Indianapolis Harvest Classic

This race meet was run in September 1916, never to be repeated. The collection contains the best assortment of articles on this event you’ll find anywhere, with coverage from Indianapolis newspapers and the automobile trade press. The biggest star of the meet was Johnny Aitken, who won all three races in his Peugeot. Eddie Rickenbacker in his Maxwell was a threat, as well as Howdy Wilcox (Premier) and Hughie Hughes (Hoskins Special) gave Aitken stiff competition. Aitken battled with Dario Resta all season long the AAA's first major points championship. Resta finally took the championship late in the year at the American Grand Prize road race in Santa Monica.

This is coverage of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's September 9, 1916 "Harvest Classic." This content provides a full table of results for all three events of 20, 50 and 100 miles. Johnny Aitken won all three, but had to fight off tough competition primarily from Hughie Hughes and Eddie Rickenbacker. The article was published in their September 14 edition.

This September 10, 1916 Indianapolis Star coverage of the Harvest Classic focuses on Johnny Aitken's dramatic victory in the 100 mile feature of the race meet. Aitken had one of the steering arms on his Peugeot break, slowing his pace tremendously. He would have lost the event had leader Eddie Rickenbacker not had a wheel collapse in the Northwest turn. An interesting image is associated with the story showing driver Tom Rooney still recovering from a broken leg watching the races with his wife from the stands.

This article is pre-race coverage of the 300-mile race at the new Cincinnati Speedway board track staged the week before the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's Harvest Classic. Johnny Aitken won this major contest as well.

This article appeared in the Indianapolis News on September 9, 1916. The News was Indianapolis' evening paper, and served the purpose of giving events news coverage on the same day they occurred - except that deadline was early afternoon in order to be distributed in time for the evening commute home from the office. As a result, an event like the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's September 9, 1916 race meet was not fully complete by the time the paper was distributed.

This article was published September 7, 1916 and summarized entries for the September 9 Harvest Classic at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Two of the more prominent names were Ralph De Palma (Peugeot) and Louis Chevrolet (Sunbeam). De Plama's entry was significant because he missed the May Indianapolis 500 (in 1916 the "500" was scheduled for only 300 miles) when he played games with Speedway management in negotiating for appearance money as the defending champion.

This article about the Harvest Classic was originally published in Motor Age in the September 14, 1916 edition. Excellent coverage supplemented by several tables of finishing order, drivers, equipment and even times and speeds. Lots of good color commentary about Eddie Rickenbacker (back before he changed his name from Rickenbacher), Johnny Aitken, Ralph De Palma and driver Tom Rooney who watched from the stands, still mending a leg broken in the Brickyard's Memorial Day Classic.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway management scrambled to scare up a ride for Ralph De Palma in the September 9, 1916 Harvest Classic. De Palma, whose own car was damaged, first was assigned to Peugeot previously driven by Ralph Mulford. But the day before the race he was assigned to a different Peugeot originally planned for Charlie Merz. Ticket sales were slow for the race and attracting a big name like De Palma into the entry list was deemed paramount.

In the wake of the September 9, 1916 Harvest Classic the Indianapolis Motor Speedway announced that it would return to the 500 mile race format for its Memorial Day Classic after shortening it to 300 miles the previous May. This article, published September 10, also summarized the Brickyard's September 9 running of the Harvest Classic race meet. This content also includes the image of Johnny Aitken, who swept the three race card, pouring water over his hot tires during a break in the competition.

Because ticket sales were so poor for the Harvest Classic, management at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway changed the time of the races. Originally scheduled for 1:30, they were bumped back to 2 o'clock. In this package you will find two ads, one, which ran earlier in September, that indicates the start time is 1:30. The second ad, which ran the day before the race on September 8, reflects the later start time. Running beside the September 8 ad is an article reporting the Speedway's decision to push the start time back.

This article reports that Ralph De Palma would be one of the drivers in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's September 9, 1916 Harvest Classic race meet. The announcement was made by T.E. "Pop" Meyers, the Speedway's general manager for many years after the departure of Ernie Moross in 1910.