Many people recognize the salt flats in Utah as the place where land speed records are held, but what a lot of people don’t know is that this all started in 1902 on Ormond Beach in Fl.
In 1902 many daredevils figured out that Ormond Beach was the perfect place to go fast and to break land speed records. It was long and flat and in the beginning there was plenty of room to go 127 miles an hour. They started over in Ormond Beach and as the times got faster they used Daytona Beach as the shut down area.
When a driver was scheduled to make an attempt at the record the Daytona Beach fire station (which still stands) located on the corner of Beach Street and Orange Ave. would blow it’s siren to alert spectators, police, National Guard and the Halifax Medical Center that the race was about to take place. People would be let out of work and children were also let out of school to witness the event (can you imagine?).
All of this went on until Britain’s famed driver Sir Malcolm Campbell showed up at Daytona Beach. He was known for breaking many land speed records on the beaches of England. He set three consecutive land speed records on Daytona Beach. In 1932 he went 253.968 mph, 1933 272.465 mph, and on his last attempt in 1935 he broke 276.465 mph.
On the last attempt he realized in order to make a run at 300 mph he needed a larger area because he went under the Daytona pier at 276! If you have ever driven the family car under that pier at 10 MPH there’s not much room.
On September 3, 1935, Sir Malcolm Campbell set a new record of 301.129 mph on the Bonneville Salt Flats of Utah.
Pictures Borrowed from: