Barney Oldfield's 1910 Land Speed Record

Ormond/Daytona Beach – 1910

Fourteen files document Barney Oldfield’s world land speed record run in March 1910. Oldfield acquired the famous “Blitzen Benz,” renamed it the “Lightning Benz” and drove it to 131.7 MPH to set the new record. At the time, the speed was the fastest any person had traveled in any kind of vehicle – car, train or airplane.


This collection of articles is from Barney Oldfield's scrapbook. All are from March 1910 leading up to and through Oldfield's successful world land speed record run at Daytona Beach where he his 131.7 MPH. Aside from coverage of the record run (which was not recognized as an official record because that required the driver to make a return run for an average of the speeds up and down the beach, which Oldfield did not do) this content offers some interesting perspectives beyond the scope of the record run.

This is a one page document lifted from a 1910 newspaper featuring art submitted by a seventh grade boy and his impression of Barney Oldfield in the powerful Lightning Benz. The effort was an entry in a scholarship competition. Note his attention to detail right down to including Oldfield's cigar.

Frankly, this article lacks substance for auto racing fans. It has an image of Barney Oldfield in his Lightning "Blitzen" Benz and notes his outstanding accomplishment of nine months earlier. The article is a generalized summary of a variety of speed records that occurred during 1910 - foot races, horse races and, of course, Oldfield's 131.7 miles per hour run down the sands of Daytona Beach. It's a period piece, but you can do better if you are researching Oldfield or land speed records.

This article originally appeared in Hampton's Magazine in the spring of 1910. This is only a small portion of a larger article, but it focuses on Barney Oldfield's description of his 131.720 mph world land speed record run on March 16, 1910 on Daytona Beach. For perspective, the point I like to consider is that at this time Oldfield's speed  was faster than anyone or anything had ever traveled on Earth. Airplanes could not travel with such velocity, nor trains. Certainly no living creature possessed such power.

This package has great information on several levels. It also serves to illustrate what a rat's nest Barney Oldfield's personal scrapbook was - this is where I acquired the content. It requires some patience to read, but you can get through it and if you love auto racing history it is well worth the effort.
 

This is another article from Barney Oldfield's personal scrapbook, which is, unfortunatley, very messy. The dates and publication names are clipped off and the articles are pasted on top of each other. Still, there is much good information.
 

This is another messy package from Barney Oldfield's scrapbook. In it you will find a hodge-podge of articles from unknown newspapers (the dates and sources have been clipped off). I can date these articles with some degree of accuracy based on what I know about Oldfield's career. The articles are a mix of 1910 and 1911 events. Some probably appeared in late 1910, the others in spring 1911.
 

This is another package of artilces from the disorganized colletion that is Barney Oldfield's personal scrapbook. The articles are from 1910. The primary feature is written by Oldfield and describes his experience in setting the world land speed record at Daytona Beach in the Blitzen Benz. Oldfield's speed for one mile was 131.720 mph and an amazing 142 mph for two miles.

In yet another item from Barney Oldfield's personal scrapbook his record runs at Daytona Beach in March 1910 are described. Driving the 200 HP "Blitzen Benz," Oldfield dazzled the world with then-incredible speeds of 131.720 mph for a flying start mile and 142 mph for a flying on start two miles. He also set records in the kilometer and from standing starts.

This article is one of the few from Barney Oldfield's scrapbook that allows us to identify the source: The Toledo Times. The article was originally published sometime shortly after Oldfield's land speed record run with the Blitzen Benz.