Robertson, Indiana Trophy

This photo is of George Robertson, driver of the Locomobile that finished second place in the 1909 Indiana Trophy. This image is from a photo in the June 19, 1909, Indianapolis News reporting on that race. The Indiana Trophy was the support race to the Cobe Trophy and together the races made up the first major road races ever staged in Indiana. Robertson finished third with another Locomobile in the Cobe Trophy.
The following year he campaigned a Simplex during the racing season. Robertson was extremely successful with that 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 won 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.

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