Car racing has been one of the favorite pastimes of every car enthusiast. Its like every period, a new breed of racing car is produced which amazingly has an improved designs and increased speed. So, let’s go back to the memory lane and have a glimpse to the first American car race. I’m telling you it’s different from what we see today.

It was in June 1895 when the Chicago Times-herald newspaper announced the very first motor car race. It was a car race but it was more likely to be a test drive for different kinds of horseless vehicles. It is a way to see what kinds of horseless vehicles people had been creating. Also, it is to let the public know about the emerging of gasoline-powered engine in America. The officials of the car race have set required criteria. The vehicle has at least 3 wheels and could carry at least two people. Each vehicle joining the race should carry the driver and the umpire selected by the judges to make sure that the driver and the vehicle were not cheating.

The race track is about miles from Chicago’s Jackson Park to Evanston and back. It was originally scheduled to happen at the end of October, but because there’s only a small percentage of 89 autos is ready to go it was rescheduled for Thanksgiving Day, November 28. When the big day arrived, there’s a fresh dusting snow in the ground. This made for slippery road conditions and frigid temperatures. Well, for you to know, the road is not cemented and the vehicles have no roofs and completely open to any outside elements.

Positioned in the starting line where 6 cars, two where electric and powered by batteries, three were powered with gasoline made by the German maker Benz and the last one was also gasoline powered built by American maker Frank Duryea. The race started, at first the vehicles are running good. However, the icy temperature combined with the extremely poor road conditions were too much for some of the cars. Four out of six had to drop out. Running at high speed of 7.5 miles per hour, placing first in the race was, Frank Duryea and finished the 54 miles for 9 hours! The second (and last) contestant rolled in 2 hours later.

Duryea’s won a $2,000 and was acknowledge worldwide for beating the famous Benz automobile. With his winnings he started Duryea Motor Wagon Company and became the first manufacturer of gasoline-powered automobiles in America.

The first car race in America was definitely very different with the race we witness today. Imagine, the first placer topped the race with approximately 6 mph whereas today an average racing car runs in an average speed of 200 mph. This only proves that as time goes by…. the brilliant minds of car engineers and designers continuously find new ways in making new breed of racing cars that can run from beyond.

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