Classic Out-of-Print Books
These old, out-of-print books are treasures. Fred Wagner's autobiography, "Saga of the Roaring Road" is a memoir of a racing insider dating back to 1903. Fred was the official starter for all the original Vanderbilt Cup races and the first Indianapolis 500. "Fabulous Hoosier," is the first biography of the indomitable Carl G. Fisher, the visionary behind the founding of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the man who developed Miami Beach. "Fabulous Hoosier" was written by Carl's ex-wife, Jane. Take special note that Fisher was inspired by post Civil War orator Colonel Robert Ingersoll.
Both books were criticized for inaccuracies and exaggerations. Some of this can be attributed to the fact that both books are memoirs, and the authors probably relied more on memory than research. Most historians agree Fred Wagner took himself very seriously and Jane Fisher was an unabashed social climber. There are factual mistakes in Wagner's book - such as promulgating the myth that David Bruce-Brown went to Yale - but his descriptions capture the spirit of the times terrifically well. From studying Fisher, I think negative critiques are unfair. The book is a great introduction to this colorful character that played a huge role in shaping America in the first quarter of the 20 th Century. These books will give you a feel for the world of American auto racing in its infancy. Other books will be added to this collection over time.
I have also included a sales brochure from the National Motor Vehicle Company, which was founded by Arthur C. Newby, one of the founders of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.