C.A. Coey, Thomas Torpedo, 1906

The Indianapolis News ran an article - supported by this photo - on May 28, 1906 hyping entries already arriving in town for the Decoration Day races at the Indiana State Fairgrounds three days later. This picture is of Charles "C.A." Coey, referred to as a Chicago millionaire, who was reportedly in town with his Thomas "Tornado."* This proved untrue in the end as the car never arrived. Also untrue is the article's claim that Coey drove the car to fourth place in the most recent Vanderbilt Cup. The car was entered in what was known as the American Elimiation Trial for the Vanderbilt Cup and finished fifth there but with Montague Roberts driving.
As the header communicates, the promoters wanted to pitch a rivalry between the most marketable driver in the program - Barney Oldfield - and Coey his Thomas racer. The race weekend proved a disappointment with short fields and event alterations such as shortening the Indianapolis Endruance Derby from 100 to 50 miles. As for Coey, he was a wealthy sportsman who not only raced cars but also was an aeronaut who competed in the 1909 national championship balloon races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Check out some additional content concerning Coey on First Super Speedway:

Coey's first wife was Carrie Hume Lewis. Interestingly, after Carrie passed away, he married Kathleen Bumbaugh, the daughter of balloonist George Bumbaugh who designed and built balloons for Coey. One was even named after Kathleen who was a teen at the time of the Speedway's balloon championship in 1909.  
*Note that the cutline as originally published in the Indianapolis News is in error. It identifies Coey's car as the "White Streak." This is incorrect. The White Streak was the name of a Peerless entry in the same event.

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