Harkness Trophy - 1916

This image is another great submission by First Super Speedway contributor Ken Parrotte. Ken reports that it was originally a promotional photo for the October 28, 1916 Harkness Trophy at the Sheepshead Bay board track. The trophy was named after Harry Harkness who purchased the Sheepshead Bay track and converted from a dirt runing surface horse racing facility to one of the remarkable board race tracks like Uniontown that produced many legendary tales of auto racing beginning in 1910 with Playa Del Rey. Board track racing extended into the early 1930's before being abandoned as a speedway construction option due to the high cost of maintenance.
 
As for Harkness, he was born into massive weatlh and spent his life largely pursuing pleasure. Despite burning through a good portion of the huge estate he inherited and never really proving himself as a businessman his ventures advanced the automobile, auto racing and aviation. Indianapolis Motor Speedway Founder Carl Fisher was briefly president of the track, applying his command of business to launch the facility. He ostensibly distanced himself from those duties upon discovering that New York mobsters were part of the investment group providing start-up capital.
 
Below is a legend of the men who appeared in the promotional photo.
 
1. Dario Resta

2. Harry Harkness

3. Johnny Aitken

4. Ralph DePalma

5. Eddie Rickenbacker

6. Harkness Trophy

7. Ralph Mulford

 

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