Jan 08 2011

Drivers Who Raced in the 1911 Indy 500 and the Vanderbilt Cup Races (1904-1910)


The decision of the Indianapolis Speedway to hold one major 500-mile race in 1911 with an unheard purse of $25,100 (equal to $571,000 today) attracted the best racing teams and drivers. Not surprisingly, many of the drivers who participated in the Vanderbilt Cup Races and its associated races also drove in the Inaugural Indy 500.



 

Of the 40 drivers in the 1911 Indy 500 Race, 21 of the drivers raced on Long Island from 1908 to 1910. Seventeen Indy drivers also raced in earlier Vanderbilt Cup Races, while another four drivers raced in either the American Elimination Races or the Long Island sweepstakes. Vanderbilt Cup Race veterans also captured the first five places in the 1911 Indy 500 Race. In order of their 1911 Indy 500 finish, each of these 21 drivers are profiled below including; an image of their Vanderbilt Cup Race car, their 1911 Indy 500 car make, their number of Vanderbilt Cup and Indy 500 races and a bio from OldRacingCars.com .




 

#1. Ray Harroun (Marmon)

Vanderbilt Cup Races: 2 (1909 Wheatley Hills Sweepstakes, 1910) -Finished first in 1909 race (see image)

Indy 500 Races: 1 (1911)- First winner of the Indy 500

Bio




 

# 2. Ralph Mulford (Lozier)

Vanderbilt Cup Races: 1 (1910)- See image

Indy 500 Races: 10 (1911-1926)

Bio




 

#3. David Bruce-Brown (FIAT)

Vanderbilt Cup Races: 1 (1910) -see image

Indy 500 Races: 2 (1911-1912)

Bio




 

#4. Spencer Wishart (Mercedes)

Vanderbilt Cup Races: 2 (1909-1910)-see 1909 image

Indy 500 Races: 4 (1911-1914)

Bio




 

#5. Joe Dawson (Marmon)

Vanderbilt Cup Races: 1 (1910) - Finished second in 1910 race-see image

Indy 500 Races: 3 (1911-1913)

Bio




 

#7. Charlie Merz (National)

Vanderbilt Cup Races: 1 (1909)-see image

Indy 500 Races: 4 (1911-1916)

Bio




 

#9. Fred Belcher (Knox)

Vanderbilt Cup Races: 1 (1910)-see image

Indy 500 Races: 2 (1911-1915)

Bio




 

#12. Hughie Hughes (Mercer).

Vanderbilt Cup Races: 1 (1909 Meadow Brook Sweepstakes) -Finished first -see image

Indy 500 Races: 2 (1911-1915)

Bio




 

# 13. Lee Frayer (Firestone-Columbus)

Vanderbilt Cup Races: 1 (1906 American Elimination)- Mechanician was 16-year old Eddie Rickenbacker (see above image)

Indy 500 Races: 2 (1911-1912) Backup driver in 1911 was Eddie Rickenbacker

Bio




 

#18. Billy Knipper (Benz)

Vanderbilt Cup Races: 2 (1909) - Finished third-see image, (1910 Massapequa Sweepstakes)

Indy 500 Races: 3 (1911-1914)

Bio




 

#19. Bob Burman (Benz)

Vanderbilt Cup Races: 2 (1908 Garden City Sweepstakes, 1910)-see 1908 image

Indy 500 Races: 5 (1911-1915)

Bio




 

#20. Ralph Beardsley (Simplex)

Vanderbilt Cup Races: 1 (1910)-see image

Indy 500 Races: 1 (1911)

Bio




 

#21. Eddie Hearne (FIAT)

Vanderbilt Cup Races: 2 (1909-1910)-see 1910 image

Indy 500 Races: 10 (1911-1927)

Bio




 

#26. Bill Endicott (Cole)

Vanderbilt Cup Races: 1 (1910 Massapequa Sweepstakes) -Finished first-see image

Indy 500 Races: 3 (1911-1913)

Bio




 

#27. Johnny Aiken (National)

Vanderbilt Cup Races: 2 (1909-1910) Finished third in 1910 race-see image

Indy 500 Races: 2 (1911-1916)

Bio




 

#29. Lewis Strang (Case)

Vanderbilt Cup Races: 3 (1908 Motor Parkway Sweepstakes, 1908, 1909) -Finished second in 1908 Motor Parkway Sweepstakes-see image

Indy 500 Races: 1 (1911) First Indy driver to die

Bio




 

#32. Herb Lytle (Apperson)

Vanderbilt Cup Races: 6 (1904, 1905 American Elimination, 1905, 1906 American Elimination), 1908 Motor Parkway Sweepstakes, 1908) - Finished first in 1908 Motor Parkway Sweepstakes (see image) and second in 1908 Race

Indy 500 Races: 1 (1911)

Bio




 

#33. Harry Grant (Alco)


Vanderbilt Cup Races: 2 (1909-1910) - Won both 1909 (see image) and 1910 races

Indy 500 Races: 4 (1911-1915)

Bio




 

#34. Charles Basle (Buick)

Vanderbilt Cup Races: 1 (1908 Motor Parkway Sweepstakes)

Indy 500 Races: 1 (1911)

Bio




 

#35. Louis Disbrow (Pope-Hartford)

Vanderbilt Cup Races: 2 (1908 Motor Parkway Sweepstakes, 1910)- Finished second in the 1908 race, see 1910 image

Indy 500 Races: 4 (1911-1914)

Bio




 

#36. Arthur Chevrolet (Buick)

Vanderbilt Cup Races: 1 (1910)-see image

Indy 500 Races: 2 (1911-1916)

Bio




Links to related posts on VanderbiltCupRaces.com:

Centennial Indy 500 Celebration:The Alco “Black Beast” in the Inaugural Indy 500 Race

Index: Indy 500 Races

Five 1911 Indy 500 Films



Comments

Jan 09 2011 Howard Kroplick 2:43 PM

From Robert R:

Wonderful piece on the 1st Indy, Howard.

I must say that I still love the looks of the Wasp.

Jan 10 2011 Jean-Yves L. 8:09 AM

Hi Howard,
Great stuff… as usual!

May I suggest two things I note…
- Hughie Hughes run the Meadow Brook Sweepstakes in 1908. (no “Meadow Brook” race in 1909)
- William Knipper also run the Massepequa Sweeptakes in 1910. Driving a Lancia (#54), he was seriously injured during an accident in the eighth lap while leading the class. His mechanic and a spectator were also hurt.

Friendly

Jan 10 2011 Howard Kroplick 4:17 PM

Jean-Yves:

Good job! You are 100% correct.


Howard

Feb 24 2012 Jim Ganser 1:36 PM

I am from Mishawaka Indiana, the home of the Simplex Amplex Cars #12 & # 44 in the 1st Indy 500. What I am looking for any information that you or your readers might have.or know if any of these cars ever were in any other race events in the GOOD OLD U.S.A. thanks for your anticipated response.JM

Feb 24 2012 Howard Kroplick 11:01 PM

Hi Jim:

An Amplex was driven by Walter Jones in the 1910 Vanderbilt Cup Race. I will do more research on Amplex racing for you during the next week.

Feb 24 2012 Jim Ganser 11:45 PM

Hi J.M THANKS a BUNCH Jim

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