Salzman on Freak Racers

The attached article was published in the June 20, 1909 Indianapolis Star. It is another example of the ongoing debate of the day concerning the value of competition between purpose-built "freak" racing cars versus stock cars that were allegedly identical to what the consumer could acquire off the showroom floor. This was one of the issues the sport's governing body, the American Automobile Association (AAA) was grappling with at the time.
In this case the author of the article reports on the views of George Salzman, a noted racing driver of the day. Salzman was particularly well known for driving the in 24-hour "grinders" on dirt horse tracks. He was later the manager of the Amplex team that entered the first Indianapolis 500. Salzman was adamant that the use of purpose-built racers was pointless as the cars were largely irrelevant to what the buying public could acquire. He also believed that when American drivers in domestic stock cars were pitted against European racing equipment that they were at an unfair disadvantage. These confrontations occurred during such races as the American Grand Prize and the Vanderbilt Cup.
While Salzman saw value in the 24-hour grinders he did not believe the sprint races on short tracks proved much about a car's value. He was a proponent of the long-distance endurance tests like the Glidden Tour. This article should be read in conjunction with another published by the Star at about the same time  (June 27, 1909) where veteran Herb Lytle shares his views in comparing racing venues.

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