Moross Pursues Cobe Trophy - 1910

The attached article (IMSCobe042110) was first published in the April 21, 1910 Indianapolis Star. The article concerns the ongoing decision-making process concerning the venue for the 1910 Cobe Trophy. The race, along with its supporting event, the Indiana Trophy, was the first major road race ever held in Indiana in June 1909. The contest was staged between the Hoosier cities of Crown Point and Lowell and won by Louis Chevrolet.
Donated by Chicago Auto Club President Ira Cobe, the sterling silver prize was a prestigious award and is available for viewing today at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum. Politics always have been a huge challenge in motorsport and forces within the Chicago club mightily resisted what they viewed as a huge helping of humble pie at the prospect of staging their race in the Hoosier capital. Contingent on keeping the race in the Chicago region was the construction of Windy City's own speedway, not unlike the Brickyard. By the time of this article, however, hopes of pulling that off in time for the 1910 racing season had died. There remained a conviction to build the facility at some later date but that would never materialze. Ira Cobe commented.
"The identity of the promoters must remain a secret. I am satisfied, however, that they intend putting up a track that will be a credit to Chicago and one which will afford the best kind of motor racing. They now are organizing their company and when I say there will be no speedway racing here this year I do not mean that work on the track will not be long, it is said the promoting company will start its operations, and even before fall the work should be in such shape as to satisfy every one of the seriousness of the intentions of the people back of the enterprise."
Chicago's admission that constructing a big speedway in a short timeline was impractical energized Indianapolis Motor Speedway Director of Contests Ernie Moross to renew his pursuit of Cobe. Moross and Cobe traded cablegrams arranging a meeting.
Moross and Cobe met in the latter's office on April 25 as reported in the April 26, 1910 Indianapolis Star (attachment IMSCobe042610) Ira Cobe reportedly favored hosting the go for his cup at the Brickyard. Moross also secured the personal agreement of Joseph F. Gunther, chairman of the contest board of the Chicago Automobile Club. All that remained was Chicago club board approval.
The proposal was that the Cobe Trophy would be hosted by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during their July race weekend. While not finalized, a 200-mile contest was assumed most likely. The event was planned for cars complying with the American Automobile Association (AAA) rules for race car classes 4 and 5 - 301 to 600 cubic inches. The outstanding consideration for the Chicago Auto Club board was whether or not to conduct the Cobe Trophy chase on the Elgin, Illinois road course.

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IMSCobe042610.pdf144.27 KB