Beach Racers: Daytona before NASCAR

Overview

Every spring, hordes of fans descend upon Florida for the Daytona 500, the famed first race in the NASCAR season. But how many know that racers have been bringing fast cars to the beach for more than one hundred years?
 
Beach Racers portrays the thrills and dangers of the first automobile races in Daytona. In an era of poor roads, the flat, wide sands of Ormond and ...
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Overview

Every spring, hordes of fans descend upon Florida for the Daytona 500, the famed first race in the NASCAR season. But how many know that racers have been bringing fast cars to the beach for more than one hundred years?
 
Beach Racers portrays the thrills and dangers of the first automobile races in Daytona. In an era of poor roads, the flat, wide sands of Ormond and Daytona beaches proved to be the ideal venue for engineers and drivers pushing the technological envelope, looking for ways to make their cars go ever faster.
 
For nearly a decade (1903-1910) land speed records were routinely set and broken by automakers such as Mercedes, Winton, Napier, Darracq, and Stanley Steamer thanks in part to financing from such business tycoons as Stanley brothers and Vanderbilt. Dick Punnett has scoured libraries, auto museums, and historical societies throughout Florida, the Northeast, and the Midwest to track down stunning photographs and primary sources to learn what really happened during these early races.
 
Filled with riveting photographs, fascinating anecdotes, and authoritative lists of winners, contestants, and record-setters, Beach Racers is a must-have for every true fan of NASCAR.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813032603
  • Publisher: University Press of Florida
  • Publication date: 3/9/2008
  • Pages: 168
  • Sales rank: 1,427,312
  • Product dimensions: 6.25 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.47 (d)

Meet the Author

Dick Punnet is a long-time resident of Ormond Beach. His first book, Thrills, Chills, and Spills--written with his wife, Yvonne--is a photographic history of early aviation on the beach.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     vii
Introduction     ix
Prologue     xv
Auto Racers Discover a Natural Highway: First Annual Ormond-Daytona Beach Automobile Races, March 26-28, 1903     1
Morgan Silences the Critics     12
The Record Cascade Begins: Second Annual Ormond-Daytona Beach Automobile Races, January 28-February 1, 1904     17
Yankee Ingenuity: Two Twin-Engine Cars Surprise the World, Third Annual Ormond-Daytona Beach Automobile Races, January 24-31, 1905     31
The European Invasion Peaks: Fourth Annual Ormond-Daytona Beach Automobile Races, January 23-29, 1906     55
A Motorcycle Triumph: A Steam Car Fizzle, Fifth Annual Ormond-Daytona Beach Automobile Races, January 21-25, 1907     78
Distance Racing Takes Over: Sixth Annual Daytona Beach Automobile Races, March 3-6, 1908     93
A Racing Potpourri: Seventh Annual Daytona Beach Automobile Races, March 23-26, 1909     105
The Man with the Cigar Steals the Show: Eighth Annual Daytona Beach Automobile Races, March 16, 22-24, 1910     118
Epilogue     125
Appendix: Tabulation of Speed Records Set on the Beach, 1903-1910     129
Bibliography     139
Index     143
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