Wheeler Trophy "Finest in the World"

The Indianapolis Star reported on March 18, 1909 that Indianapolis Motor Speedway co-founder Frank Wheeler had contracted Tiffany Jewelers to produce a $5,000 sterling silver trophy. The trophy would become known as the "Wheeler-Schebler Trophy" as Wheeler was the president of the Wheeler-Schebler Carburetor Company. Wheeler founded the company with inventor George Schebler. IMS President and co-founder Carl Fisher pronounced it the, "finest ever given away as a prize since the history of man." The vision was for the trophy to be a grand prize for the premier races held at the Speedway.
This article mingles the trophy announcement with an update on the progress on the construction of the Speedway. The contract to do much of the work was announced two days earlier and awarded to a company known as the King Brothers. One hundred men were employed using 70 mules three 15-ton steam engines. Beyond the track the plan called for grandstands as well as training quarters for the factory teams to be constructed. Railroad tracks were being built that led up to the course. The project plan called for the work to be complete in 60 days.
On the plans Fisher said, "Work on the speedway is geing pushed and the entire five-mile circuit has already been staked. The grading for the five miles of track is being done rapidly, with every expectation that the speedway will be completed for events in the early spring."
The article notes that dealerships were decorating their showrooms with only four days remaining before the Indianapolis Auto Show. While all this was going on the Overland Company was facing a big decision about where they would locate their business. Indianapolis leaders  of an organization called the "Commerical Club" (probably Chamber of Commerce) were working to prepare  an incentive package to encourage them to stay in the city. The primary competition was Marion, Ohio. A vice-president of Overland at the time was Will H.V. Brown who said the company payroll was 4,027 employees. They were producing 23 cars daily.

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