Carl Fisher's Balloon Stunt

Perhaps Indianapolis Motor Speedway Founder Carl Fisher's most dramatic and brilliant promotional stunt (pulled off with the assistance of his ballooning mentor, George L. Bumbaugh, read the article elsewhere on First Super Speedway) was his balloon flight over Indianapolis - when he replaced the passenger basket with a Stoddard-Dayton automobile from his dealership. The flight occurred October 30, 1908 at about the time Fisher was reviewing tracts of land just West of Indianapolis for the purpose of building the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He also ran the largest - and first - automobile dealership in Indianapolis and this promotional stunt worked to attract more customers to his showroom floor. This image appeared in the Indianapolis Star on October 31, 1908. Interestingly, Bumbaugh did a test run of a giant balloon the day before, on October 29, 1908.

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