Louis Chevrolet won the Ira Cobe Trophy, which was possibly his only road course victory


Saturday 19th June 1909

Louis Chevrolet won the Ira Cobe Trophy, which was possibly his only road course victory. Dubbed the “Vanderbilt of the West” by the press, the trophy was commissioned by Ira Cobe, president of Chicago Automobile Association. This event was more akin to an off-road contest by today’s standards. It was held on a 23.27-mile course of rugged terrain charted in and around the area of Crown Point, Illinois. America’s public roads were deplorable at the time, and what passed for roads were little more than pathways worn by trailblazers. The race was 17 circuits or nearly 396 miles. This rough, craggy terrain tortured the cars as attrition took a big toll. Louis Chevrolet’s, Buick stumbled across the finish line first with only three of four cylinders still functioning.


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