The Indianapolis Automobile Industry: A History, 1893–1939
Sigur E. Whitaker
In 1893, Indianapolis carriage maker Charles Black created a rudimentary car—perhaps the first designed and built in America. Within 15 years, Indianapolis was a major automobile industry center rivaling Detroit, and known for quality manufacturing and innovation—the aluminum engine, disc brakes, aerodynamics, superchargers, and the rear view mirror were first developed there. When the Indianapolis Motor Speedway opened in 1909, hometown manufacturers dominated the track—Marmon, Stutz and Duesenberg. The author covers their histories, along with less well known contributors to the industry, including National, American, Premier, Marion, Cole, Empire, LaFayette, Knight-Lyons and Hassler.