Wednesday 20th June 1860
Born on this day, Alexander Winton, Scottish-American automobile designer and racer, who in 1897 founded the Winton Motor Carriage Company. Winton was a pioneer in recognizing that racing was a primary means to promote his automobile business, both because of the public attention these races garnered as well as the focus on technical innovation. One of his first famous races was against Henry Ford, which he lost in 1901. In 1902 he built the first of three custom race cars, all three of which he called the ‘Bullet’. Bullet No. 1 was the first car to win a sanctioned race at Daytona Beach, Florida. Bullet No. 2 was built for the Gordon Bennett Cup in Ireland in 1903. It was one of the first 8-cylinder automobiles ever built. It suffered mechanical difficulties and did not complete the race, although after being brought back to the United States Barney Oldfield drove it to a near-record 80 miles per hour (130 km/h) at Daytona. Winton retired from racing, but built a Bullet No. 3 which Oldfield raced around the United States in his famous career.