Carl Fisher - IMS Auto Country Club? (1910)

This article was first published in the April 29, 1910 Indianapolis Star. It concerns another product of the fertile mind of Indianapolis Motor Speedway Founder and President Carl Fisher - the concept of a country club-style membership located the track. This idea has gained momentum in recent years as road courses have been designed with private membership in mind and others, like Virginia International Raceway (VIR) offers such memberships while also hosting significant professional racing competition. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway would do well today to embrace this kind of offer to better leverage the facility and create another revenue stream.
Fisher's proposal, communicated through Speedway Director of Contests Ernie Moross, included a club house for the "motor fraternity" on the grounds. The proposed registration fee was $15 per member. The expectation was that this value proposition would attract over 1,000 members from manufacturers, dealers and private owners. Members would be entitled to track access for "pleasure driving" as well as tickets to eight days of aviation meet events.
A meeting was held the night previous to the article's publication at the Flat Tire Club rooms of the Denison Hotel. F.I. Willis, an official of the Indianapolis Automobile Trade Association (IATA) and owner of a prominent automobile dealership presided over the meeting. The article credits Moross with "starting the boom" for the organization, so it may well have been his idea. Plans reportedly called for the club to be affiliated with an organization referred to as the American Automobile Club. It is possible that what the writer meant to refer to was the American Automobile Association or the Hoosier state club at the time.
A gentleman referred to as "A.R. Kling" is mentioned as the secretary of the "new organization." Will H. Brown, vice president of the Overland Company is said to have declared in favor of the club. Other leaders stepping forward to help with its establishment were T.E. (Thomas) Hibben, Frank Staley and former Mayor Charles Bookwalter. Hibben and Staley were executives in the Indianapolis auto industry.

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