Tony Hulman

The Man Who Saved the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

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About the Book

Almost unknown when in 1945 he purchased the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and its famous race, Tony Hulman soon became a household name in auto racing circles. He is credited not only with saving the Speedway from becoming a residential housing development but also with reinvigorating auto racing in the United States. Until his purchase of the Speedway, Hulman had not been involved in auto racing; he was the CEO of Hulman & Company, a wholesale grocer. An astute businessman, Hulman made Clabber Girl Baking Powder a national brand and successfully led the reorientation of the family fortunes to include a range of businesses including a beer company, a Coca-Cola franchise, a broadcast empire, and real estate and gas companies.
This biography of Hulman covers his many ventures, particularly the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Indianapolis 500, and his philanthropy.

About the Author(s)

A native of Indianapolis, Sigur E. Whitaker, is the great great niece of James Allison, one of the founders of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. A retired banker, she lives in Norfolk, Virginia.

Bibliographic Details

Sigur E. Whitaker
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 248
Bibliographic Info: 14 photos, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7882-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1493-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Preface 1

Introduction 2

1. Purchase of the Speedway 9

2. The Hulmans Come to America 18

3. Hulman & Company Early Years 23

4. Hulman & Company Middle Years 33

5. Clabber Girl 43

6. Tony’s Early Adventures 51

7. Racing Resumes 54

8.  The Vukovich Era 70

9. The Crisis in Auto Racing 79

10. USAC’s First Years 95

11. The Golden Jubilee Race 109

12. Breaking the 150 ­Mile-Per-Hour Barrier 113

13. Celebrating the 50th Indy 500 121

14. Tough Times at the Speedway 133

15. IMS Museum 151

16. F. W. Cook Brewing 156

17. Coca-Cola Bottler 162

18. Hulman, Orville Redenbacher and Popcorn 170

19. Diversification 174

20. Giving to Education 178

21. Giving Back 185

22. Dreams of Riding the Rails 188

23. Controversy 193

24. The End 199

Chapter Notes 203

Bibliography 220

Index 230

Book Reviews & Awards

“This entire book is a page-turning read…. Pick up a copy today. You don’t want to miss reading each rewarding historical chapter chronicling Tony’s life up until his untimely death in 1977”—SAH Journal; “The book gives a good idea of what went on behind the scenes, not just on race day, but daily. If you are an Indy 500 race fan, you’ll want to add this title to your shelf…an important part of the history of the race and the track”—Antique Automobile.