Glenn Curtiss Enters IMS Meet

This image was published in the June 27, 1909 Indianapolis Star and was part of the paper's coverage leading up to the first motorcycle race meet at the new Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The man photographed, Glenn Curtiss, was the consummate "motorhead" of early days and would become better known for his many significant contributions to the aviation industry. In fact he eventually decided to skip the motorcycle races to compete in Aero Club of France air races at virtually the same time. It was at these Rheims, France air races that he scored one of his biggest successes winning the James Gordon Bennett Cup for aviation.
At the time of the photo, however, Curtiss held the world's land speed record for motorcycles accomplished on Ormond Beach in 1907 at an unofficial speed of 136.36 MPH. While I have seen this speed from several sources I have reservations about repeating it. Three years later in 1910 Barney Oldfield is credited with setting the world land speed record in the Blitzen Benz at 131.720 MPH. This was reportedly the fastest any human being had traveled up to that time so I am trying to reconcile conflicting information. The Speedway was finishing its construction work at the time of this photo.
The caption to this photo as it appeared in the original newspaper reads as follows:
"A mile in 26 2-5 seconds on a motorcycle causes the average man to gasp in astonishment. This record was made by G.H. Curtis at Ormond Beach January 23, 1907. A more astonishing fact is that this same rider will try to lower this swift clip this summer and in this city. He is scheduled to appear here on the Motor Speedway during the conclave of national motorcyclists August 12 - 13. Such a rate of speed has never been attained by anything else except a bullet. He rides an eight-cylinder, forty-horsepower Curtiss machine."

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