Apr 09 2009

Willie K. Sets Land One-Mile Speed Record in 1904

Before helping to organize the Vanderbilt Cup Races, William K. Vanderbilt, Jr. was a pioneer race car driver, competing in Europe and Newport, Rhode Island from 1901 to 1903.

The zenith of Willie K's ’s racing career was the Ormond-Daytona Beach Automobile Tournament in January 1904. For the event, he purchased a giant 90-hp Mercedes, among the most powerful cars in the world. On January 27th, he set the one-mile land speed record on the beach going 92.3 mph, surpassing the record established earlier in the month by Henry Ford.

CNN has developed a list of land speed record holders from 1898 to 1997. A British supercar designed to break the world land speed record was unveiled last year. If it succeeds, the driver will be the first to be officially recognized as driving through the 1,000 mph barrier.


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