Thursday 26th February 1903
Alexander Winton, driving his Winton ‘Bullet 1’ with a huge 13 litre water-cooled 4 cylinder engine, set the first speed record (68.14 mph) ever achieved at Daytona Beach, Florida. The first motor race at Daytona was held a year earlier when Winton and his Bullet took on Ransom Olds.. Winton’s “Bullet 2” carried two 4 cylinder engines bolted together, creating a straight eight. Winton’s cars were driven by legendary speed demon Barney Oldfield, whose celebrated competitions with Ralph DePalma carried car racing in the US through its first decade. Oldfield was America’s first racing icon. Fans loved to watch him speed to victory with an unsmoked cigar clamped between his teeth.