Ralph De Palma (Biccari, December 19, 1882 – South Pasadena, March 31, 1956), Italian and American automobile racing car driver.

De Palma is considered one of the best automobile racing drivers of all time, part of the Automotive Hall of Fame from 1973 and of the International Motorsports Hall of Fame from 1991.

He holds the record of 2557 victories of 2889 competitions, and the world speed record (241 km/h in 1919, as the 500 miles victory in Indianapolis in 1915 and the epic participation in the 1912 competition, and the great duels with Barney Oldfield).

Ralph De Palma proved himself testing the speed also with airplanes. He was USA National Champion twice and once Champion in Canada. De Palma was considered by millions of Italian emigrants the first “sport hero”. He was born on December 19, 1882 in Biccari and today rests at the Holy Cross Cementery in Culver City, close to Los Angeles, California. On the stone’s grave there are only the dates of birth and death.

The epigraph reminds “the beloved automobile racing champion 1915 Indianapolis speedway winner”.


Thanks to Marlena Checchia for the translation.