Maurice 'Mauri' Rose
- May 26, 1906
- January 01, 1981
- United States
- Not Active
Maurice 'Mauri' Rose (1906-1981) was an American racing driver who was active before the World War II and in the early 1950s.
He participated fifteen times at Indianapolis 500, winning three times (1941, 1947, 1948) and finishing on a podium three more times. He was the AAA (American Automobile Association) champion in 1936.
One victory in debut season in the AAA Championship
Born in May 1906 in Columbus, Ohio, Mauri Rose made a debut in the AAA Championship in 1932, participating in three of six championship rounds. He raced in three different cars.
In September, he scored his first victory, triumphing in the Detroit 100 race at Michigan State Fairgrounds Speedway. In that race, he was driving the #16 Bowes Seal Fast-sponsored Stevens-Miller.
Indianapolis 500 debut in 1933
That year, the AAA Championship consisted of just three races and he competed in all three. He scored two podiums, finishing second at Detroit and Syracuse. The Indy 500 winner Louis Meyer became a champion, Rose was seventh in the points.
AAA vice-champion in 1934
In 1934, Mauri Rose participated in three od four championship races. He was second at Indianapolis 500, leading for 68 laps and losing a race to Bill Cummings. Rose was on a podium also in the next, finishing third at Springfield. At the end of the season, he was a vice-champion. The champion was Bill Cummings.
In 1935, Rose participated in just two races, including Indianapolis 500, recording DNFs in both races.
AAA champion in 1936
In 1936, Mauri Rose was a full-time driver again in the AAA Championship, winning his first championship title with one victory in four races. He won the Syracuse 100 race at New York State Fairgrounds. At Indianapolis 500, he finished fourth. The race winner was Louis Meyer.
In the next two seasons, Rose was without wins or podiums, participating in three races in 1937 and two races in 1938. He recorded two consecutive DNFs at Indianapolis 500.
Returning to Victory Lane in 1939
In 1939, Mauri Rose returned to the Victory Lane after winning the Syracuse 100 race, the third and the last round of the championship. He participated in all three races, finishing 8th at Indianapolis and 12th at Milwaukee 100.
In 1940, Mauri's only race was the Indianapolis 500. He was driving the #7 Elgin Piston Pin Wetteroth-Offy, finishing in the third place. He was sharing a podium with winner Wilbur Shaw and second-placed Rex Mays.
Victory at 1941 Indianapolis 500
In 1941, Mauri Rose finally scored his first win at Indianapolis 500. It was one of the most unusual wins in Indy 500 history because he started a race from pole in Lou Moore's #26 Maserati but won the race in the #16 Wetteroth-Offenhauser of the same owner.
Mauri's Maserati stopped after sixty laps due to spark plug problems. He then took over a car from Floyd Davis, who started from 17th place and was running 14th. Rose ended a race as the winner. He won a race but the championship points went to Davis.
Later that year, Rose was on a podium at Milwaukee, finishing the championship 10th in the points. It was the last pre-war season because the World War II stopped all racing competitions.
Resuming with racing in 1946
The AAA championship resumed in 1946 and Mauri Rose was a part of it. The season consisted of six Champ Car races and 71 short Big Car races. Only Champ Car races counted for points.
Rose participated in four Champ Car races, finishing best in the second place at Indianapolis 100 races. In the 500-mile race, he crashed out after 40 laps. In all races, he was driving for Joe Lencki.
Back-to-back Indy 500 wins in 1947 and 1948
After 1946, Mauri Rose slowed down his racing activities, participating in only one race annually. That race was, of course, the Indianapolis 500. In 1947, he won a race in the #27 Deidt/Offenhauser Blue Crown Spark Plug Special, owned and prepared by Lou Moore. Rose was leading for 34 laps during the race, beating his rookie teammate Bill Holland who led for 143 laps.
A year later, Rose won again in the same car – Lou Moore's Deidt-Offenhauser. He won again in front of his teammate Bill Holland. This time, Rose was in the lead for most laps (81).
Lou Moore fired Rose after 1949 Indy 500
At 1949 Indianapolis 500, Rose and Holland were fighting for the victory again. Late in the race, Rose intended to overtake Holland despite Lou Moore's orders not to do that. Eventually, Rose's car broke and he stopped, completing 192 laps and being classified in 13th place.
Bill Holland won a race, recording his first and only Indianapolis 500 victory. After the race, Moore fired Rose for disobeying team orders.
Indianapolis 500 as a part of the F1 Championship
In 1950, Mauri Rose came to Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the #31 Deidt-Offenhauser owned by Howard Keck. He started third and finished third, behind Johnnie Parsons and Bill Holland. The race was shortened to 345 miles because of rain.
That year, the Indianapolis 500 was a part of the inaugural Formula 1 World Championship so Rose's result counted for the championship. Four points placed him to ninth place in the F1 Championship standings.
Last Indianapolis 500 start in 1951
Mauri Rose made his fifteenth and final Indianapolis 500 start in 1951. He was driving the #16 Pennzoil Deidt-Offenhauser owned by Howard Keck. He crashed out after 126 laps, being classified in 14th place.
After that race, at the age of 45, he retired from racing. He returned to Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1967 to drive the Chevrolet Camaro Pace Car before the race.
Engineer, inventor, Hall of Famer...
Mauri Rose was an engineer who worked for Allison Transmission and Studebaker, among other firms, and once he stated that his biggest accomplishment were not three wins at Indianapolis but the invention of a device that allowed amputees to drive an automobile.
Mauri Rose died on January 1, 1981. Posthumously, he was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame (1994), Motorsports Hall of Fame of America (1996) and International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame (2007).