Louis H. Schwitzer

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Louis H Schwitzer ((1880-02-29)February 29, 1880 – May 9, 1967(1967-05-09) (aged 87)) was born in Bielitz, Austria-Hungary, and emigrated to America before World War I.

As an engineer, Schwitzer was influential in designing hydraulics for use in bus transportation.[citation needed] He also pioneered improvements in automotive cooling fans, water pumps and oil pumps, and the turbocharger.[1] Schwitzer made a fortune in business and became a philanthropist.[2] The Student Center at the University of Indianapolis bears his name, as does a women's dormitory at nearby Butler University.

As an automobile race driver, Schwitzer won the first automobile race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS), a five mile race on August 19, 1909.[3] He is known to have started five races at IMS in 1909 and 1910.[3][4] He also drove relief, for Harry Cobe, in the first Indianapolis 500.[5][6] Schwitzer served on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Technical Committee from 1912 through 1945.[1]

In recognition of Schwitzer's contributions to the early developmental history of American motorsports, the Louis H. Schwitzer Award for Design Innovation is presented annually after each running of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race.

In 1970, Schwitzer was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame.[7]

He is buried at Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis.[8]


  1. ^ a b Kollins, Michael J.; "Louis Schwitzer performance pioneer had a hand in many Indianapolis automotive firms;" Wheels-Journal of the National Automotive History Collection; Winter/Spring 1998; Detroit Public Library. Article reprint posted at http://www.cruise-in.com/resource/cismar03.htm
  2. ^ Higgins, Will; "Indy racing pioneer's Louis Schwitzer's Art Deco decor to be sold Saturday;" Indianapolis Star; October 4, 2013
  3. ^ a b Scott, D. Bruce; INDY: Racing Before the 500; Indiana Reflections; 2005; ISBN 0-9766149-0-1.
  4. ^ Galpin, Darren; A Record of Motorsport Racing Before World War I.
  5. ^ http://www.champcarstats.com/
  6. ^ http://www.motorsport.com/stats/champ/byyear
  7. ^ http://automotivehalloffame.org/honors/index.php
  8. ^ "Indianapolis Auto greats" (PDF). Celebrating Automotive Heritage at Crown Hill Cemetery. Crown Hill Cemetery. 2011. Retrieved 2012-09-10. 

http://www.firstsuperspeedway.com/sites/default/files/Indianapolis_Speedway_William_Borque.pdf http://www.theautochannel.com/news/2009/05/20/461933.html

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