Carl Graham Fisher, Jim Alison, James Allison discussed on The Gun Guy
Lear, Indiana hosts the greatest spectacle in racing thanks to the vision of four men who check in at number two. On our countdown. They were a balanced collection of too flamboyant characters and a pair of relatively reserved businessman. But without them who knows how the history of racing would have unfolded? Carl Graham Fisher was the visionary of the group. He recognized that the car's being produced by the exploding early auto industry were already beginning to push past the primitive roads scene in states such as Indiana. Fisher proposed as early as 1906 that a giant track should be built with long straightaways and a few gradual bends to allow cars to be stretched out to their fullest capacity. The track would be used for private testing and occasional races where manufacturers could demonstrate their products to the public. In 1908. Fisher in the friend went for a drive from Indianapolis to Dayton, Ohio. But the rough ride cost several punctured tyres. And it convinced Fisher that he's proposed facility would help solve the problems of low quality cars and equipment. That same week, Fisher and his friend limb, Trotter went for another ride this time into what was at the time countryside and farm fields at the corner of Crawfordsville Pike and a cart path that became Georgetown Road sat 4 80 acre tracts of land that were up for sale. Fisher was excited, but he needed partners in the venture. Fortunately for racing fans, he found them in his close friend James Allison and James Newbie, and Arthur Wheeler Speedway historian Donald Davidson explains Fisher couldn't do it on his own. And so he went to the others. And and, in fact, Stone Fletcher of the banker was in it very briefly, and then had to drop out because this is his family objected. And then Wheeler. I think in some ways was probably rather similar to Fisher. But apparently Allison didn't care for Wheeler. And so I don't think Well, it was really very was around very much. And then Arthur Newbie who never married was never in the best of health, and you really don't hear much about him either. So I think the two of them were involved financially, not to the extent of the other two and then, In fact, Wheeler even got out of it in 1917. After a reversal of fortune, he Shoulders interested. I think Alison board all of Wheeler's stock, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway company was officially formed March 20th 1909. Fisher originally wanted to track to be a five mile oval. But then the plan was tweaked to feature a three mile rectangular shaped oval with a two mile road course inside that, when linked to the Oval would create a five mile lab. But the three mile oval ended up being cut to 2.5 when engineer PT Andrews realized the larger oval wouldn't leave any room for grandstands. Fisher and Alison ended up making the major decisions of the new track, including changing the surface from crushed stone to brick and Davidson says they were a strong combination of Spain suggested that they would be ideal. Pair because they were very good friends were different in personality. And Fisher was always running around, you know, going 100 Miles an hour with this brain just very, very fertile and never seem to sit still toe. Think something through and that Alison that was his nature. And so it people suggested to me that Ah, Fish would have these ideas and Allison would calm him down. So you know, wait a minute. Well, no, no, no, Sit down. Just take it steady here and there, so they they were great for each other. But Fisher lost interest in the speedway because he was busy developing his new projects. The Lincoln Highway and Miami Beach, leaving Alison to run the show with longtime employee pop Myers in 1927, former 500 driver and World War. One flying ace Eddie Rickenbacker came to Indianapolis, hoping to buy Alison's company. Instead, he was pointed in a different direction. Apparently he thought, Well, let me go down to see Jim Alison at Allison Engineering and see if you'd like to sell that. So he comes down to speed way. Indiana. To see if the Allison would like to sell Alison Engineering. And Allison says No, I don't want to sell that. But Fisher and I already had to sell the speedway. Why don't you buy that? Rickenbacker led the speedway through the Great Depression, keeping the famous speed Platt open during some lean years. 31 32 33. They were all these backyards specials and so people are unfairly call it the Junqueira But Rickenbacker Was very, very hands on for the first several years and because he being a racer and was an executive and used to sort of barking orders and having people jump to attention and carry out his wishes. And he addressed safety 1935 36. They did a number of things to the track, which were very expensive at a time. When the money was really tight. They reduced the portion 1933 and reduce the ticket prices to keep the thing going, and so That worked. I mean, they still had a large crowd turned out, but you know, nobody had any money kind of a thing..