Pardington's Game

Arthur Rayner Pardington was one of the powerful pioneers who shaped the sport of auto racing in the early 1900's. He was William K. Vanderbilt Jr.'s right hand man in most of the millionaire's race organizing ventures as well as the Long Island Motor Parkway. The attached article was originally published in the June 13, 1909 Indianapolis Star. The article reports on a motor sport competition designed for New York automobile owners in those early days. Pardington is credited with conceptualizing this creative and unique - and perhaps distinctly New York - "diversion," as the article refers to it.
Analogous to a scavenger hunt, as best as I can tell from the article the following is how the contest was organized. The contest area was 300 miles in and around the Queens Borough area of New York. There were 100 "control" stations at hotels, garages, roadhouses and real estate offices where roaming competitors could stop their cars and collect waterproof colored cards which were punched or stamped. The competition lasted for 12 hours beginning at 8 AM. The winner collected the most cards and no maps or location clues were provided. Speeding on the public roads was discouraged with the threat of immediate disqualification. Prizes included a $250 silver trophy and $100 in cash. A secondary event was run concurrently where an official car roamed the hunting area and those stopping it were presented with a card. Those collecting the greatest number of cards from this vehicle could win a $100 prize. Exactly how that worked was not explained in the article.
For more on Art Pardington:
Arthur Rayner (A.R.) Pardington was, among other things, the referee of the first Indianapolis 500 in 1911. This role was essentially the chief steward of the race. Pardington was known as a workaholic even compromising his health with long hours and stress. He began his career as a pharmacist and then became a manager at the New York and New Jersey Telephone Company but his passion was for automobiles. He helped found the Long Island Automobile Club and later became chairman of the racing board for the newly established American Automobile Association (AAA).
Pardington seemed omnipresent at times, acting in an official capacity at a variety of auto racing events, especially in the northeastern United States. He served as as referee at horse tracks running auto race meets, the famous automobile speed tournaments on Ormond-Daytona Beach but was best known as the driving force behind the original Vanderbilt Cup Race. He was a long time confidant of William K. Vanderbilt Jr. and worked extensively with Indianapolis Motor Speedway founder Carl Fisher on his Lincoln Highway project - the first transcontinental highway. Working for Vanderbilt, Pardington was the driving force behind the establishment of the Long Island Motor Parkway. Pardington passed away in Detroit on July 28, 1915 at age 54.

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