- Marmons were produced with a policy of gradual improvement with few year-to-year changes.
- The first Indianapolis 500 race in 1911 was won by Ray Harroun driving a Marmon Wasp.
In 1899, Howard C. Marmon joined the family firm of Nordyke and Marmon Company in Indianapolis, Indiana. This company, established in 1851, was the world’s largest maker of milling machinery, but Howard Marmon’s interests were more automobile-related. Between 1898 and 1902, he worked on a design of his own which had many advanced features, including a twin-cylinder, air-cooled engine, pressure-lubrication, which was years ahead of the usual drip feed of the times, and a side entrance tonneau (rear seating compartment) when most other cars still were entered from the rear. These first cars were produced from 1904 to 1908.
Marmon began work on another model of advanced design in 1913 and produced the Model 34 which came on the market for 1916. Marmon used aluminum alloy components to reduce weight in the cylinder block, crankcase, pistons, water pump, intake manifold, pushrods, body, hood and radiator shell. The Model 34 was produced until 1924 with few year-to-year changes and the manufacturer preferred a policy of gradual improvement. Marmons did well in competition with 54 first places logged between 1909 and 1912. The first Indianapolis 500 race in 1911 was won by Ray Harroun driving a Marmon Wasp with a specially built 6-cylinder engine which averaged 74.61 mph.