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Car #15 passes by spectators during Fairmount Park Motor Race, Philadelphia, PA, circa 1910.
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Car #15 passes by spectators during Fairmount Park Motor Race.

Credit: Courtesy Urban Archives, Temple University Libraries, Philadelphia

Between 1908 and 1911, Fairmount Park Motor Races staged automobile races over an eight-mile course in Philadelphia's Fairmount Park. Despite great popularity–the race drew close to a half million fans its first year–financial success, and the absence of injuries, neighborhood hostility and concerns about public safety forced Philadelphia City Council to shut the race down after four years. Car #15, the Fiat seen in this photograph, was driven by Philadelphia brewer John Fred Betz Jr., a noted racer and sportsman.

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