Charles Stutz Dominates

The two attachments below contain articles reporting on racing events taking place in early July 1909. Both focus on the fortunes of local boy Charles Stutz in particular. One is from the Indianapolis Star, a morning newspaper, and the other from the evening paper, the Indianapolis News. Both reports are digests of numerous news items extending beyond competition to include the auto industry in general.
The Indianapolis Star article was originally published on July 8, 1909. It is actually more of a digest column touching several topics, the lead being a hill climb time trial staged at Plainfield, New Jersey. The result was big news in Indianapolis as Stutz drove an Indianapolis-built Marion car to victory covering a 12 degree incline mile in one minute, 36 seconds.
Stutz had been on a bit of a tear during an East Coast tour, scoring a first, second and third at a race meet at Wildwood, New Jersey. The Marion car was designed by his cousin Harry Stutz, who would go on to found the Stutz Motor Company.
After the race Harry said he definitely planned to enter the upcoming first-ever auto race meet at the new Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He also stressed the value of demonstrating the qualities of the automobile product through high speed competition, "The public gets the best recommendation possible when a stock car goes at abnormal speed over a race course," he said.
This article also included a note about the opening of the new store of the Indianapolis auto dealership Gibson Auto Company. This new office was on Pennsylvania Street and was a distributor for Premier, Marion, Ford, Reo and Regal. The company also had a location on Massachusetts Avenue that sold "sundries" and managed shipping. An interesting note was that Ford Model Ts were selling well beyond the company's greatest expectations. For some period sales agents were told to halt all sales but apparently Ford had built up inventory levels to support demand.
Nordyke & Marmon, is also mentioned as shipping their Marmon car entries in the 1909 Glidden Tour to the starting point in Detroit. The drivers were Howard Marmon and Frank Wing of the company's Boston dealership. The Marmons, too, were selling at unexpectedly high levels in Indianapolis. The local sales outlet had exhausted all 59 of its 1909 models.
Another Indianapolis dealership - Sterling Automobile Company - took the occasion of high demand for automobiles to announce they were able to immediately deliver models from the marques they represented: Firestone, Cole and Petrel. A local general practitioner, Dr. J.N. Berauer, was reported to have purchased a Firestone automobile the previous day. In those days the purchase decision of a prominent citizen was quite the endorsement. My guess is that the reference to "Firestone" is shorthand for a Columbus, Ohio based Firestone-Columbus Automobile Company. This company started as a buggy company founded by Clinton Firestone and had nothing to do with the Firestone Tire & Rubber Company.
The article in the second attachment (StutzNews070609) was published in the July 6, 1909 Indianapolis News. This article, like the one already analyzed here, is a digest of items. Disregard the one about Barney Oldfield at the onset, it appears elsewhere on First Super Speedway.
The one that originally caught my eye concerned Charles Stutz' vctory at Wildwood, New Jersey. This was a beach racing event and was referenced in the Star article in attachment HillClimb070809. We learn here that his Marion racer was the same one he drove in the Indiana Trophy race at Crown Point, Indiana just a few weeks prior.
The article also reports that the Moline Motor Car Company planned to enter their team, nicknamed the "Dreadnought Squadron" in the upcoming Glidden Tour. They were planning to compete in the Hower Trophy for the runabout class. W.H. Van der Voort, president of Moline at the time and also the auditor of the American Motor Car Association was reportedly giving special attention to team preparations. The car were described as carrying the numbers 100, 101 and 102. They were painted "London Smoke" color and the attending crews were to wear mohair uniforms of the same color.
There are three other brief items. One notes an accident during practice for a Santa Monica race Chadwick "Six" driver Brune Seibel rolled his car over on a turn. Seibel survived, but broke two ribs. The other two items are from Ohio. In Sandusky, 18 year-old Harold Caswell won seven of nine events at a race meet on July 6. He drove a 16 HP Buick. The last item mentions another Buick victory by drive Otto Wovries (sp?) in Dayton.

HillClimb070809.pdf7.56 MB
StutzNews070609.pdf815.8 KB