The Cobe Trophy Race was an automobile race held in Indiana, in 1909 and 1910. On June 19, 1909 the first major auto race in the United States was held south of the Crown Point courthouse. Known as the Cobe Cup Race, this grueling 25-mile contest was the forerunner of the famous Indianapolis 500.
The first winner’s cup was presented on the east steps of the Crown Point courthouse to Louis Chevrolet, a Swiss-born master mechanic who later became the founder and creator of the Chevrolet Motor Company.
The Cobe Cup trophy was named for, and donated by, Ira M. Cobe, president of the Chicago Automobile Club. As one of the first long-distance races in the area, it was billed as the “Vanderbilt of the west,” a reference to the Vanderbilt Cup Race, which had been held in Long Island, New York since 1904.
The first running race took place at the Crown Point Road Race Circuit, in Northwest Indiana. The following Year, in 1910 proposals were submitted by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and by the Elgin Road Race Course, just west of Chicago. Ultimately, the Board of Managers of the Chicago Automobile Club decided to make the 1910 race a speedway event, rather than a road course contest. Hence the second race was run at Indianapolis.
At the time of this decision, the Club also announced the intent to bring the race to the Chicago area in 1911. As it turns out, though, there was no Cobe Trophy race in 1911 or in later years. Only two drivers competed in both Cobe races, 1909 winner Louis Chevrolet and his teammate, Bob Burman.
Now history repeats itself with a casual car cruise held every year. The 2019 Cobe Cup Registration is from 8am – 1pm, Car cruise is from Noon – 1pm. Entry fee is $15.
There are thousands of onlookers throughout the route that makes this is a long time family tradition that still continues for Memorial weekend. Hosted by Regional Streeters