AAA Racing Rules (1910)

This article was pulished in the January 30, 1910 Indianapolis Star. There are two attachments but together they provide the one article.
The continued consternation over stock cars versus purpose-built racers is reflected in the 1910 rules of the American Automobile Association (AAA), which is the focus of this article. This is the AAA's attempt to create equitable rules for manufacturers large and small and enforce the commitment to using stock cars in racing. These rules were authored by the Manufacturers' Contest Association (MCA) led by its president H.O. Smith who was also the president of the Premier Motor Manufacturing Company based in Indianapolis.
One of the top concerns of the MCA was the fairness of the 1909 rule that the core premise of what definded a stock car was the manufacturer providing evidence that they had produced at least 25 copies of the model. The consensus at year's end was that larger manufacturers could produce use 25 cars for racing and thus meet the stock car requirement but actually have a specially designed speedster. One of the key rules for 1910 required manufacturers to produce at least eight percent of their total output of the model they selected for racing. This created a "sliding scale" effect that forced larger factories to make material investments commensurate in terms of risk with their smaller rivals. The rule applied only to the chassis so if the car was offered in a variety of models defined by different body types the factory would not have to treat those variations as a unique car for purposes of meeting the eight percent requirement.
Some "hot rod" options to the cars beyond the stock chassis that were allowed included:

  • "lighter" springs
  • change of steering post angle
  • change of driving gear ratio
  • style of dash
  • seat and body equipment
  • volume and location of fuel and oil tank
  • exhaust header and pipe
  • shock absorbers
  • winding of springs
  • alterations to engine bonnets (for exhaust pipes and leather straps)
  • reserve oil tanks but only with manual pressure pump

Cars were divided into eight classes (Class A through H) and defined as shared below:
Class A:

  • $800 and under
  • $801 to $1,200
  • $1,201 to $1,600
  • $1,601 to $2,000
  • $2,001 to $3,000
  • $3,001 to $4,000
  • $4,000 and over

Class B, engine size and minimum weight:

  • 160 or less cubic inches, 1,200 pounds
  • 161 to 230 cubic inches, 1,500 pounds
  • 231 to 300 cubic inches, 1,800 pounds
  • 301 to 450 cubic inches, 2,100 pounds
  • 451 to 600 cubic inches, 2,400 pounds
  • 601 to 750 cubic inches, 2,600 pounds

Class C:
Open to any gas powered car made by a factory which has during the previous year produced at least 50 cars of the model entered. Piston engine displacement limits apply, but no weight restrictions.
Class D:
This rule seems to open the door for the "freak" machines. Basically it creates a class of any type of car without regard to quanity of production by the manufacturer. Only two events for the class were permitted per AAA event.
Class E:
This class defininition isn't clear to me. It applies to "special events" other than those relevant to the class described above. Again, no more than two such contests were allowed by the AAA per event. This may have opened the door for entirely experimental cars. Think "Garage 56" Le Mans...or maybe not.
Class F:
This class was for gas powered stock cars of the "buggy type." These machines were very low power with solid tires and wheels of 36 inch diameters or greater. The price limts of Class A applied here.
Class G:
This class is for electric powered machines. Class A price limits applied here as well.
Class H:
These rules were not clearly defined but the category applied to "commercial" cars such as cabs and trucks. Early race meets sometimes included novelty contests for such machines.

AAA013010i.pdf1.08 MB
AAA013010i2.pdf185.5 KB