Speedway As A Proving Ground

This article originally appeared in the February 24, 1910 Indianapolis Star. It is essentially an automotive news digest not unlike the "pit pass" concept today's race fan is familiar with. The lead article asserts that the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is an essential proving ground for the still nascent automobile industry to prove their products. This isn't the first time the concept had been suggested as evidenced by an earlier article written by the National Motor Vehicle Company's executive officer George Dickson. The big issue was that apparently the manufacturers of the two biggest car production cities - Detroit and Indianapolis - were testing their cars on city streets and government officials were hearing from constituents that it was a nuisance. The Speedway was preparing to issue books of tickets for the factories to - I assume - purchase and gain rights to use the track. The paper underscores this as an advantage local manufacturers had over those that were Detroit-based.
The next item concerns a change of route in a Denver-to-Mexico City endurance run. The original route had been mapped out by Billy Knipper in a Chalmers. H.O. Smith, the president of Indianapolis-based Premier was the first to enter a car in the event with Ray McNamara driving. The run was to start May 2 and there was some fear that the June Glidden Tour would siphon off all the best entries and make it hard to attract quality cars to this and other such events. Speaking of the Glidden, a third item reported on rumors that a Moline automobile would be announced as the "Pathfinder" or lead car of the 1910 event and the honor of being the city of departure would be awarded to Indianapolis (this did not happen and Cincinnati garnered the honor).
In addition to the Speedway as a proving ground for automobiles Speedway President Carl Fisher - with the enthusiastic support of all Indianapolis government and business leadership - was working had to leverage the track as an attraction for industry and events. As noted in other articles that can be found on First Super Speedway Fisher was lobbying the automotive industry hard to re-locate one of its two annual mega auto shows from New York to Indianapolis on the strength of the track as a powerful stage to demonstrate automobile performance. This is noted in a fourth item of the attached digest.
A fifth item indicates that Chalmers had a traveling exhibit that was moving around the country to various dealsership. S.W. Elston, the manager of an Indianapolis dealership had apparently flagged this for the Star. A sixth item reports that a new clubroom at the Denison Hotel for the Indianapolis Automobile Trade Association (IATA) called the Flat Tire Club would be used that evening to discuss the upcoming March automobile trade show. The final item is a report from Bill Endicott that his Cole "Thirty" was in fine form and ready to take on the competition at the new Los Angeles board track - the first built for automobile racing. This was the Playa Del Rey track.

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