Wilbur Shaw

Wilbur Shaw
S3318, OBE10
1940 – 1956
1 folder, 1 os folder

Manuscripts & Rare Books Division
Indiana State Library

Return to the Alphabetical List of All Online Finding Aids

Processed by: Brent Abercrombie, August 2012


Biographical Note:

Warren Wilbur Shaw was born October 31, 1902 in Shelbyville, Indiana. Shaw gain national acclaim as a racecar driver and as President of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Shaw was a three-time winner of the Indianapolis 500 (1937, 1939, & 1940), and served as President of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) from 1945 until his death in 1954. While working a racecar driver, Shaw also worked for Firestone Tire Company and wrote several articles on automobiles and auto parts. Shaw was married twice, first to Beatrice Patrick who died giving birth, and the second time to Cathleen “Boots” Stearns. The couple had one child Warren Wilbur Shaw Jr. Wilbur Shaw tragically died in a plane crash near Decatur, Indiana on October 30, 1954. He remains the last Hoosier to win the Indianapolis 500.

The Indianapolis Times May 28, 1955.

Scope and Content:

The collection (1940 – 1956) includes materials from Shaw’s time working for the Firestone Tire Company, in addition to correspondence relating to his efforts to find a buyer for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a typed sale agreement between Eddie Rickenbacker and Tony Hulman for the purchase of the IMS. The collection also contains two photographs of Wilbur Shaw attending social events and newspaper-clippings.

Photocopy Policy:

Manuscript material CANNOT be photocopied or digitized in its entirety. Photocopies and/or digital reproductions (i.e. scans, digital photographs) cannot exceed 25% of a COLLECTION or FOLDER within a collection. In some cases, photocopying may not be permitted due to the condition of the item. Please check with the Manuscript Librarian for possible alternatives.

Collection Inventory

Folder and Item Listing:

Folder 1.  1940 – 1956, No Date

3-29-1940 Harold Nutt to Wilbur Shaw with tables
4-25-1945 Wilbur Shaw to Charles S. Davis prosing sale of Motor Speedway
5-28-1945 C.J. Odenweller to Wilbur Shaw replay to sale of Motor Speedway (Photostat)
6-1-1945 Patrick J. Smith to Wilbur Shaw reply with four copies of a re-drafted proposal to purchase the Motor Speedway (re-drafts included)
6-5-1945 “A Proposal to Purchase the Issued and Outstanding Common Capital Stock of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation” (8 pgs)
12-2-1946 M.P. Hershey to Wilbur Shaw relating to proposal of 400 mph tire
4/22/1951 John E. Scanlan to Wilbur Shaw requesting Shaw write a short article on automobile testing for an encyclopedia
4/26/1951 Wilbur Shaw to John E. Scanlan replying to request to write article
4/30/1951 John E. Scanlan to Wilbur Shaw signed agreement to purchase article written by Shaw
4/30/1951 John E. Scanlan to Wilbur Shaw thank you letter relating to article agreement
5/3/1951 Wilbur Shaw to John E. Scanlan stating article will be completed before July deadline
6/1/1951 John W. Hobbs to Wilbur Shaw relating to the Harper Automatic Headlight Dimming Device
6/1/1951 John W. Hobbs to Wilbur Shaw relating to conversation with Toby Harper
6/10/1951 Toby Harper to Wilbur Shaw discussing dimmer device and entry into the oil business
6/22/1951 Wilbur Shaw to John E. Scanlan relating to article on automobile testing
7/20/1951 “Written for the American Education Press” by W. Wilbur Shaw – article on automobile testing
8/1/1951 Marian Lockwood to Wilbur Shaw discussing article on “Cars on Trial”
8/2/1951 Wilbur Shaw to Marian Lockwood reply to letter with copy of “Cars on Trial”
4/6/1952 Toby Harper to Wilbur Shaw relating to dimmer device
4/25/1952 Kenneth Loucks to Wilbur Shaw detailing appreciation for Shaw’s work at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway
8/10/1952 Harold Connally to Wilbur Shaw extending invitation to the 11th International Tuna Cup Match
8/27/1952 Wilbur Shaw to Harold Connally declining invitation to the 11th International Tuna Cup Match
2/8/1956 Horace to Boots [Mrs. Wilbur Shaw] discussing Wilbur Shaw’s autobiography being listed on the 46 most notable books chosen by The American Library Association for 1955
No Date [For Floyd Clymer] Rough Draft on new driving technique by Lee Wallard
No Date Draft of “The Story of our Time Encyclopedia Yearbook – Automobile Testing” by Wilbur Shaw
No Date Rough Draft of “Automobile Test…” by Wilbur Shaw (2 copies)
1954 – 1956  Newspaper Clippings
No Date Two Photographs


11/29/1946 Sketch of Proposed 11.00-29 tire profile
by Firestone Tire and Rubber Co development co. Akron, OH
5/30/1956 Newspaper Clipping
No Date Sketch of Proposed 400 mph tire

Collection Information:

Size of Collection: 1 folder, 1 os folder
Collection Dates: 1940 – 1956
Provenance:  Purchase from Cowan’s Auction June 29, 2012
Access: The Collection is Open for Research Use
Restrictions:  None
Reproduction Rights: Permission to reproduce, exhibit, or publish material in this collection must be obtained from the Manuscripts and Rare Books Division, Indiana State Library.
Language: Materials are entirely in: English
Alternate Formats: Microfilm
Related Holdings: 
Collection Notes: