|Birth: ||Nov. 19, 1896|
Los Angeles County
|Death: ||May 31, 1919|
Complete name: Robert Monroy Bandini
Birth date: 19.Nov.1896
Birth Place: Los Angeles, CA, United States
Death date: 31.May.1919
Death Place: Indianapolis, IN, United States
Accident date: 31.May.1919
Series: American Automobile Association National Championship
Race: Liberty 500 Mile Sweepstakes
Country: United States
Venue: Indianapolis Motor Speedway
The Indianapolis Liberty Sweepstakes, now called the Indianapolis 500, held on Saturday, 31 May 1919, was won by Howard Wilcox in a Peugeot. His win was overshadowed by the death of three men during the race. Arthur Thurman was killed instantly in the crash of his car, and his riding mechanic, Nicholas Molinaro, was taken to the hospital with serious injuries, from which he recovered. Louis LeCocq and his riding mechanic, Robert Bandini, were burned to death when their car rolled over, trapping them under their car.
Louis LeCocq was driving one of the two "Roamers" entered in the race by motor racing legend Roscoe Sarles. These cars were powered by a 299-cubic-inch Duesenberg engine. During the 97th lap the gas tank of LeCocq's car suddenly exploded in a ball of flame just in front of Grandstand G. Instantly the car flipped over, pinning both driver and mechanic underneath.
The short life of Robert Bandini was remarkable. In 1900 the U. S. Census showed him to be three years old, living with his grandparents in Los Angeles, Califonia. In 1910 he was living in Marin County, California, a resident of the St. Vincents Roman Catholic Orphan Asylum of San Francisco for boys. But he had inherited a one-sixth share of property worth seven million dollars from his grandmother, Mrs. Arcadia B. DeBaker.
Young Robert Bandini was able to pass the days as he pleased. He was attracted to the sport of automobile racing and was known to have purchased automobiles for drivers, with the condition that he be allowed to race with them as their riding mechanic. The luck of the wealthy 21-year-old sportsman ended at Indianapolis.
Mary Harris Bandini (1892 - 1918)
Created by: Susan Faught (inactive)
Record added: Jan 24, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 10367774