Chalmers and Ice Racing

This image artifact was derived from a photograph originally published in the February 26, 1910, Indianapolis News. It shows a Chalmers test car on the ice of Michigan's Lake St. Clair - using the frozen, smooth surface as a speedway. These cars also contested "ice boats" like the one seen here in impromptu competition. Other companies, such as Ford, also used the frozen lake for winter test runs.
Below is the original caption associated with the picture.
"Probably no automobile factory in the country has such original facilities for winter testing as the Chalmers Motor Company, says S.W. Elston, local representative. The Chalmers plant is situated on the shore of the Detroit River about three miles below Lake St. Clair, famous the country over for its iceboat fleet. And sustain the big ice yachts, Chalmers testers forsake the famous Grosse Pointe track where much of the summer testing is done, and take to the ice. In these circumstances, testing cars becomes largely a sport. Races between testers and between motor car and ice boat make the tester's task a thrilling one. The ice yachtsmen are very boastful of the speed they attain with their crafts: fifty, sixty and even seventy miles an hour they claim with the utmost nonchalance. And so it is the delight of the Chalmers testers to take a "30" chassis on the ice and beat out the fastest of the boats. This speeding on the ice is about as hard testing as a car can get, too. Between dodging the ice craft and bounding over hummocks on the ice, the cars get as much jolting in twenty-five mile of ice speeding as they do in an entire season of ordinary use. Aside from the speeding, the testers have some novel stunts which can be performed only on the ice. Probably the most original of these is the automobile waltz, a terpsichorean effort more weird than the ghost dances on old Dartmoor Heath. Fancy skidding is another of the testers' ice stunts."

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