01Dec
12/01/2016
Mark Dill

Let's connect some dots.

In 1909 Barney Oldfield bought in big time to the promise of Arthur C. Newby's National Motor Vehicle Company by purchasing a National "Six" stock car modified for racing. He made it his own by painting the cowling with the stars and stripes of the American flag and dubbing it, "Old Glory."

Dec.1.2016
2978
28Nov
11/28/2016
Mark Dill

Not unlike presenting a pace car to the winner of the Indianapolis 500, in 1909 one of the Hoosier capital city's largest auto manufacturers promised a "gold plated" passenger car to the driver setting the fastest time for a mile run on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. That company was Overland, and the car was a 1910 Overland Model 38.

Nov.28.2016
2977
26Nov
11/26/2016
Mark Dill

Of all things, a passenger balloon race. The national championship, no less. The reality is, almost without exception "fans" of the the Indianapolis Motor Speedway are all about the Indianapolis 500. There have been times in recent decades when people with little interest in the classic "500" came to the Speedway to witness their preferred branch of motorsport, either NASCAR or Formula One. 
 

Nov.26.2016
2975
22Nov
11/22/2016
Mark Dill

Erwin George "Cannon Ball" Baker was the only competitor to take part in both the Federation of American Motorcyclists (FAM) race meet at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in August 1909 and an Indianapolis 500.

Nov.22.2016
2972
19Nov
11/19/2016
Mark Dill

Indianapolis 500 veteran Arthur Duray (center in this photo) clowns with design engineer Arthur Michelat and company principal Louis Delage at the 1914 French Grand Prix.

Nov.19.2016
2970
17Nov
11/17/2016
Mark Dill

Events have consequences and in the early days of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway the tragedies of five deaths and several additional injuries were no exception.

Nov.17.2016
2969
11Nov
11/11/2016
Mark Dill

The story goes that late in life at a banquet Henry Ford said to Barney Oldfield, "We made each other." To that, Oldfield reportedly said, "Yeah, well I did a hell of a lot better job than you did."
 
Oldfield had fallen victim to the games of Wall Street largely responsible for the Great Depression and his considerable lifetime savings were destroyed. Ford suffered, too, but the momentum of the powerful company he had built through delivering a quality product for the everyday person had preserved his wealth and influence.
 

Nov.12.2016
2968
10Nov
11/10/2016
Mark Dill

"Deep-dive" Indianapolis Motor Speedway historians readily recognize the painting on the cover to a 1917 National Motor Vehicle Company<

Nov.10.2016
2967
25Oct
10/25/2016
Mark Dill

Sometimes articles that seem innocuous or obscure contain bits of information that shed tremendous light on historical facts and serve to flesh out the story obfuscated by decades of dust. Dig into this one for some good insights into a trio of guys who were influencers in their age and anonymous today.

Their names? Frank Hower, Walter Hempel and Homer George.
 

Oct.25.2016
2966
22Oct
10/22/2016
Mark Dill

In the practice days leading up to the 1906 Vanderbilt Cup newspaper coverage was plentiful as reporters looked for angles to localize event news relevant to their communities. A good example was when Indiana-born eye physician, Dr. J. Ray Newcomb took a demonstration ride with great American hope entry, the Locomobile of driver Joe Tracy.

Oct.23.2016
2963