Saturday 25th October 1902
23-year-old American Barney Oldfield made his racing debut in a Ford 999 at the Manufacturers Challenge Cup in Grosse Point, Michigan. The race was the beginning of a legendary racing career for Oldfield, who soundly beat his competition, including the famed fellow-American driver Alexander Winton. The cigar-chomping Oldfield went on to become the first truly great American race-car driver, winning countless victories and breaking numerous speed and endurance records. Oldfield’s victory in the 999 was also Ford’s first major racing-car victory, and together they went on to become the most recognised figures in early American motoring – Ford as the builder and Oldfield as the driver.