The Early Years
The very first race was between two self powered carriages on August 30, 1867. There was a law against racing in those days and this history making eight mile race was completely in violation. It was not made legal until 1875 when a 200 mile course was set up. However, only the Oshkosh and the Green Bay made it to the finish line.
The first major transformation from just racing high quality, expensive but regular street cars into actual racers was in the 1930s when streamlined vehicles with supercharges were constructed. The focus was to lighten the weight of the cars as well as upping engine power.
Most Successful Racer
Ryan Dalziel is thought to have had the most success during his racing career. Although he was born in Britain, his career has been in the United States. Dalziel first began racing in 2005 and is still racing now, going on 11 years.
Least Successful Race
In 1955 there was a fatal crash during the Le Mans race, killing not only the driver, Pierre Levegh but also 83 people in the stands. More than 120 people were injured making this crash the most catastrophic accident in history.
At that time, there were no safety measures for the races like there are nowadays so although the race track was original make for top speeds of 60 miles per house in 1923, by 1955 when the crash occured, top speeds were surpassing 190 miles per hour. Yet the track had not been updated to accommodate such speeds and changes.
Most Successful Car
The AC cobra replica car kit is very similar to the original Shelby Daytona cobra coupe specifically designed for car racing. It was designed specifically to beat the Ferrari and the 250 GTO. The car most comparable is the Bill Thomas Cheetah from 1963 which was made with a Chevrolet V8 engine. The AC cobra replica car kit was actually around before the Daytona. Shelby modeled his car after the AC cobra replica car kit which he had also helped to develop.
It completed its goal by being the first American card to beat out the Ferrari.
In 1964 and 1965 several coupes were entered into different races and were raced all over the world. The Shelby Daytona had great success in the first few years of racing coming second in 1964 and first in 1965.
American cars were not known to be very competitive at that point. As far as sports car racing goes, America had done very little compared to other places but the Daytona turned the tides. When the Shelby took first place, it raised such morale in America in regards to car racing and inspired races around the nation because no one ever thought that the Ferrari could be beaten in performance driving.
Least Successful Car
The least successful race car so far would have to be the 1986 Plymouth Reliant-K station wagon. Although it competed in 14 races across 43 states and even in Canada, it was known for killing engines (seven in total) and leaving its drivers stranded. At its last race, after 129 laps, the station wagon finished 105th out of 121 cars. In its most successful race, it still only finished 38th out of 68 cars but it didn’t destroy an engine, which was counted a successful race.
Going back to the Daytona, to this day this car is the first of only seven cars to be in the national historic vehicle register classed as an American icon much like the Statue of Liberty in the space shuttle.
Cobra replica car kits can be purchased from anywhere from $10,000-$20,000. These cars can be bought in any stage of making from just the body or frame to the finished car.
There are many different kinds of races now ranging from Formula One driving to sports car racing to stock car racing to rallies to drag racing as well as off-road racing, cart racing and more. Racing has really come along way since it first started, being fully sanctioned by the law and spreading across the globe. Racing has become an accepted sport in today’s world and a much enjoyed spectator sport as well.