Wheeler, Schebler & Their Trophy

This image was first published in the August 12, 1909 The Automobile and shows George Schebler and Frank Wheeler  standing next to the Wheeler-Schebler Trophy that they and donated as the big prize for the first auto race meet at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in August 1909. Schebler and Wheeler founded the Wheeler-Schebler Carburetor Company and it was the leading manufacturer of the devices at the time. Wheeler was also one of the four founders of the Speedway. 
 
The $10,000 trophy (I believe this number to be more accurate than what the caption below this image reports) was sterling silver and designed by Tiffany. Descriptions of the height of the masterpiece of silversmithing put it at anywhere from seven to eight and a half feet. There is another image of the trophy elsewhere on First Super Speedway.
 
Regardless, as you can see from the photo it is huge (it still exists today). It was the traveling trophy for winning the premiere events of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's race meets in 1909 and 1910. The Trophy was retired briefly with the introduction of the Indianapolis 500 in 1911, but reinstated in 1913 as the prize for the team leading at the 400-mile mark. As the deed stipulates that the trophy would be permanently awarded to the team winning it for three consecutive years, it was presented to driver turned entrant Harry Hartz when his Miller-Hartz cars won the award in 1930, 31 and 32. It was returned to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the 1950's and stands proudly today at the Speedway's Museum.

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