Cobe Trophy Grandstands

This image comes from a photograph of the grandstands for the June 18-19, 1909 Indiana Trophy and main event Cobe Trophy race, named after the cup donor Ira M. Cobe. These races were organized by the Chicago Auto Club with American Automobile Association (AAA) sanction. The race course was over notoriously poor public roads in northwestern Indiana between Crown Point, Indiana and Lowell, Indiana while skirting the community of Cedar Lake. Reports I have seen indicate that the grandstands held 80,000 seats but never came near being filled.
As much as two thirds of the grandstands were empty on race day. Organizers found that people attending the races would rather camp at a good vantage point somewhere on the 23.6 mile public roads course. This was the major business challenge of the early road races as it was impossible to charge people for witnessing the events. Check out First Super Speedway's extensive library of research on the Cobe Trophy and its preliminary race, the Indiana Trophy.

Crown_Point_Grandstands.png1.63 MB