өдрийн өмнө
    • History is replete with bad actors, but pointing out their existence is not the same as glorifying such.

      SkydiverClassCSkydiverClassC27 өдрийн өмнө
    • Nothing is “glorified” here. Rather the opposite, we were unvarnished in our presentation of Mr Boyle’s behavior. His connection to racing is as real as his corruption. He has a mixed legacy. That is neither “smirk,” not “glorification,” it is history. History is usually mixed. If that makes you uncomfortable, I am not going to apologize for history. Ignoring history for fear of “glorifying thuggery,” that is, pandering to those who clutch pearls, will never advance civilization. Nazis were bad. That fact does not and should not mean that we ignore the vast swath of history of those with a mixed legacy.

      The History Guy: History Deserves to Be RememberedThe History Guy: History Deserves to Be Remembered27 өдрийн өмнө
  • "Umbrella Mike" sounds like a great movie. Someone get Taratino on it!

    Matthew VandenBergMatthew VandenBerg27 өдрийн өмнө
  • Union officials corrupt then. Union officials corrupt now.

    Colorado Mountain ManColorado Mountain Man27 өдрийн өмнө
  • Has anything changed?

    David BlankDavid Blank27 өдрийн өмнө
  • Hello History Guy. What can you tell us about typefaces and which one you use on your titles? It looks very 1920s Art Deco.

    Time TravellerTime Traveller27 өдрийн өмнө
  • Awesome

    G CG C27 өдрийн өмнө
  • What? Corrupt Union Bosses involved with Socialist forces? (Yeah Woodrow Wilson) Well thank goodness we've progressed past that.

    J Alex WheelerJ Alex Wheeler27 өдрийн өмнө
  • Dude, The glasses ain’t working. Makes you look like my Uncle, would have looked like in ’73.

    Tom BarnesTom Barnes27 өдрийн өмнө
  • Love this guy!

    Big TBig T27 өдрийн өмнө
  • Typical union guy

    speshulspeshul27 өдрийн өмнө
  • Has Chicago ever NOT been corrupt and crime-ridden?

    Helium RoadHelium Road27 өдрийн өмнө
    • No.

      J Alex WheelerJ Alex Wheeler27 өдрийн өмнө
  • Amazing story. Thanks.

    Russ WoodwardRuss Woodward27 өдрийн өмнө
  • This guy was so crooked, yet he’s a boy scout compared to modern politicians.

    John DakerJohn Daker27 өдрийн өмнө
  • The wasteful pantyhose chronologically beam because minute generically signal worth a holistic uncle. chivalrous, homeless sociology

    Vi TrongVi Trong27 өдрийн өмнө
  • Have you done an episode of the Chicago Tunnel Company, the one that shuttled out ash from the skyscrapers?

    batterymaker Mark IIbatterymaker Mark II27 өдрийн өмнө
  • I think the most interesting car at Indy was the 1952 cummins diesel special car. Although it got pole position, during the race it overheated at lap 71 because it was the first turbo charged diesel ever made and they installed it low and behind the grill, which caused the rubber & grime from the track to clog it up. They never put another one on the track after that, but cummins became a household name because of it. It beat the 2nd place in the poles by almost 4mph @ 138mph. pretty interesting story, and the car is awesome to look at in the indy 500 museum.

    Steve DickersonSteve Dickerson27 өдрийн өмнө
  • As a race fan and particularly Indy I appreciate this video and the information given. Thanks

    Nelson BergmanNelson Bergman27 өдрийн өмнө