I suppose that I'll try doing this in the best way I can, and let you get me some feedback either plus or minus. The comments are moderated and anyone may post. I'm pretty close by the computer all day. And, yes, thank-you, I do have a life. Here we go!
Here's another photo of Ivan in his 30-whopping-horsepower Chalmers. Ivan has written in one of the clippings, correcting the paper which assumed it was a 40 hp engine. As we saw in the last post, Ivan and Van B. may have sold a number of Chalmers, so it's easy to understand his decision to use this automobile. But why, if there were larger motors available, would he use a four cylinder?
I did a little research into this first article to see if I could find any supporting historical references, and found that the speedway actually still exists in this village! I'm not certain whether this is the exact location that it always has been, but the Fonda Speedway is still operating at the Fonda Fairgrounds or perhaps vice versa. The horse racing track that was used for many decades in this little town gave way to automobile racing as the automobile gained in popularity. Fonda was, and is still, an agricultural area, and these races brought contestants from nearby villages, drawing 1,500 folks! Quite a crowd!
I'm uncertain of the date of these articles, but next article in the scrapbooks is dated September 14, 1914, and the one following is in October. I think it's okay to assume this was sometime in 1914. I'm falling back on two facts from the article(s); 1) the weather was perfect, and 2) he's in a Chalmers.
Ivan did not win, but came in third out of three in the first race of five miles, and third out of four in the second. If my math is correct, they were averaging around 40 mph in these races!
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This photo is pasted on the same spread as these two newspaper clippings, but I don't think it's Ivan. The radiator is squared across the top, and photo of his Chalmers doesn't match it. There isn't a load of dust in the air, so perhaps this is Stewart. I think it's reasonable to conclude that it is at the Fonda fairgrounds.
More racing at Fonda in the next few posts! Will Wheaton recover from his early loss?