Marmon Wheatley Hills Ad - 1909

Ray Harroun, the first winner of the Indianapolis 500 and his Marmon Wasp have become iconic figures in auto racing, especially at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, because he was declared the winner of the first Indianapolis 500. The story of his triumph is legendary and part of the tale is his work to design the winning the car, the Marmon Wasp and how he is credited with introducing the first rearview mirror.
A long time employee of Nordyke & Marmon, the company that launched the Marmon Motor Car business, Harroun was no stranger to success in driving cars. He won a variety of races, including seven other contests at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, such as the Wheeler-Schebler Trophy, the biggest of the pre-Indy 500 races. Harroun also won races at Atlanta and, of all places, Churchill Downs the home of the Kentucky Derby
In an image found elsewhere on First Super Speedway, Harroun is pictured in the Marmon 32 that he drove to victory on the Long Island Motor Parkway course in a support race to the Vanderbilt Cup called the Wheatley Hills Sweepstakes.
This Marmon advertisement appearing here was published in the October 30, 1909, Indianapolis News, and promotes the Wheatley Hills victory. Note the ad copy and some of the points it makes.

  • Harroun is referred to as, "R.W. Harroun."
  • The race was 189.6 miles long and was completed in three hours, 10 minutes, 21 seconds.
  • Much is made of the claim that Harroun's car was completely stock, and identical cars were available for purchase by the manufacturer.
  • The car cost $2,650.
  • The manufacturer, Nordyke & Marmon was established in 1851. 


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