The Cornelian automobile was built between 1913 and 1916, with fewer than 100 units produced, by the Blood Brothers Machine Co. in Kalamazoo Michigan. The name “Cornelian” comes from a blood red gem stone of the same name.
The Cornelian, powered by a Sterling 103 cubic inch overhead valve engine, was advanced for its time with monocoque chassis, 4 wheel independent suspension and early rack and pinion steering.
This race car was modified and driven by Louis Chevrolet for the Blood Brothers in the 1915 Indy 500. Weighing less than 1,000 pounds, it is the lightest car to ever race in the Indy 500, and was the first to race therewith a monocoque chassis or 4 wheel independent suspension.
Qualified at 81 mph and ran 76 laps before valve failure forced retirement from the race.
No production Cornelian automobiles are known to exist. This race car creation with many original parts was completed by Allen Rohrstaf in Michigan after exhaustive research of photographs and archives.
Currently on loan to the Gilmore Museum.