Fairmount Park Plans Announced

This attached article (FairmountPark082308) was published in the August 23, 1908 Indianapolis Star and is about the intentions of the Philadelphia's Quaker City Motor Club's plans to stage a major road race - the first of its kind organized in a public park - Fairmount Park. This is further evidence that 1908 was a big year in the advancement of motorsports in America as races were popping up at Savannah, Lowell, Briarcliff as well as the American Grand Prize and the Vanderbilt Cup. As you can imagine the idea for Fairmount Park had its supporters and detractors but those in favor prevailed. It proved to be a popular event for a few years, beginning in 1908 with the last event coming in 1911. You can read about the 1909 race elsewhere on First Super Speedway.
As the article notes all this came together pretty quickly as the race was planned for October and the announcement was in August. The plan was for the event to help celebrate a citywide commemorative extravaganza called "Founders' Week." This event was to recognize the founding of the city 225 years prior. The article makes an aside reference to the Motor Racing Association (MRA)  an organizing body for what the American Automobile Association (AAA) viewed as outlaw auto races. The specific reference is to a race the MRA planned to stage at Brighton Beach. The AAA, its positioned weakened by a feud with the Automobile Club of America (ACA), struggled to maintain control. Drivers competing in MRA events were reprimanded.
Attachment (Fairmount100408) contains an article published October 4 that is a late update on plans for the October 10 race. The course preparations were well underway and the all-important policing of the course had been accounted for through the use of troops, probably the Pennsylvania National Guard. This was critical in light of the ongoing criticisms of the Vanderbilt Cup and the lack of such course marshaling and the outrageous behavior of hordes of spectators roaming the racing surface. The article also notes that Studebaker, an Indiana car company, had entered the race.

FairmountPark082308.pdf341.91 KB
Fairmount100408.pdf201.16 KB