Friday, 7 September 2007

Auto racing born

1896 Ford Quadricycle with W.Henry Ford, Clara Ford and Henry Ford Jr on board

On 7th September 1896 the first closed-circuit auto race in the world was held at Cranston, Rhode Island. The first auto race track in the US, Narragansett Park, opened in Knightsville in Cranston in September 1915. This was a one mile paved, high-banked oval track but the 1896 race took place on the irregular one mile horse racing dirt track Seven cars responded to the starter's skeptical command: "Go, if you can," for five laps of the circuit. An electric car won that contest, doing the 5 miles in 15 minutes and 1 second, a roaring 20-mile-per-hour pace. Tens of thousands came by horse and buggy and electric trolley to watch.

This photo of the event shows four Duryeas on the left and a Morris & Salom Electrobat on the right.

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