Pierre Louis "Pete" Bertrand was born Jan 23 1902 at Pinos, Zacatecas, Mexico, to Louis August and Jeannette (La Font) Bertrand. His father was superintendent of a large Silver mine in Pinos. Pierre grew up and worked on the family farm in Franklin County, Nebraska after the family left Mexico.
By the late 1920s, he was competing on racetracks in Western Kansas and Eastern Colorado in his P.E.B. Special. Pete also enjoyed the hobby of piloting glider airplanes.
Pete, not wanting to continue farming, left the family's large farming operation by the mid-1930's. At that time the headquarters were in Western Kansas.
Pete moved to Southern California and began competing as a driver at the San Diego race tracks and at Legion Ascot Speedway in Los Angeles from 1933 to 1935. He finished eighth in the A.A.A. Pacific Coast Championship in 1934. Among the car owners he drove for during that time were the legendary Morales brothers.
In 1935 Pete was seriously injured in a crash during a race in the AAA Pacific Coast Sprint Car circuit. He met his wife, Esther, who was a nurse while he was recuperating from his injuries. They married on April 29, 1935 in Los Angeles County, California.
With the coming birth of their first daughter, Esther insisted that Pete give up the racing of cars. Pete remained prominent in auto and boat racing circles through his business of grinding racing cams.
At the time of his death Pete was working on a "rocket plane." He died from pneumonia at the age of 40 and is buried at Calvary Cemetery in Los Angeles, California.
Bio edited from the article "Pierre Louis "Pete" Bertrand."
NOTE: The location of the Calvary Cemetery that was stated in the bio has been changed from Long Beach to Los Angeles, which is where it is actually located. Info courtesy of Bobby Sykes Jr (47395098),
Esther May Dunkin Owens
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