Allison Transmission dedicates historical marker in honor of original machine shop

Allison Transmission dedicates historical marker in honor of original machine shop

Allison Transmission dedicates historical marker in honor of original machine shop

INDIANAPOLIS – May 7, 2015 – As part of ongoing activities to celebrate the company’s centennial in 2015, Allison Transmission Holdings Inc. (NYSE: ALSN) today announced the dedication of an ‘Allison Machine Shop’ historical marker at the building’s location where it still stands on Main Street in Speedway.

The marker is part of the State of Indiana Historical Marker Program which is administered by the Indiana Historical Bureau. State historical markers commemorate significant individuals, organizations, places and events in Indiana history. Since 1946, the marker format has been a large roadside marker, which has a dark blue background with gold lettering and the outline of the state of Indiana at the top.

“I can’t think of a more appropriate time for this dedication ceremony to take place,” said Lawrence E. Dewey, chairman, president and CEO of Allison Transmission. “Here we all are gathered during this first week in the month of May, and just a very short distance from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway where our history is strongly entwined.”

Allison traces its corporate lineage back to the founding of the Indianapolis Speedway Team Co. on Sept. 14, 1915. As a co-founder of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and part owner of several racing teams, James A. Allison, a prominent entrepreneur, innovator and businessman, established a precision machine shop and experimental firm on Main Street in Speedway called the Allison Experimental Co. to support his racing endeavors.

“Allison Transmission, and its legacy of success, is part of the rich fabric of iconic organizations that make Speedway a great place to live and work,” said David Lindsey, president of the Speedway Town Council. “It is our privilege to work alongside such a hugely successful company and a leader in technology innovation that has called Speedway home for 100 years.”

Originally, James Allison had established a small, informal machine shop in downtown Indianapolis between 1913 and 1915 to service and experiment with racing automobiles. He had need for a facility and staff to improve and tweak the cars used by his race teams to “fill out the ranks” in the early days of racing.

After expressing frustration at having to drive the fine-tuned cars from the city to the track in the area that would become the Town of Speedway, Allison offered to take over one of the racing teams, the Indianapolis Speedway Team Co., and open a precision machine shop and experimental firm under his name nearer to the track. He established the Allison Experimental Co. and had the dedicated shop built on Main Street in Speedway, where he moved operations on January 1, 1917.

In the years that followed, the company evolved from working on race cars to becoming a leading manufacturer of both aircraft engines and, beginning in the mid-1940s, automatic transmissions. Today, Allison Transmission has become the world’s largest manufacturer of fully automatic commercial-duty transmissions and a leader in hybrid-propulsion systems.

The following is the full text for the Allison Machine Shop historical marker:

“Entrepreneur James Allison helped establish Indianapolis Speedway Team Co., 1915, and later built a precision machine shop here near speedway to improve race cars. Upon U.S. entry in WWI, 1917, 500-mile race was suspended and he devoted shop resources to war effort, including making parts for Liberty aircraft engines. Shop name became Allison Engineering Co. by 1921. General Motors purchased company, 1929, and focused work on aircraft engines. During WWII, Allison Division built 70,000 liquid-cooled V-1710 engines for fighter aircraft. Company grew to over 23,000 employees and received awards for excellence in production. By mid-1940s, it manufactured jet engines and transmissions, which later played a key role in Korean War.”

About Allison Transmission

Allison Transmission (NYSE: ALSN) is the world’s largest manufacturer of fully automatic transmissions for medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles, and is a leader in hybrid-propulsion systems for city buses. Allison transmissions are used in a variety of applications including refuse, construction, fire, distribution, bus, motorhomes, defense and energy. Founded in 1915, the company is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA and employs approximately 2,700 people worldwide. With a market presence in more than 80 countries, Allison has regional headquarters in the Netherlands, China and Brazil with manufacturing facilities in the U.S., Hungary and India. Allison also has approximately 1,400 independent distributor and dealer locations worldwide. For more information, visit




Craig M. Koven

Manager, Corporate Communications

317-242-3432 office

317-509-7670 mobile



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