|Indianapolis 500-Mile Race Sweepstakes start, circa 1950|
The speedway was built in 1909 and after some initial disastrous races, claiming the lives of a driver, two mechanics and a spectators, the track was paved with some 3.2 million bricks. The first 500-mile race was held on May 30, 1911. It was won by Ray Harroun at the then astonishing average speed of 74.602 mph. It is claimed that this 500-mile race was the first to use a pace car. Perhaps more significantly, Harroun's Marmon "Wasp" racecar sported a rear-view mirror, the first occasion of its use in a motor car.
See a picture of Harroun's racer here and a picture of a car from last year's race here. If you are a real Indy aficianodo, here is a picture postcard of the 1963 winning car driven by Parnelli Jones.
If you can pinpoint the exact year of the race on this postcard, please let me know. Leave a comment below.