|The Indianapolis Motor Speedway
George Anthony Metzler, Jr. had attended the Indianapolis
500 as a boy and young man, and his uncle Edwin Metzler
had participated in the race as a riding mechanic in 1936
and '37. In his 20s, he had started racing on dirt tracks in
the Midwest and suffered bad luck right from the start,
when his steering wheel came loose and the car crashed
into the grandstand.
He was stationed in the South Pacific during WWII and
contracted malaria. He wanted to race in Indianapolis in
1946, but was still in recovery. He showed up the
Metzler had mechanical problems in 1947 and 1948 and
was not able to pass his drivers test.
In December 1947 he lost $10,000 worth of equipment
when his garage burned and he was uninsured.
For 1949, Metzler passed his drivers test on May 5th.
He was practicing right before qualifications on May 28,
when he lost control of his 4-cylinder Glessner Special as
he went into the first turn at 120 mph. Veering to the edge
of the infield, he spun on the inside apron, shot across the
track to crush the right front wheel into the wall, bounced,
and struck the wall again with the left rear. The right front
wheel had crimpled under the racer when he right side
smashed against the concrete. Metzler was riding without
his safety belt. His chest was crushed as he was thrown
into the steering wheel, and he suffered head injuries.
He was given a 50% chance of living and died on June 3,
The Glessner was built by Wilbur Shaw, who had placed in
the money with it eight times and won in it in 1937.
Metzler had assembled the catfish-nosed car for this race
Survived by his wife Marjory and 14-month old son Anthony.
An automobile mechanic by trade, Metzler had been
driving on dirt tracks for 14 years. He was living in
Indianapolis but had been working in Wheeling, WV;
coming home once a month tho visit his family.
Metzler's mother and brother lived in New Albany, IN
Year Car No. Car Laps Start Finish
1947 55 Dixon DNQ
1948 47 Glessner Motors DNQ
1949 67 Glessner Special Practice crash, died
|Holy Cross and St Joseph Cemetery, Indianapolis, IN