Oldfield Buys Blitzen Benz

There is a very brief article in attachment OldfieldBenz012610  about Barney Oldfield's purchase of the famous "Blitzen Benz" was published in the January 26, 1910, Indianapolis Star. I regard this as a very significant report as it documents with certainty the purchase date by Oldfield of the Blitzen Benz that he would drive to a new a world land speed record. It also affirms Oldfield's association with the master ballyhoo artist, the sometimes infamous William Hickman Pickens and credits him with issuing the press release on the acquisition.
The Blitzen Benz was the object of much contention as others were pursuing ownership, not the least of which was Indianapolis Motor Speedway President & Founder Carl Fisher. Earlier the car was rumored to be entered for George Robertson in a match race with Ralph DePalma. The car was under the management of Jesse Froelich of the Benz Import Company in New York at the time. Note another story elsewhere on First Super Speedway that discusses Oldfield's acquisition of the car and Pickens' involvement. 
Typical Oldfield, the announcement included a standing challenge for him to take on all challengers in match races at tracks across America. Oldfield was the ultimate barnstorm driver and the American Automobile Association (AAA) had recently announced a "national circuit" of special races designed to minimize barnstorming. A trip to Daytona-Ormond Beach for the world land speed record run and an entry in the Mardi Gras race meet in New Orleans were among the first events Oldfield scheduled for his new hot rod.
An earlier Indianapolis News article (attachment BenzNews012410) documents that as late as January 24, 1910, when the report was published, that there was contention for ownership of the Blitzen Benz. In addition to the interest of Barney Oldfield, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Founder Carl Fisher was reported as offering $10,000 for the car. Representing him in filing that bid to J.M. Froelich, the American agent for the Benz Company in New York, was the Speedway's Contest Director, Ernie Moross.
Interestingly, the article says that in the scenario of Fisher ownership, there would be a condition that Oldfield should be the driver of the car. Moross reportedly indicated that having Oldfield at the wheel was an acceptable condition, but that he had to agree to "reasonable" terms. All this is a bit bizarre on the surface as it would seem logical to conclude that once a new owner of the car took possession, they would be entitled to do with as they pleased.
In the scenario of Fisher ownership, other drivers under consideration were George Robertson and Johnny Aitken. Fisher's interest in the car is documented elsewhere on First Super Speedway. Most enthusiasts wanted to see the big car run at the new Brickyard.
A third article predating the other two found here is contained in attachment OldfieldBenz011710. This article was published on January 17, 1910, in the Indianapolis News. It actually presents two items, one focusing on the plans of Barney Oldfield and the other on Carl Fisher.
Oldfield gave an interview in Chicago on his way to New York from California. In this exchange he shared that should be secure ownership of the Blitzen Benz, he planned to pull together a "circuit of horse tracks," and pave them with "a coating of hollow cement blocks." I have to wonder if such construction material would be called cinder block today.
This grandiose idea never came to fruition, but it is an interesting insight to how Oldfield's mind worked. Actually, it sounds like a pretty cool idea and obviously inspired by the recently completed Brickyard. Another interesting aspect of this is Oldfield's opinion the one mile short tracks were far superior to longer speedways like Indianapolis and Atlanta. His reasoning was that spectators could see around the entire track.
As for Fisher, he visited the American headquarters of both Benz and Fiat. The Benz is noted as worth $20,000. His interest in the German car, which was driven to record speed at Brooklands by Victor Hemery.

OldfieldBenz012610.pdf246.41 KB
BenzNews012410.pdf736.59 KB
OldfieldBenz011710.pdf533.09 KB