Mardi Gras Speed & AAA Discount

The articles in attachment Orleans013010 were originally published in the January 30, 1910, Indianapolis Star. The article about the Mardi Gras Speed Carnival is the most important one, the other about a railway discount for American Automobile Association (AAA) members to attend a convention at the Chicago Auto Show is an item of secondary interest.
The main message of the article on the New Orleans event is that it was attracting a stellar field of champion drivers and top cars. These came about through the factory teams securing the driving stars or those men drawn by appearance bonuses reported to be a whopping $5,000 - big money at the time. The entry list included:

The attendance of Fred Wagner as official starter lent more status to the event. Wagner was perhaps the most visible and charismatic AAA official of the day. The article provides proof points as to the star power of the drivers, noting that Robertson was a Vanderbilt Cup champion and had won at Lowell, Massachusetts as well as Fairmount Park.
The "secondary" article mentioned above references how 1,000 certificates were available to AAA members for validation to obtain what is apparently a 50% discount on a second train ticket to Chicago for the ninth annual automobile show of the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers. The ticket redemption could be obtained by presenting a certificate at the First Regiment Armory at the Chicago Automobile Show.
Attachment NewOrleansNews013110 was published in the January 31, 1910, Indianapolis News and is also about the Mari Gras Speed Festival. It is very brief and is primarily about the entry list while noting the planned dates for the event - February 5 and 6.
Many of the drivers listed previously - Robertson, De Palma, Oldfield, and Kirscher are included. Two, Leigh Lynch and Fred Shaw, were probably mentioned above as Billy Lynch and "Speedy" Shaw - especially since in both cases the factory entries were Jackson and Knox, respectively. This is significant in that I have never seen a reference to Lynch by any other first name other than Leigh.
Additional drivers listed as competitors were the following:

  • J.E. Delaney (Jackson)
  • George Clark (Jackson)
  • S.L. Speer (Jackson)
  • J.S. Sellers (Oakland)
  • David Besuden (Buick, it is noted this man was from Cincinnati)
  • Walter Donnelly (Packard, it is noted this man was from Cincinnati)
  • John Walker (Buick)
  • Frank Honey (National)
  • E.J. Thurber (Chalmers-Detroit)
  • Fred Hueck (Chalmers-Detroit, it is noted this man was from Chicago)
  • Tony Monteleon (Thomas)

My guess is that the drivers with hometowns listed were those from outside the area and the others were probably local. Also, I have to wonder if "Fred Hueck" isn't really Fred Huyck, the top performer at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's 1909 Federation of American Motorcyclists (FAM) race meet. Huyck was from Chicago, so my guess is his name was misspelled in this report. Regardless, the car owner of the entry was one of the few women in the sport at the time, known as Miss Mabelle McCane. I believe this is another case of a misspelled name in this article. Almost certainly the woman's name was Mabel McCane. McCane had a brief romantic affair with confirmed bachelor and 1912 Indianapolis 500 veteran, Joe Dawson.
Attachment NewOrleans011510 contains an article also published in the Indianapolis News, but actually, a couple of weeks earlier than the first two you find here - on January 15, 1910. The article noted the New Orleans Automobile Club as the organizer of the event. Also, the dates for the races are given as February 5 and 6 - the middle of Mardi Gras. Because Ormond-Daytona abandoned their January speed time trial tournament, this was to be the first major motoring event of the new year.
Lewis Strang is mentioned as yet another driver planning to compete. Robertson, De Palma, and Louis Chevrolet are called out as well.
Again, Mabel McCane is noted as donating a $500 cup bearing her name as a prize. The Progressive Union of New Orleans also offered a $250 cash prize for the one-hour or 50-mile free-for-all race. A group representing local hotels also donated $250 cash prize for a stock chassis race.

Orleans013010.pdf402.3 KB
NewOrleansNews013110.pdf315.97 KB
NewOrleansNews011510.pdf371.33 KB