George Robertson Simplex

This photo is of George Robertson in the Simplex 90 Special he campaigned during the 1910 racing season. Robertson was extremely successful with the 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.
In 1910 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 triumphed at 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.
Robertson's career ended as a result of a bizarre 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.

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