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History Daytona Beach - Early Land Speed & Stock Car Racing

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Toby Denham, Oct 29, 2011.

  1. rick finch
    Joined: May 26, 2008
    Posts: 2,003

    rick finch
    Member

  2. Blacki-Suede
    Joined: May 19, 2008
    Posts: 202

    Blacki-Suede
    Member

    Hey, I’m thrashing to get my ’32 highboy done in time for the Turkey Run, so not much time to post to this thread.

    My wife and I are history buffs, race fans, and live in Ponce Inlet, Fl where the old "Beach/Road Course" was located. My wife recently spearheaded a movement to designate the North and South Turns and historical sites. Markers were installed. Now the Town and the County are working together to install landscaping, black and white checkered concrete, checkered flags, etc. The North Turn is currently under construction; the South Turn will follow. Planned completion is before 2012 Speedweeks.

    The Ponce DeLeon Lighthouse shows a great video on Beach Racing in one of its buildings. Beach Racing photos and memorabilia are also on display.


    Yes, Racing’s North Turn Bar and Grille is a must if you are in the area. Lot’s of memorabilia and the food is good as well.

    Just south of the North Turn is Winterhaven Park. If you park in the park’s parking lot, the short black top strip that runs south in front of several houses is all that is left of the black top portion of the old Beach/Road Course. I have shown that piece of asphalt to several former beach racers and they choke up.

    If you are in the area for the Turkey Run run down to Ponce Inlet and check things out. It is a short and scenic ride.

    I have photos, line-ups, programs, etc. that I will get around to posting. In the mean time enjoy this thread.

    Blacki-Suede
     
  3. SakowskiMotors
    Joined: Nov 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,242

    SakowskiMotors
    Member

  4. Blacki-Suede, thanks for you info. I can't wait to get back down there to check out the stuff you mentioned.
     
  5. rick finch
    Joined: May 26, 2008
    Posts: 2,003

    rick finch
    Member

  6. rick finch
    Joined: May 26, 2008
    Posts: 2,003

    rick finch
    Member

  7. rick finch
    Joined: May 26, 2008
    Posts: 2,003

    rick finch
    Member

  8. rick finch
    Joined: May 26, 2008
    Posts: 2,003

    rick finch
    Member

    Paul Goldsmith drove this '58 Pontiac to Smokey Yunick's last Beach win....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. rick finch
    Joined: May 26, 2008
    Posts: 2,003

    rick finch
    Member

    This 1956 Chevrolet Corvette SR2 Beach Racer was specifically built for racing. It was designed by Bill Mitchell and maintained by Smokey Yunick. The car was the test bed for Rochester Fuel Injection system. It was driven on the beach at Daytona by Buck Baker. He set a class record of 152 mph. The hand built body, featuring the high fin, had other unique features. Brake air ducts were provided to cool the front brakes and side scoops as the rear brake cooling runs through the length of the car, including the doors and jambs. Two-inch off-set air ducts to the engine came via the front fenders. This 2000-pound car has 10-pound doors and a 20-pound hood. It features a 48-gallon gas tank.

    Smokey Yunick bored & stroked the original 283 engine out to 336 cubic-inches. The car raced Daytona, Sebring (finished 15th overall), Nassau and was expected to run at LeMans until Chevrolet pulled out of racing in 1957.

    It is said the attention the SR2 provided during this brief racing period saved the production of the Corvette.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Good stuff, Rick!
     
  11. rick finch
    Joined: May 26, 2008
    Posts: 2,003

    rick finch
    Member

  12. rick finch
    Joined: May 26, 2008
    Posts: 2,003

    rick finch
    Member

    John Fitch and the '56 Corvette SR2....

    [​IMG]


    Zora Arkus-Duntov was tasked with creating the SR-2. He worked with Chevrolet's Chief Engineer, Ed Cole, on creating a version of the Corvette that could outrun and outpace the competition.

    A modified single-seater Corvette test-bed was brought to the Daytona Speedweeks in February of 1956. Its V8 engine produced around 240 horsepower and carried the car to an average speed of 150.58 mph. A little more fine-tuning to the engine increased the horsepower to 255. The car traveled the smooth sand surface at an average speed of 147.3 mph which was nearly 15 mph faster than the Ford Thunderbird's run.

    The first cars to bear the SR name were shown at the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1956. It is still a mystery as to the official meaning of 'SR'; some believe its for 'Special Racing', others say its for 'Sebring Racer', while others argue its just initials. Four 'SR' cars were entered in the race, three with a 265 cubic-inch engine and one with a 307 cubic-inch unit. The 307 ci car had a newly created, and still unproven, Rochester mechanical fuel-injection system and a ZF close-ratio four-speed gearbox. It raced in the Class B category while the three other cars competed in the Class C group.

    One Class C and the Class B entry retired prematurely from the race. John Fitch drove one of hte Class C cars to a very respectable 15th place finish. The other entry finished next to last. The Corvette's were still in their infancy of racing but the potential for greatness had been proven.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 4,431

    dana barlow
    Member
    from Miami Fla.
    1. Y-blocks

    Enjoying this thread a lot,having been racing nearly every feb speedweeks at the oval tracks for the last 30 years my self,I ran by to look over the old places too.
     
  14. k9racer
    Joined: Jan 20, 2003
    Posts: 3,091

    k9racer
    Member

    I see Miami and racing at Daytona short tracks.. So are you running a H.C. Wilcock power plant?? Or car 84 Garage??
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2011
  15. brechlrl
    Joined: Apr 6, 2007
    Posts: 143

    brechlrl
    Member
    from Wisconsin

    Here is another tribute car to the 56 Mercury "Thumper" that was campaigned by Bill Stroppe. It appeared on the cover of HRM Oct 1956. I own both this and the 57 "Mermaid" car.
     

    Attached Files:

  16. rick finch
    Joined: May 26, 2008
    Posts: 2,003

    rick finch
    Member

    Outstanding.:cool: Tell us more, better yet....show us more!
     
  17. rick finch
    Joined: May 26, 2008
    Posts: 2,003

    rick finch
    Member

    Sometime in the 1920's.....

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Toby:

    Ditto, great job on the thread! I am still seeking unpublished Lockhart photos of all kinds and any unpublished source material.

    Regards,

    John Bayer

    The Frank Lockhart Biography Project
    stutzblackhawk.tripod.com (do not enter "www" in the address line or it won't display)
     
  19. I was in Daytona for bike week back in the mid to late 1970s if my memory serves me rite. Any way I was there for the very last time they let anyone speed down the beach. It was down around turtle mound somewhere, almost to the inlet. My old friend Jim McClure ran his fuel harley over 180 mph. I never saw any of the other events there but would have loved to have been there for the land speed runs way back when..love all the photos posted hear .Thanks everyone!
     
  20. Bob Burman and his "Blitzen Benz" @ Daytona Beach circa 1911:

    [​IMG]
    click HERE for larger image

    Burnam set speed records for the mile (137.83 mph) and the kilometer (138.3 mph) at Daytona on April 22, 1911 ... At the time, it was the fastest a human had ever traveled:

    NY Times 23-April-1911.JPG


    NOTE: There's more pics & info in my Bob Burman & his "Blitzen Benz" ... PICS!!! thread.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2014
  21. grazy
    Joined: Jun 21, 2008
    Posts: 223

    grazy
    Member

    A couple weeks ago here in town at an auction was an old photo of a wrecked land speed car at Daytona from 1929 car said Triplex on it also said driver died in accident ? Car appeared to be multi engined 3 aircraft engines ? Waited all morning at auction had to leave for family function told my buddy to bid up to 50.00 left money with him he left also late in afternoon . I heard later it sold for 17.50 Damn it . I collect a lot of Bonneville stuff and something that early and cool moves locally my niece little better appreciate me being at her birthday party .
     
  22. Blacki-Suede
    Joined: May 19, 2008
    Posts: 202

    Blacki-Suede
    Member

    On February 18, 2012, at 10:AM, there will be a dedication ceremony at the North and South Turns of the old Beach Road Course in Ponce Inlet, FL.

    The turns have been landscaped, markers have been installed, pavers, benches, checkered flag concrete, etc. has been completed. Many former drivers, owners, officials, and mechanics are expected to be on hand, as well as a number of original and replicas of vintage race cars and motorcycles that ran on the beach.

    Guest speakers, autographs, ribbon cutting, shuttle service, snacks, refreshments, "the whole deal" is planned. If you in the area for the races come on down.

    Blacki-Suede
     
  23. Last edited: Oct 7, 2014
  24. 26 roadster
    Joined: Apr 21, 2008
    Posts: 2,015

    26 roadster
    Member

    Fireball Roberts, but few remember the FISH carburetor
     
  25. Hot Rod Elvis
    Joined: Jan 24, 2011
    Posts: 606

    Hot Rod Elvis
    Member

    Story goes that the Fish cars wouldn't use actual fish carbs. Red Vogt thought they were junk.....so he used Eldebrocks:D
     
  26. DualQuad55
    Joined: Mar 5, 2005
    Posts: 1,377

    DualQuad55
    Member
    from Epsom, NH

    Fish carbs were determined to be illegal for NASCAR racing by NASCAR. They were not factory production carbs, and back then the cars had to have original equipment.

    Edelbrock wasnt making carbs back in the 50s.
     
  27. endlessearth
    Joined: Jul 26, 2010
    Posts: 192

    endlessearth
    Member

    Those racers had some serious balls back then. I am sure the the guys racing nowadays are no different but the mayhem that could be inflicted back before safety equipment must have been horrific.
     
  28. now thats gona be somthing to go see. somebodys using his head for something other than a hat rack. thank you, to the people puting that all together. RACING HISTORY AT ITS FINEST.
     
  29. Blacki-Suede
    Joined: May 19, 2008
    Posts: 202

    Blacki-Suede
    Member

    Well, the Dedication Ceremony for the North and South Turns of the famous Beach/Roadcourse in Ponce Inlet is history.

    It was a huge success, with beach racing cars parading, proclamations, ribbon cuttings, autograph sessions with former beach racers, interviews on stage with same, a surprize visit from The King - Richard Petty, plenty of free food, sunny weather, etc., etc.

    It was a piece of history.

    Blacki-Suede
     

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