Dirt Tracking the Blitzen Benz

After Barney Oldfield set the world land speed record of 131.720 mph in March 1910 he took the car - the Blitzen Benz - on a national tour, filling grandstands across the country.
The famed Blitzen Benz (aka "Lightning Benz") was driven to numerous land speed track records by Barney Oldfield (1910) and Bob Burman (1911). Both drivers achieved the fastest mile speeds that anyone had ever recorded up to the date of their runs. Oldfield exceeded 131 mph in March 1910 at Daytona Beach and Bob Burman returned to the same spot a year later to shatter that record by 10 mph. The Blitzen Benz produced 200 hp and the wheels were driven by heavy-duty chains and sprocket gears.
While the car Oldfield and Burman drove no longer exists, it was not the only Blitzen Benz produced. This particular machine is # 9141 and is owned by a gentleman by the name of William Evans. Bill was kind enough to contact me and provide information about his car. It was originally driven by British driver L.G. Cupid-Hornstead, who recorded a speed of 124.090 mph at Brooklands in England on June 24, 1914. Cupid-Hornstead's run, unlike those of Oldfield and Burman, was an average over two runs in oppositive directions, customary in official world land speed trials. Bill also reports that the car was last raced in 1922 and went over the wall at Brooklands. The transmission and radiator were canabalized for other cars. The machine was owned by Mr. George Waterman and Bill purchased it from Waterman's son. A magnificent restoration, the car is currently on display at the prestigous Mercedes-Benz Museum.

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