Fort George Hill Climb - 1909

Attached are articles reporting on the April 26-27 Fort George Hill Climb. Both focus on the fortunes of the Indianapolis-based National Motor Vehicle Company with Indianapolis Motor Speedway Co-Founder Arthur C. Newby as one of its officers. The first article, attachment NationalRecords042709, is similar to the first in that it virtually ignores the larger story of the event and its associated contests in favor of stressing the merits of the National cars.  This article reporting on the April Fort George Hill Climb (New York) appeared in the May 2, 1909 Indianapolis Star. So many of the local papers' articles pander to the city's industry and this is obvious when if comes to automobile companies.
The slant of this article concerning the Fort George Hill Climb is that the National Motor Vehicle Company was a big winner. However, this was in just one of several events won by other makes of cars which are barely mentioned. National's commitment to six-cylinder engines rings through. The report indicates that future Indianapolis 500 driver Johnny Aitken won a hill climb competition for six-cylinder cars although such details as who he raced against are not mentioned. What is mentioned reads like a showroom salesman's pitch with every rationalization for why the National's performance was outstanding even when it did not win. More objective coverage from the April 27 New York Times makes no mention of the National winning any event.
The National entries were described as stock and this is stressed when they were out-performed by purpose built race cars by such companies as Panhard and Benz. The event staged several competitions with hill climbs and "straightaway speed trials." The location was the Jamaica area of Queens on Long Island and the hill was on Staten Island. Charlie Merz drove the straightway speed trials and Aitken drove the hill climbs. The attached article contains an image that I have captured in the First Super Speedway photo gallery.

NationalRecords042709.pdf206.59 KB
StGeorgeHillclimb050209.pdf783.57 KB