George Robertson - Cobe Trophy, 1909 #4

This photo is the contribution of First Super Speedway fan Don Lottes from his private collection. Thank you Don!
The photo is of George Robertson practicing in the Locomobile he drove to third place in the 1909 Cobe Trophy. He also drove to second place in another Locomobile the previous day on the same Crown Point, Indiana road course in the Indiana Trophy. The Cobe Trophy was won by Louis Chevrolet and Joe Matson took home the Indiana Trophy.
Robertson was regarded as one of the premier drivers in the United States. He was renowned for his prowess in 24 hour endurance races on dirt ovals. He won one in 1908 at Brighton Beach in another Simplex and then won the first Fairmount Park (Philadelphia) stock car road race in a Locomobile and followed that up with a victory in the vaunted Vanderbilt Cup in a specially designed Locomobile.
In 1910 he campagined a Simplex during the racing season. Robertson was extremely successful with that machine, winning races at the new Playa Del Rey board track near Los Angeles. Robertson ran match races against the legendary Ralph De Palma on dirt ovals with tremendous success. When Robertson retired from driving at the end of 1910 De Palma acquired the 597 cubic inch car and raced in 1911, including the first Indianapolis 500.
Robertson's career ended as a result of a bizzare accident while practicing for the 1910 Vanderbilt Cup. He had agreed to allow a newspaper reporter to ride with him to help the man develop a story. The story goes that the reporter panicked as they approached a tight corner and grabbed Robertson, forcing him to lose control. The car overturned and the reporter was uninjured. Robertson was left with injuries serious enough to one of his arms to render him incapable of steering the big, heavy machines of the day.
Robertson's driving career was over, but he remained involved with racing for much of the rest of his life. He managed the Duesenberg team that won the 1921 French Grand Prix with Jimmy Murphy and later organized the Vanderbilt Cup revivals of 1936 and 1937.
Check out other images of Robertson practicing for the Cobe Trophy:

The back of the photo identifies driver and car but incorrectly records as the race winner. As noted above he finished third.

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