Marmon Call For "Selling Races" - 1910

The attached article orginally appeared in the May 22, 1910 Indianapolis Star as part of the build-up to the May 1910 race meet at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
In this article Howard Marmon, chief engineer and part of the ownership family for the Nordyke & Marmon Company, called for what he referred to as "selling races" as part of the regulation of stock chassis competition. This term became more commonly known as "claiming rights," a rule that required race car entrants to sell their cars at a fixed price should someone wish to purchase the machine after a race. The idea was to clamp down on manufacturers who entered highly modified race cars in stock car races and successfully evaded discovery during tech inspection. Obviously, their motive was to gain an unfair advantage, win races and market their showroom products to consumers based on performance claims. Just a month earlier Windsor T. White of the White Motor Car Company (best known for their steam cars, especially "Whistling Billy") called for basically the same rule
In the article Marmon discusses the difficulty of tech inspectors facing the nearly impossible task of identifying cheaters. 
"This is a worry of the manufacturer who really races his stock cars, for it is impossbile for even a student of the game or a technical expert to gauge the material to gauge the material in a car under every condition and determine whether or not it is really stock, so that perhaps selling races will best determine, as the manufaturer who races the car he is selling the public would be protected against the so-called stock cars that do not fill these requirements. I favor selling races if they can be arranged, and am willing to have our cars entered under these conditions, which will prove that we at least are following the rules as outlined by the contest board and racing stock cars."
Marmon provided specific examples of how teams could skirt the rules.
"That there are many reasons why the public should be skeptical about many of the present so-called stock cars that are racing there can be no denying, as their examination at a race meet naturally must be of a character which is more or less superficial. Of course it is to be expected that the examination will show the that the cylinders are of the necessary displacement, that the parts are the same as are purchased by the public, but it is impossible to tell if the parts are of chrome nickel steel or some other specially treated process when the manufacturer may not be selling that quality to the public and it is therein that fraud may be easily practiced."
Marmon also provides interesting insights to manufacturing in the day and how race car preparation of stock chassis entries was a bit more complicated than simply rolling a machine off the assembly line. The rules allowed for latitude in preparation of "stock chassis" cars, meaning numerous modifications were allowed. According to the article these included: larger fuel tanks and "the piping" to deliver the gas. The cars also had special paint detailing as well as racing seats.
Marmon said he understood that if a manufacturer was forced to sell his car but were secheduled to race within days it could be a hardship to sell their can prepare a new one in time. This was a very real business issue because a manufacturer could lose consumer sales - and have to turnaway customers - never a good outcome. For this reason Marmon suggested a grace period of 15 days to allow the manufacturer time to service customer orders.
Another interesting point is that Marmon noted that "selling races" could encourage private teams to take up racing. If this happened in any great numbers Marmon even suggested he would withdraw his factory and watch private teams duke it out. 

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