Louis Meyer bigraphy, stories - American racing driver

Louis Meyer : biography

July 21, 1904 - October 7, 1995

Louis Meyer (July 21, 1904 – October 7, 1995) was an American Hall of Fame race car driver who was a three-time winner of the Indianapolis 500.


Meyer's son Louis (Sonny) Meyer, Jr. assisted him in engine work at his race shops, and worked on the various DOHC Ford engines in USAC racing, including building 15 Indianapolis 500-winning engines. Grandson Louis III (Butch) built Oldsmobile Aurora engines for Team Menard in Indy Racing League IndyCar Series competition, winning the 1996-97 (18-month season) and 1999 championships before becoming the current Indy Pro Series director.

He was not related to fellow driver Zeke Meyer.


He was born in lower Manhattan, New York on July 21, 1904. He was the son of French immigrants, Meyer was raised in Los Angeles, where he began automobile racing at various California tracks.

He went on to become the first-ever driver to win the Indianapolis 500 three times, capturing the prestigious race as a rookie starter in 1928 (though having driven as a relief driver the year before), then again in 1933 and 1936. Louis Meyer started the tradition of drinking milk (buttermilk at the time) in victory lane at the 1936 Indianapolis 500 race and following the suggestion of former race winner, Tommy Milton, that year he became the first driver to receive the Pace Car as part of the race winnings. Louis Meyer won the United States National Driving Championship in 1928, 1929 and 1933.

He died on October 7, 1995 in Searchlight, Nevada, aged 91, where he had been living in retirement since 1972. He was interred at Inglewood Park Cemetery in Inglewood, California.

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