The first auto races in Wichita, Kansas

½ mile dirt oval Wichita fairgrounds racetrack

Wichita, Kansas – July 4, 1905




 Wichita Daily Eagle

July 4, 1905 – Page 7




Attendance – 600

Admission – Free courtesy of the Rambler Automobile Company

The announced purpose of this event was to stir up enthusiasm to bring more automobile races to Wichita.  Each of the cars is believed to have been owned by the Wichita Motor Company and each of the drivers were employed by that company in some capacity with the possible exception of “Mr. Jones.”.




Eugene Cecil DeLong

1884 – 1920


Eugene C. DeLong at left with an unidentified boy “in one of the first cars in Wichita.”

The automobile was a CDO (Curved Dash Oldsmobile) which was the first mass produced internal combustion automobile to be produced in America..

 Photo from a 1920 pamphlet in the John Cyphert collection celebrating the 20-year anniversary of the Schollenbergers’ Wichita Motor Company


            The first event was for one automobile against time for one mile.  The automobile was a new 18 h.p. stock Rambler with the body removed to make it lighter.  Even so, it weighed in at 1,500 pounds.  Driver Eugene DeLong of Wichita made six runs of two laps each from a flying start against time.  He completed each of the six, one-mile runs in:

1 minute, 35.00 seconds

1 minute, 34.00 seconds

1 minute, 31.50 seconds

1 minute, 30.75 seconds

1 minute, 35.00 seconds

1 minute, 35.00 seconds



            The second event was for one automobile (the same Rambler mentioned above and again, driven by Eugene DeLong) running 200 laps on the half-mile racetrack against time.  The run took a total of 3 hours and 12 minutes to complete which included several stops to change tires.  A total of seven nails accumulated in his tires along the way.  The first mile was run in 1 minute, 41.0 seconds.  The last mile took 1 minute, 37.5 seconds.  The fastest mile was the 85th which was run in 1 minute, 25.0 seconds.


Final Event 

Australian Pursuit – 4 Cars – 10 Laps:






Eugene C. DeLong

Wichita, Kansas

18 h.p. Rambler


George Schollenberger

Wichita, Kansas

18 h.p. Rambler


Mr. Jones

Wichita, Kansas



Morris H. Schollenberger

Wichita, Kansas

18 h.p. Rambler 

               This is the first known automobile race to take place in Wichita where the automobiles actually competed against each other instead of against a motorcycle or against the clock.  Brothers Morris and George Schollenberger owned the local Rambler franchise and Eugene DeLong worked for them as an automobile mechanic.  The Winton automobile may have belonged to the Schollenberger brothers as well and the driver is believed to have been John J. Jones (1871-1944) who soon opened the Jones Auto Exchange in Wichita.  Jones founded the Jones Motor Car Company in Wichita in 1914 for the purpose of producing Jones “Six” automobiles.  4,000 were manufactured before much of the factory burned in 1920.  Six were still known to exist as of 2018.






 Thank you:

Verne Shirk




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