In the midst of celebrating 100 years of excellence, Allison hosted a centennial celebration on Saturday, Sept. 12 at its global headquarters. With the growth and reputation that Allison has built over the last 100 years, there was much to celebrate.
In addition to employees and their families, local dignitaries were invited to take part in recognizing Allison’s impressive history and look forward to the future.
“The company that grew out of the humble machine shop has served as an economic and community anchor for the Town of Speedway and greater Indianapolis,” said Lawrence E. Dewey chairman, president and CEO of Allison Transmission, Inc.
As a part of this daylong celebration, Josh Kaufman, winner of season 6 of The Voice and Indianapolis native, performed a concert for attendees. The Blackjack Davey Band was another great addition to the music lineup for the day. Other entertainment included skydivers, children’s games, an army obstacle course and a zipline.
Another part of the centennial celebration included various drawings for prizes. The coveted grand door prize included a drawing for two flight vouchers within the United States. Event attendees also had the opportunity to take part in a history and plant tour.
Proceeds from ticket sales to the centennial celebration were directed to Indiana Student Scholarships. Overall, Allison was able to award 100 scholarships of $500 each to students at Indiana colleges and universities for the 2015 fall semester. Additionally, three annual scholarships of $5,000 each were awarded.
The daylong celebration included over 11,000 attendees who came out to enjoy the festivities and to honor the 100 years of Allison’s rich heritage in Speedway.
A century of innovation has allowed Allison Transmission to grow from its small machine shop, originally known as Allison Experimental Co., in downtown Speedway into the international company it is today. A historical marker now stands outside the building where the Allison story began.
Earlier this year, the Indiana Historical Bureau, an agency of the State of Indiana, recognized the significance of the site with the dedication of a historical marker at the original machine shop in Speedway. Since 1946, the marker format has been the large roadside marker, which has a dark blue background with gold lettering and the outline of the state of Indiana at the top.
With the company’s start rooted in the racing industry, one driving force that remains the same today is Allison’s ability to innovate while maintaining its high standards of quality and integrity, making the Allison Experimental Co. shop the perfect place to honor the past 100 years of advancements and innovation.
“It is our privilege to work alongside such a hugely successful company and a leader in technology innovation that has called Speedway home for 100 years,” said David Lindsey, president of the Speedway Town Council.
The historical marker now serves as part of the State of Indiana Historical Marker Program, communicating history to the general public in capsule form. The markers may be used as educational tools for teachers, students and others who wish to learn more about the state’s history.
The following is the full text for the Allison Machine Shop historical marker:
“Entrepreneur James Allison helped establish Indianapolis Speedway Team Co., 1915, and later built a precision machine shop here near Speedway to improve race cars. Upon U.S. entry in WWI, 1917, 500-mile race was suspended and he devoted shop resources to war effort, including making parts for Liberty aircraft engines. Shop name became Allison Engineering Co. by 1921. General Motors purchased company, 1929, and focused work on aircraft engines. During WWII, Allison Division built 70,000 liquid-cooled V-1710 engines for fighter aircraft. Company grew to over 23,000 employees and received awards for excellence in production. By mid-1940s, it manufactured jet engines and transmissions, which later played a key role in Korean War.”
The texts of all Indiana State Historical Markers must be supported with reliable primary sources. The annotated text, documenting the thorough research undertaken to ensure the utmost accuracy of the marker, and images of the marker are available online.
In addition to the historical marker, the life of James A. Allison and the history of Allison Transmission have both been captured in the Destination Indiana exhibit at the Indiana Historical Society, and they are also available online. Both journeys were added to the exhibit earlier this year.
Reliability and safety are top priorities in the pupil transport industry, which makes Allison the first choice transmission for over 400,000 school buses in operation in North America.
Nearly all large, type C and D school buses in the U.S. are equipped with Allison transmissions, with good reason: Allison’s longstanding reputation for quality and ‘driveability’ continues to provide peace of mind for parents, administrators and the drivers who are entrusted with the safe transportation of millions of students every day.
There are new technologies, such as dual clutch transmissions (DCTs), attempting to enter the pupil transport and other commercial vehicle markets, but Allison’s combination of fuel efficiency and reliable performance continues to win over budget-conscious school districts. And with safety as the top priority, the Allison Automatic’s seamless performance in urban and suburban traffic allows drivers to stay focused on the road.
“Allison has led the pupil transport industry with its reliable technology and strong design for good reason,” said Lou Gilbert, director of North American marketing and global brand development. “Our built-in safety features paired with the performance record of an Allison is the benchmark in the commercial duty space.”
Transmission efficiency and performance put Allison at the front of the class as well. Utilizing both Continuous Power Technology™ and FuelSense®, Allison Automatics perform with greater productivity in stop-and-go traffic with increased fuel economy up to 20 percent, depending on the duty cycle.
Quicker acceleration and better productivity add to the overall safe, smart design that has kept Allison on top of the pupil transport and other commercial markets.
Once again, the competition has proven that there just isn’t another option on the market that can stand up to the reliable, powerful performance of an Allison Automatic.
One test drive of an Allison TC10®-equipped truck can be enough to impress anybody with its advanced capabilities, improved fuel economy and the smooth ride it offers.
After a test drive at the Allison test track, Darrel Spies, the fleet maintenance coordinator for Holiday Companies, was impressed with the smooth transitions he experienced in the TC10-equipped tractor after driving a Volvo I-Shift. “I was in the Allison-equipped trailer first, and the start up was unbelievable. The neutral and lack of rollback were both good. Being able to keep low RPMs on the road for fuel economy is also great.”
Down under, the TC10 is becoming the next big thing to hit the market with its impressive fuel economy savings. Noted Australian journalist David Meredith took a TC10-equipped Kenworth T359 for a test drive at a truck show in Brisbane and reviewed the transmission for Truck and Bus News, a publication for the trucking and bus industry.
Before the test drive, Meredith noted Allison’s promise to deliver up to 5 percent better fuel economy regardless of driver experience. A fan of fully automatic transmissions, Meredith eagerly anticipated testing the TC10 to see if it lived up to expectations. Needless to say, the transmission did not disappoint.
“In the briefest possible terms, the TC10 lives up to every one of Allison’s claims,” Meredith wrote in his article for Truck and Bus. “If I was in the market for a new single trailer multi-purpose prime mover, I’d be asking questions of the manufacturers about the availability of the TC10 in their rangers when starting the buying process.”
As a part of Meredith’s review of the TC10, he shared the importance of the initial torque converter lock up on the transmission that prevents loss of torque and power during takeoff.
The TC10 was launched in 2014, has since made an impact in the industry and continues to prove itself as a strong transmission in the Allison lineup.