Ray Harroun in the Cockpit

Ray Harroun, first winner of the Indianapolis 500 poses behind the big taped steering wheel of his Marmon Wasp. Harroun is an iconic figure 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. For some great photos and information on the Marmon Wasp, check out Conceptcarz.com.
Harroun was no stranger to success in driving cars. He won a variety of races, including seven other contests at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, including the Wheeler-Schebler Trophy, the biggest of the pre-Indy 500 contests at the Speedway. Harroun also won races at Playa Del Rey, New Orleans, Long Island, Atlanta and, of all places, Churchill Downs.
In addition to auto racing, Harroun also worked in early aviation and even served as a flight instructor at one point in his career. Retiring at age 79, Harroun's working life was focused on mechanical engineering. Born in 1879, Harroun died in January 1968 just days after his 89th birthday.

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