Auto Polo: When Motorsport Goes Wrong
Automobile polo or Auto polo was a motorsport invented in the United States with rules and equipment similar to equestrian polo but using automobiles instead of horses. It was dangerous and carried the risk of injury and death to the participants and spectators…
The official inventor of auto polo is purported to be Ralph “Pappy” Hankinson, a Ford automobile dealer from Topeka who devised the sport as a publicity stunt in 1911 to sell Model T cars. No car but the Model T Ford had the forward speeds and reverse and brake applied by foot pedals, plus throttle operated by hand, and the transmission system that made such maneuvers possible.