The Gee Bee R1 "11" was built in 1932 by the Granville Brothers in Springfield, Massachusetts. It was the successor to the less powerful GeeBee Model Z "City of Springfield" and was built in less than five weeks at a cost of less than $5000.
The GeeBee's distinctive design was based on a simple porting, the smallest possible airframe built around the most powerful engine available, in this case a supercharged Pratt & Whitney R-985 "Wasp Junior", producing 535 horsepower for the Model Z and 800 horsepower for the R1 "11", with such a recognizable line it quickly earned its nickname "Flying Barrel".
The first race won in a Gee Bee R1 was in 1932 by James H. "Jimmy" Doolittle, it was the most powerful but also the most unstable of the planes entered. Jimmy decided to fly higher than the other competitors, in order to make full use of the P&W's 800 horsepower while taking into account the "sensitive" nature of his mount.
A forced landing during the second race ended the 1932 season.
To this day, 1,802 races have been won aboard a Gee Bee out of a total of 2,400 races.
It will remain in History as the most iconic and sexy racer of the 30's.