Tuesday, May 17, 2016

500 facts: More hardware

Originally, the “Strauss Trophy” was given to the winner

Posted By on Tue, May 17, 2016 at 12:19 PM

Later this month, NUVO will present 500 facts about the Indy 500. Between now and then, we'll be sharing five facts per day from our upcoming story.

Before the Borg-Warner was handed out starting in 1936, some other awards were given:

click to enlarge A version of the Strauss trophy, recently sold by an auction house in Scottsdale, AZ. - J. LEVINE AUCTION AND APPRAISAL
  • J. Levine Auction and Appraisal
  • A version of the Strauss trophy, recently sold by an auction house in Scottsdale, AZ.

108: The Wheeler-Schebler Trophy was handed out to the leader at the 400-mile mark beginning in 1914. The trophy was a pre-500 holdover, sharing a name with early races at the track.

109: Originally, the “Strauss Trophy” was given to the winner. That trophy was handed out beginning in 1919.

110. But the “Strauss” wasn’t’ really a trophy per se. “The Strauss award was something different every year. It was a piece of artwork,” says Donald Davidson. While some of the pieces were commissioned, others were purchased from European collections — but all with a theme: “It was something different every year that depicted speed. A bird in flight or a woman running with a dog or something of that nature.”

111. The Wheeler-Schebler Trophy was retired in the 1930s. The original 1909 rules stated that if the thing was won three times by the same car owner, said owner gained permanent possession of the hardware. Harry Hartz did just that.

112. The “Champion Spark Plugs 100 Mile an Hour Club” was formed in 1935. As Nora Spitznogle wrote for NUVO.net, it honored “drivers who completed the Indianapolis 500 at an average speed of 100 miles per hour or faster.”

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Ed Wenck

Ed Wenck

Ed Wenck has been writing for NUVO (as well as several other Indiana publications) for nearly 20 years while moonlighting as a radio host. He became Managing Editor of NUVO in 2013. He's authored four books and also reports for WISH-TV's Boomer TV program.

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