Contest Rules - 1910 Auto Show

This article about the contest rules for the March 1910 Indianapolis Automobile Show was originally published in the March 6, 1910 Indianapolis Star. The rules specifically applied to the competitive events that were planned at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This is an example of how Speedway leadership envisioned the track as a multi-purpose facility. They believed the track could be leveraged to attract international and national events to Indianapolis. Among those events they coveted were: national car shows, international aviation events and the top National Circuit races of the American Automobile Association (AAA). Trophies were presented to the winners of the various events at the track and for the parade.
The Indianapolis Auto Show was organized by the Indianapolis Automobile Trade Assocition (IATA). They used this article to announce the officials of the upcoming event beginning March 28. These men were:

Refundable entry fees were submitted to Frank L. Moore of the Fisher Automoible Company. The price was $5. The events were as follows:

  • Balloon Contest - This involved ten toy balloons anchored to the track at intervals, half on one side, half on the other. The driver was challenged to burst the balloons with his front tires using the wheels that were on the same side as where the balloons were positioned. Unbroken or dislodged balloons triggered a 10-point demerit.
  • Circus Ring - The driver was required to pass under a ring suspended just two feet above his head. The passenger riding "shotgun" was required to remove his hat, throw it through the ring and catch it again. Point penalties were assigned for missing the ring, failing to catch the cap and generally failing to meet the objective.
  • Juggling Contest - This event involved an obstacle course the driver not only had to complete without striking the "obstructions" but also required his companion to "hold a ball in a receptacle." While the receptacle was not described it probably was something more in the mode of plate than a bowl. Hitting obstacles or dropping the ball were infractions that received demerits. Also note the driver had to remain in high gear which inevitably prohibited him from crawling along.
  • Cane Rack - This was effectively ring toss from the moving vehicle. Once again a passenger tossed the rings while the driver tried to set an optimum pace with steady steering ideal for tossing the ring on pegs situated along the course.
  • Potato Race - Again, a passenger was required to perform the key task. In this case the challenge was to toss a potato into a receptacle while the driver controlled his speed and steering.
  • Teeter Board - This is the one event the driver was on his own. In this case he was to drive his machine onto a 24-foot long, six-foot wide board centered on an 18-inch fulcrum. Within two minutes he was to drive the car onto the board and ride it to the other end as it tipped to the far side, back it to other end and then drive forward to blance at the middle. Failure to complete the challenge within the allotted time or driving off the board were obvious penalty-inducing infractions.

Despite the fact that there were still steam and electric powered cars on the market in the day the entries were limited to gasoline powered machines. The cars all had to be stock machines. The contests were scheduled to start at 2 PM and entries were required to be present one half hour in advance. The drivers were not allowed to shift gears or touch the brakes in any contest except the teeter board. The cars were not permitted to carry any commercial signage. All entrants were required to sign a waiver holding both the Speedway and the IATA blameless in the event of accidents.

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