Marmon Motor Car Company was an American automobile manufacturer founded by Howard Carpenter Marmon and owned by Nordyke Marmon & Company of Indianapolis, Indiana, US. It produced luxury automobiles from 1902 to 1933.
The Marmon Wasp was a purpose built racecar which was built and raced in 1911. The car was named the wasp due to its black and yellow colour scheme and pointed tail. The car is very historically important as it won the first Indianapolis 500 Race in 1911 with Ray Harroun as the driver. Ray was a former racer who came out of retirement for just one race.
It was widely speculated he won because of the weight of his car. At that time all race cars held two men, a driver and a mechanic. Harroun's car was built for only one man, him. The car was also streamlined so with the reduced weight of one person, he had a great advantage.
He also devised the first rear view mirror ever used on a race car or a passenger vehicle as well. This combination of lightness and experience enabled him to win the race with an average speed of 74.602 mph.
Harroun still holds an Indy 500 record as no one has ever come from the 28th starting position (or bottom) and endded up winning the race.