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Pre-WWII Racing Topics:  Walter Marmon


The New York Times
April 12, 1915

Walter Marmon Suggests Novel Plan for Sweepstakes Winners.

"Why not a 1,000-mile race such as has been proposed on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway between the winner of all the previous 500-mile international sweepstakes races, but limited to the registered stock touring car models of these makers?"

This is the suggestion of Walter Marmon of Indianapolis, relative to the proposition of the "greatest contest" which has been discussed during the last few months.

"Exponents of the highest degree of sportsmanship in horse racing have always advanced the view that the premier purpose of racing was the development of the pedigreed thoroughbred, thus improving the breed of horses, and, applying the same principle to automobiles, the highest development of the racing car is the manufacturer's stock touring car. The true benefit of automobile racing by the manufacturer is the proof of mechanical principles to be embodied in his regular product.

"We participated in all classes of motor car racing during the developing years of the automobile business, and made it a great feature. We wanted to learn the weaknesses of our design, and let our experience on the race course be a benefit to every one of the thousands of buyers of our cars. There we reaped a great benefit from racing. We attempted at all times to build racing cars along the lines of our ideas for standard models and to try out the parts, designs, and materials which go in our regular stock touring cars.

"We feel that we have developed our product to the point where it is no longer necessary to make our tests on specially designed cars that the best way of testing is to note the performance of the actual kind of a car which a man buys from us and drives in his everyday life. And it is true throughout the industry, I think, that racing of specially built cars is no longer necessary for the assistance of the engineering end of the work—that the motor car has been developed to a state of perfection where there are no special or glaring weaknesses which have to be ferreted out by specially constructed racers. All the good features brought out by special racing cars which could be adopted for everyday use have been discovered, so the present day race meets are inspired from another angle—the purely sporting side. Marmon cars were never raced for the sake of sport or the lust of winning. There was always a deeper underlying purpose when we sent a car to the post. What is more logical, then, than that this comparative test between cars which have demonstrated their superiority in racing should demonstrate the application of these principles to the regular product of these makes? What, after all, have we learned?"

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