SEMA eNews Vol. 15, No. 41, October 11, 2012

See the Historic Borg-Warner Trophy at the 2012 SEMA Show

  automobile trade show, auto show, automobile events, sema show
The celebrated Borg-Warner Trophy, awarded to Indianapolis 500 winners since 1936, will be on display at the Borg-Warner Turbo Systems booth (#21635) during the week of the 2012 SEMA Show.
   
The celebrated Borg-Warner Trophy, awarded to Indianapolis 500 winners since 1936, will be on display at the Borg-Warner Turbo Systems booth (#21635) during the week of the 2012 SEMA Show. The trophy is rarely seen outside of its home at the race track.

The Borg-Warner Trophy made its debut in 1936 when it was presented to Louis Meyer. Meyer said, "Winning the Borg-Warner Trophy is like winning an Olympic medal."

Made of 110 pounds of sterling silver, the Borg-Warner Trophy originally cost $10,000 and is currently valued at $1.5 million. The trophy clearly reflects the "art deco" period of its creation during the ’30s. During the race, the Borg-Warner Trophy is displayed trackside. When the winner pulls into Victory Lane, the trophy is placed on the rear of the car behind the driver. This tradition dates back to 1911, when Ray Harroun won the race with an average speed of 74.602 miles per hour.

The Borg-Warner Trophy has appeared in several Hollywood movies, including To Please a Lady with Barbara Stanwyck and Clark Gable, and Winning with Paul Newman. In the latter, Paul Newman talks on the phone about his racing victory while standing in a phone booth with a scaled-down version of the trophy proudly tucked under his arm.

The trophy stands 5-ft., 6-in. tall. Guidelines for its creation stipulated that it must represent the spirit of world-class racing, be constructed of precious metal, and be of heroic proportions. The completed work was characterized by its luxurious use of geometric and stylized forms, including wings of victory "handles" on each side of the trophy to symbolize speed, and a Greek-like figure of a man waving the traditional checkered flag atop a silver dome.

The original trophy base was designed to display images of the faces of 80 Indy 500 winners. Two new bases have since been constructed to add more space—one in 1986, to provide space for 18 more faces, and one in 2004, adding capacity for winners through 2034.