Author Topic: ALCO's entry to the 1911 Indianapolis 500  (Read 3347 times)

indrr

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ALCO's entry to the 1911 Indianapolis 500
« on: May 29, 2011, 06:16:06 AM »
In addition to the part that the Big Four and Indianapolis Crawfordsville and Western played in delivering people to the 1911 Indianapolis 500, apparently there was another railroad tie-in...

ALCO made Harry Grant's car, which had won the 1909 and 1910 Vanderbilt Cups. In the Indy 500 though, he came in 33rd out of 40. Here's a picture of him and the car winning the 1910 race: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Alco_Vanderbilt_1910.jpg

I can't find any more info on the car, nor why or how ALCO branched into automobiles. Anybody know more?

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trainmaster53

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Re: ALCO's entry to the 1911 Indianapolis 500
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2011, 09:14:57 AM »
Have you checked the the Speedway Museum to see if they have any information about the Car?

Howard Pletcher

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Re: ALCO's entry to the 1911 Indianapolis 500
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2011, 07:13:15 PM »
A google search for Alco Automobile produced a couple of references and photos of a 1909 racer.

Wikipedia says the reason was diversification, but apparently it wasn't too successful.  They built cars from 1906 to 1913.  Walter P. Chrysler got his start as plant manager for Alco Automobile.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2011, 07:40:44 PM by Howard »

Racecar52

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Re: ALCO's entry to the 1911 Indianapolis 500
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2011, 07:50:13 PM »
Nathan you totally stole this off the PRRC page, lol

I found out about it in this month's sports illustrated.
If I scanned some of the images and posted, would that be okay?

EDIT* how 'bout this
Quote
American Locomotive Company Enters the Auto Industry
Their decision to enter auto manufacturing was part of a national pattern of business retooling at the time, similar to the transition at Pierce from bicycles to autos or Studebaker from carriages and wagons to autos.  Rather than start their automotive operations from gound zero, Alco entered into a three-year agreement with the French automotive firm of Berliet. Alco's management admired the advanced engineering of continental autos, but had reservations about European endurance and lasting power on rough American roads. They concluded that it was not feasible to consider any car except one built to shrug off the rugged mountain routes of the Rhone Valley in France.

http://www.vanderbiltcupraces.com/index.php/blog/article/sunday_january_22_2011_article_the_alco_story_distinctive_durable_doomed
« Last Edit: May 29, 2011, 08:02:35 PM by BlackCavalier52 »
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Twitty

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Re: ALCO's entry to the 1911 Indianapolis 500
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2011, 08:24:31 PM »
several videos on youtube featuring alco race cars
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indrr

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Re: ALCO's entry to the 1911 Indianapolis 500
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2011, 09:17:42 PM »
Nathan you totally stole this off the PRRC page, lol

I found out about it in this month's sports illustrated.
If I scanned some of the images and posted, would that be okay?

EDIT* how 'bout this
http://www.vanderbiltcupraces.com/index.php/blog/article/sunday_january_22_2011_article_the_alco_story_distinctive_durable_doomed
No, just found it this morning when researching for Historic Indianapolis.com. It came from a mention in an article here: http://www.firstsuperspeedway.com  Thanks for the link, looks like good info.
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Howard Pletcher

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Re: ALCO's entry to the 1911 Indianapolis 500
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2011, 09:53:23 PM »
A weekly newspaper from Elkhart County published an article about the 1911 race and the Amplex cars which were manufactured in Mishawaka and competed in the first race.  The article included a photo of part of the log of entries for the race.  I found it interesting that besides Alco, the very first entry on the log along with 2 later ones was the JI Case Threshing Machine Co. for their Case autos.


indrr

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Re: ALCO's entry to the 1911 Indianapolis 500
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2011, 10:08:53 PM »
Hi all:

Here are links to information on:

Automobiles manufactured by the American Locomobile Company:
http://www.vanderbiltcupraces.com/index.php/blog/article/index_american_locomotive_company

The Alco "Black Beast" Racer:

Enjoy,

Howard Kroplick
East Hills, NY
Thanks! Looks like you get to drive that one a lot, eh?
Nathan Bilger
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HowardKroplick

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Re: ALCO's entry to the 1911 Indianapolis 500
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2011, 10:21:02 PM »
Great fun! 2011 Indy 500 parade lap was a thrill of a lifetime!!

Enjoy,

Howard kroplick
East Hills, NY

Sharky1

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Re: ALCO's entry to the 1911 Indianapolis 500
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2011, 12:08:45 AM »
Eric Powell did a story in Trains a few years ago about the Alco racer. Eric works for Indianapolis Motor Speedway and contributes to Trains.
There a fine line between a 'hobby' and a 'mental illness'.

HowardKroplick

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Re: ALCO's entry to the 1911 Indianapolis 500
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2011, 10:49:39 AM »
Hi Sharky:

Do you know the date of the "Trains" issue in which the Alco article appeared?

Thanks!

Howard Kroplick
East Hills, NY

Sharky1

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Re: ALCO's entry to the 1911 Indianapolis 500
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2011, 11:08:14 AM »
Another note of interest. I was watching TV about the Indiana Railroad derailment last week and the spokesman for Indiana Railroad was - Eric Powell. You could try asking him there.
There a fine line between a 'hobby' and a 'mental illness'.

Twitty

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Re: ALCO's entry to the 1911 Indianapolis 500
« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2011, 01:24:18 AM »
« Last Edit: July 19, 2011, 05:25:40 AM by indrr »
“The human brain is like a railroad freight car -- guaranteed to have a certain capacity but often running empty.” ~ UNKNOWN

indrr

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Re: ALCO's entry to the 1911 Indianapolis 500
« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2011, 05:26:16 AM »
Sounds like my car. Cool.
Nathan Bilger
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Gene

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Re: ALCO's entry to the 1911 Indianapolis 500
« Reply #15 on: July 19, 2011, 02:28:30 PM »
 Hi Howard, How did you end up on this site?  Gene Ingram, New Castle, In.


cbalducc

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Re: ALCO's entry to the 1911 Indianapolis 500
« Reply #16 on: July 19, 2011, 05:28:40 PM »
I wonder if that car smoked it up when you floored it. ;)

God bless,

CKB

Broadway

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Re: ALCO's entry to the 1911 Indianapolis 500
« Reply #17 on: August 02, 2011, 01:24:05 PM »
There is a gorgeous Alco passenger car in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's Hall of Fame museum. That car alone is worth the $5 admission, but of course there is a lot of other stuff to see. But call ahead - the museum switches cars around and  the Alco could be in storage in the basement.