The second annual Indianapolis 500 mile race was won by American Joe Dawson in a in a race that should have been a triumph for Mercedes and Ralph DePalma. DePalma started from 4th position in the front row, went into the lead on lap 4 and comfortably led until lap 197 when his white Mercedes misfires and slows on the front straight. He made another lap on reduced speed, but his car finally quits with the broken connecting rod tears a hole in the crankcase. Joe Dawson, running second most of the day, flashed past the Mercedes for the lead on lap 199 and finished more than 10 minutes ahead of Ted Tetzlaff in FIAT. Dawson, driver from Odon, Indiana, was 22 at that time. He raced in AAA events in 1910-1914, winning two times – his first win was in 1910 Cobe Trophy Race, the 200 miles event held at the same Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In the 1912 Indy 500 race Joe Dawson was relieved by Don Herr for laps 108-144. Afterwards, Dawson returned to the car and drove on to victory. Herr is not officially credited as an Indianapolis 500 co-winner because Dawson both started and finished the race.
The 1912 winning car was built by National Motor Vehicle Company, an American manufacturer of automobiles in Indianapolis, Indiana, which was active in 1900-1924. This victory is particularly interesting as this National holds the Indianapolis 500 record for the largest engine to ever win, it is powered by a National four-cylinder engine with a bore of 5.0-inchs and a stroke of 6.25-inches, given it an overall displacement of 490.8 cubic-inches of just over 8 liters.
The scale model was made by M.A. Scale Models and is painted black while many sources indicates that National #8 had blue colors, and the original car exhibited at the Indianapolis 500 museum is dark blue.
|1912||AAA National Championship||Indianapolis 500|
|Joe Dawson / Don Herr||8||National Motor Vehicle Co.|
|1:43||M.A. Scale Models|