First Indianapolis 500 - 1911

This is a large collection of articles concerning the 1911 Indianapolis 500. This content covers practice and preparation for the event, many featuring the star drivers such as eventual winner Ray Harroun, Ralph Mulford, Bob Burman and Ralph DePlama. Barney Oldfield, who was banned by the AAA during this period and missed the first Indianapolis 500, wrote a racing column and several of his contributions are contained in this folder. Complete race day coverage is yet to be added, but will be included them in the future.


This article reports on the arrival of some of the top driving stars of the day arriving at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway: Eddie Hearne, Johnny Aitken, Howdy Wilcox, Hughie Hughes, Ralph De Palma  and even Barney Oldfield who had been declared as ineligible by the AAA for organizing unsanctioned races. This article was published May 18, 1911.

This article focuses on the accident of Teddy Tetzlaff when a steering knuckle on his Lozier racer broke and he crashed into the wall. The article was published May 19, 1911.

This package contains two articles reporting odd sidelights to preparations for the first Indianapolis 500. One example has Bob Burman driving on the Long Island Motor Parkway in New York at speeds exceeding 80 mph - at midnight! He was testing a new Remy electric product, a headlight. Also, Ralph Mulford is reported to have driven from Detroit to Indianapolis in his Lozier race car. His wife Dolly rode in the riding mechanic's seat. These articles were published May 20, 1911. Mrs.

This package contains five articles, all providing tremendous color to the events leading up to the first Indianapolis 500. One article describes preparations for time trials, another provides a frist hand account of Bob Burman's world land speed record run where he claimed attaining speeds of 155 mph in the Blitzen Benz. Another article is in poetic style, comparing the Indianapolis 500 to the chariot races of Ben Hur. Best of all, though, is Barney Oldfield's predictions of best bets to win the first Indianapolis 500.

This package contains an article that describes how the concrete wall served to keep errant cars on the running surface after blowing tires. Case driver Joe Jagersburger was one of the drivers to smack the wall. A sidebar story talks about a special train carrying 300 fans from Cleveland. There is also an image of Ralph De Palma with a cutline. This material was published on May 22, 1911.

This article from May 24, 1911 reports on practice runs at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in preparation for the first Indianapolis 500. Spencer Wishart, son of a millionaire Wall Street investor George Wishart, headed the speed charts with a lap at 84.90 mph.

This is a nice package of four brief articles about preparations leading up to the first Indianapolis 500 during May 1911. The articles were published in the Indianapolis News on May 23, 1911.

This clipping contains a brief article announcing that all entries for the first Indianapolis 500 had arrived at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway by May 23, 1911. The latest arrival was the much anticipated "Speed King" Wild Bob Burman.

This collection of articles from the Indianapolis News for May 25, 1911 provides some interesting sidelights to activities at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway leading up to the first Indianapolis 500. Indianapolis Mayor Samuel Lewis Shank called for the opening of a municipal building to be used as sleep quarters for out-of-town guests as hotel capacity had maxed-out prior to race day.
 

These items were published in the Indianapolis News on May 26, 1911 and reported on the time trials for the first Indianapolis 500, which required machines to attain a speed of 75 mph down a section of the front stretch of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Also, there is a nice profile of what the paper called "The Blue Squadron," or Johnny Aitken, Charlie Merz and Howdy Wilcox who were the drivers for Arthur C. Newby's Indianapolis-based National Motor Vehicle Company team. Yes, the cars were painted a dark blue - how did you guess?