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Roby race track Chicago 1920s


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#1 boynton2222

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Posted 05 December 2004 - 22:45

Does anyone have knowledge of Roby Race Track in Chicago and Alex J. Sloan. Or Outlaw Sprints?
Or Bergen-Herald Newspaper back in the 20's?

It's possible my father Oliver G. Temme bought an old polo field at 119th & Cottage Grove in Chicago and turned it into a race track. It was later turned into a dog track.

Women racers drove "Mercers" - what were they?

Thank you for all your help.

:confused: Joane Temme Smith

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#2 Ray Bell

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Posted 05 December 2004 - 23:37

Mercers were cars of the period...

Found at this website
.....The Mercer Automobile Company purchased Locomobile and Crane-Simplex following World War I after the Roeblings and Kusers sold the original company. The combined firm began to produce luxury cars, but the new management somehow misunderstood the appeal of the Mercer. It was never designed as a passenger car; it was never intended for large-scale production; it was always meant to be something special. Like the MG-TC the Raceabout was a true sports car, starkly functional and exciting.

In 1925 the firm went into receivership. Perhaps it is just as well. There are no be-finned, overlong, and bulging cars that bear the name of Mercer today. There is nothing to dim the memory of the original Raceabout.



#3 D-Type

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Posted 05 December 2004 - 23:41

In The Sports Car Pocketbook , William Boddy, who for many years edited Motor Sport magazine, has this to say about the Mercer:

The Type 35 Mercer “Raceabout” has been described as the best sports car to come out of America. This is all the more remarkable as it was in production from 1911 to 1915, during which time over 500 are said to have been sold, after which this F.R.Porter-designed side-valve dual ignition model, which was guaranteed to cover a mile in 51 seconds, was replaced by the E.H.Delling-designed 22/70, guaranteed to do the mile in 48 seconds.



I hope this helps.

#4 boynton2222

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Posted 06 December 2004 - 01:20

Thank you so much for your information.

Joane Temme Smith

#5 Phil Harms

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Posted 07 December 2004 - 16:14

Originally posted by boynton2222
Does anyone have knowledge of Roby Race Track in Chicago and Alex J. Sloan. Or Outlaw Sprints?
Or Bergen-Herald Newspaper back in the 20's?

It's possible my father Oliver G. Temme bought an old polo field at 119th & Cottage Grove in Chicago and turned it into a race track. It was later turned into a dog track.

Women racers drove "Mercers" - what were they?

Thank you for all your help.

:confused: Joane Temme Smith


The Roby 1 mile dirt track ran AAA races from May 17, 1925 thru Sep 12, 1936. The first auto race may have been as early as 1922, running non-AAA races. The track was located in Hammond, IN - a suburb of Chicago. It started life as a horse track in 1895, built by Chiacgo gambling interests.

Bergen Herald papers began in the mid 1930s and expanded into National Speed Sport News.

#6 boynton2222

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Posted 07 December 2004 - 17:49

Thank you very much for the information. Someone told me it was on Indianapolis Blvd, not far from Vogels restaurant. Part of the track was in Illinois and part in Indiana. I don't know if this is true.

Joane Temme Smith

#7 Graham Clayton

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 05:13

Thank you very much for the information. Someone told me it was on Indianapolis Blvd, not far from Vogels restaurant. Part of the track was in Illinois and part in Indiana. I don't know if this is true.

Joane Temme Smith


Here is a nice webpage with a map showing that the tracks was just over the Indiana State Line:

http://orbikfamily.c..._Orbik-Roby.htm


#8 RStock

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 17:28

Some info here on this page

[url="http://"%20<a%20href="http://www.onedirt.com/news/found-on-youtube-jean-shepherd-talks-about-the-great-old-dirt-track-roby-speedway-in-chicago/""%20target="_blank">http://www.onedirt.c...utu...-chicago/"</a>"]Roby Speedway[/url]

One of the many treasures from Jean Shepherd on youtube.com is his story about the local race track, Roby Speedway. Roby was a very famous speedway back in the day. We’re talking old school here. The track shut down in 1936. One of the more popular races held at the track was the 100 lap Negro National Championship race. Records show that Charlie Wiggins of Indianapolis won the race in 1933. Try calling a race by that name today and see how it would go over.

The Roby Speedway was a one-mile dirt speedway, which operated between 1920 and 1936. The track was located west of Indianapolis Boulevard, bordered by 108th Street on the north, 112th Street on the south and Avenue A to the west, just east of the Hammond/Chicago border. Part of a threesome of horse racing tracks built in the late 1800’s in the Hammond/Whiting area, the Roby track became a popular Midwestern auto racing facility in the 1920’s and 30’s with numerous drivers testing their skills on the mile raceway with many of them eventually competing in the Indianapolis 500.


A story here on the track, some info.

http://www.youtube.c...player_embedded

#9 HistoricMustang

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 17:47

Dug into my archives and I believe this is it. Still with us!

Posted Image



#10 carl s

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 23:50

Several references to Roby Raceway in this thread at TrackForum:
http://www.trackforu...ile-Dirt-Tracks
carl schulz
indio, ca