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American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Pre-WWII Racing


The New York Times
December 12, 1909

Harry Clinton Will Try and Lower Mile Straightaway Mark.

Special to The New York Times.

CHICAGO, Dec. 11.—Application has been made by Harry T. Clinton, representing the Fiat locally, to the Chicago Motor Club to promote and conduct a series of attacks upon the straightaway mile road records some time this month, it being the intention of the Fiat company to try for the official marks which were made at Lowell, Mass., and which are thought to be well within reach of the big Italian car.

In his letter Mr. Clinton stated that it was the intention to race two cars.  One of these will be the one which Strang established the speedway records at Atlanta, and in which Nazzaro traveled two and three-quarter miles at Brooklands track in England at the rate of 121 miles an hour.  This car is now owned by E. C. Arnold of New York, who has loaned it for the record-breaking purposes, and who also has granted Strang leave of absence to drive the big machine.  The car will try for the straightaway free-for-all records now held by Barney Oldfield in the Benz.

The stock car marks will be attacked by Edward Hearne, the Chicago amateur, who drove in the Vanderbilt and who also was fourth in the Cobe Cup road race, in addition to winning the ten-mile amateur championship at Indianapolis.  Hearne believes he can shatter all the present marks, both standing and flying starts.

No course has yet been selected for these trials, but if the motor club accepts the proposition Mr. Clinton will start at once on a scouting expedition into Indiana.  He believes the Hoosiers will take kindly to such a speed demonstration, and he will seek for a stretch at least two miles in length and which will be capable of holding the big car at a speed of better than 100 miles an hour, which Clinton things Strang will reach.

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