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.

Hot shoe Lewis Strang, still stinging from his heartbreaking divorce from stage actress Louise Alexander, had been approached by the Case Company in 1910 to prepare a race team for the 1911 season.

This articles shares plans and preparations of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for practice, time trials and the first Indianapolis 500. It discusses how officials, after breaking from a conference, announced that time trials would be held Friday, May 26. The article was published May 12, 1911.

This package contains two articles. The first is an overview of the men and machines entered up to that point (May 7, 1911) and the second is a regularly appearing column written by the top showman of all drivers, Barney Oldfield. Oldfield was suspended from the AAA in 1910 for organizing racing events outside AAA sanction. Specifically, he staged a race with then heavyweight boxing champion of the world, Jack Johnson. One of the big problems was that Johnson was black. In a racist society the pugilist was villified simply for being successful.

This package includes an article and table revealing 44 entries for the first Indianapolis 500 as of May 8, 1911. Great reference.

This brief article focuses on the National Motor Vehicle Company team and their work during practice for the first Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

This article focuses on the entry of Harry Endicott (brother of Bill Endicott) in the Muncie Company's Inter-State racer. The article was published May 23, 1911.

This package includes another of Barney Oldfield's columns and a preview story on Indianapolis Motor Speedway preparations for the first Indianapolis 500. In the preview story there is substantive discussion of Ray Harroun and the Marmon Wasp. His rear view mirror is jokingly referred to as a "dumb mechanic always looking backward and always on the job." A sidebar story talks about Harroun's plans to become an instructor at the country's first aviation school. Oldfield's column discusses how activities in America spurred European manufacturers to return to a focus on auto racing.

This article discusses various entries for the first Indianapolis 500. Of particular focus is the announcement that Billy Knipper was joining Bob Burman on the Benz racing team managed by former Indianapolis Motor Speedway Director of Contests Ernie Moross.

This package contains an article and reasonably good image (relatively speaking). The article focuses on Ernie Moross' plans to work with an American manufacturer to develop a world land speed record car. The image is of Lewis Strang preparing to take boxer "Kid" McCoy for a lap around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. McCoy offered his services as a relief driver for the Case team, of which Strang was captain. The article was published May 16, 1911.

This article announces Carl Fisher's historic decision to pace the start of the Indianapolis 500 with his Stoddard-Dayton automobile. He sold Stoddard-Daytons at his local dealership. Also, the article announces the Benz team's plans to stage an exhibition run with Bob Burman driving the famous Blitzen Benz racer the morning of the race. The Blitzen Benz engine was too large to conform to race regulations, but it was the car that Burman had used to set a new world land speed record of over 141 MPH earlier in the year.