Edgar Apperson Speaks

This article by Edgar Apperson was originally published in the January 21, 1910 Indianapolis News. Edgar was one of the Apperson Brothers who owned the Kokomo, Indiana-based Apperson Automobile Company. His brother was Elmer. He and his brother had been in the sport as long as anyone since they competed in America's very first competition held in Chicago on Thanksgiving Day, 1895.
You could look at this article as a harbinger of future developments in American auto racing. Here, Apperson argues that the value of auto racing in terms of product development and advertising does not justify the cost. While he predicts great things for the sport in the coming year, he still questions the value and shares that it was doubtful his company would field a team for more than one or two major events. As the coming decade unfolded, fewer and fewer manufacturers elected to field race teams. The age of "The Special," dawned - cars designed by speed shop mechanics for the sole and pure purpose of simply going fast and winning.
One of his biggest beefs was the proliferation of races, effectively diluting the value obtained through participation in any single contest. He notes that applications for some 150 race meets in the coming season had been filed with the American Automobile Association (AAA) and the Manufacturers' Contest Association (MCA).
Although he does not point to it, the advent of the National Championship race branding probably has a lot to do with this proliferation. The AAA was in the heat of a battle with barnstormers such as Barney Oldfield staging unsanctioned events and effectively cutting in on their business and market power. By announcing National Championship races (which was only a label and not evidence of a season-long points championship) the AAA hoped to distinguish their product from that of the "outlaw" promoters. 

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