With all of the festivities surrounding the centennial running of the Indy 500, Allison Transmission wanted to make sure that the true meaning of Memorial Day weekend was acknowledged and honored. In celebration of the holiday and the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500, Allison provided 20 military veterans and their guests with tickets to this year’s sold out race.
“Allison continues to support our nation's military with our fully automatic transmissions powering tanks and other specialty vehicles. This weekend was a great way to show our appreciation for the men and women that serve our country and we were pleased to help some of them experience the Indy 500 first hand,” said Lou Gilbert, director of North American marketing and global brand development for Allison.
A century ago, our founder James A. Allison helped start what is now known as the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” the Indianapolis 500. In fact, he didn’t just help create the race; he helped build the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Allison joined with Indianapolis businessmen Carl Fisher, Arthur Newby and Frank Wheeler to begin construction on the 2.5-mile track, just outside of downtown Indianapolis. Construction was completed in August of that year and the track surface consisted of layers of soil, gravel, limestone and taroid (a combination of tar and oil). After complaints about the racing surface, a switch was quickly made to paved bricks, which lead to the track’s nickname, the “Brickyard.” Allison was one of the two co-founders who signed the invoice for the three million bricks to upgrade the track. By 1938, asphalt had been added to the track until only the three-foot-wide strip of bricks, marking the starting and finish lines, remained.
Once construction was completed on the track, Allison then turned his efforts to creating a racing team to compete on the new track. In 1919, his racing team had its greatest success, winning the Indianapolis 500 with driver Howdy Wilcox. Upon the start of World War I, the company left racing behind and retooled, becoming a major defense contractor for the United States government.
Although his company left racing, James Allison remained a fixture of the sport. In 1923, he became the primary shareholder and president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Company and remained in that position until his death in 1928. Allison’s history will forever be a part of the Indianapolis 500 and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Learn more about the history of Allison Transmission here.
Representatives of Allison Transmission and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway recently celebrated their shared heritage at a ceremony to honor the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500.
Employees and local dignitaries attended the outdoor event at Allison’s global headquarters in Speedway, Ind., several blocks south of the world famous racetrack. The Marmon Wasp, winning car of the first 500-mile race in 1911, was onsite, as well as actors representing the track’s four co-founders: James Allison, Carl Fisher, Arthur Newby and Frank Wheeler.
“We’re here today because it’s a time of celebration,” said Larry Dewey, chairman and CEO of Allison Transmission. “The 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 is a perfect opportunity for our companies to reflect on and renew their century-long relationship.”
Dewey presented Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Doug Boles with an award featuring a gear, representative of both companies’ origins and a fundamental component still used by Allison to manufacture its transmissions.
Boles, in turn, presented Dewey with a Culver Block, one of the original bricks used to pave the track in 1909. “We felt it was really important to present everybody at Allison Transmission with this original Culver brick from 1909, for display as we lead up to the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500,” said Boles.
Learn more about our shared history here.
Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT), one of the country’s largest dry freight transportation companies and one of the first companies to add the Allison TC10® transmission to its fleet, invited Allison to its headquarters in El Paso, Texas to film a short testimonial video.
A longtime frontrunner when it comes to adopting new technology to improve its fuel economy, MVT has been testing the TC10 in its fleet for well over a year and the results have been dramatic, improving both vehicle and driver performance.
During filming, Royal Jones, president and CEO, Mesilla Valley Transportation said, “An Allison transmission makes your worst fuel mileage people almost equivalent to your best fuel mileage people." According to Jones, MVT has seen a more-than-significant improvement in performance and fuel economy gains in its TC10-equipped trucks.
MVT has been so impressed with the performance of the TC10, nearly 33 percent of the fleet's class 8 tractors will be equipped with TC10s by the end of the year. “I was a traditional guy that thought everybody should be in a manual 10-speed…I have changed my outlook and my philosophy,” said Allan Dahringer, vice president of equipment and maintenance.
Jones and Dahringer say in addition to improved performance and gas mileage, the TC10 is far easier for their drivers to operate and learn. They expect this to increase driver retention as well as driver performance and comfort.
"Your shoulders don't hurt as much, you are not having to shift, you're much safer, you can concentrate on the road, keep both hands on the steering wheel and work productively," said Dahringer.
If you would like to view the completed video, you can see it here.
Learn more about the award winning TC10 here.