CONGRATULATIONS & MILESTONES
Some monumental moments of automotive history took place last month that did not meet our March publication deadline, so we are presenting them now along with ones of this April. As you probably already know the month of March is the start of the Spring through Fall motorsports association racing season of NASCAR, Formula 1, IndyCar and AMA Sport Bikes.
Reaching back, on February 26th Kurt Busch won NASCAR’s 59th Daytona 500, March 12th Sebastian Bourdais won IndyCar’s Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, March 18th Danny Eslick won the AMA’s Daytona 200 (for the third time – 2014, 2015 & 2017) and on March 26th Sebastian Vettel put his Ferrari over the Australian Grand Prix finish line first.
All of us at MotometerCentral™ congratulate these valiant, hardworking race winners and we look forward to a full season of very competitive races.
March also marked the 90th anniversary of the Sir Henry Segrave’s breaking of the 200 mile per hour barrier. On March 29th,, 1927 Sir Henry completed dual up and back runs averaging 203.79 mph in what was billed as a “1,000 horsepower” Sunbeam dual Matabele, 22.4 litre (1,367 cubic inches) V12 engines, with the car weighing four tons on the wet sand at Florida’s Ormond Beach (!)
By modern comparison, the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 makes 1,001 horsepower generated by a W-engine shape 16-cylinder configuration producing a top speed of 254.04 mph. And, Sir Henry’s team did so during the adolescent years of the internal-combustion engine and with out the aid of modern materials, computers hundreds of engineers and millions to billion dollars in support.
Few people will ever go anywhere near 200 mph in a land-based vehicle so Sir Henry’s effort is to be marveled at, admired, specially noted and congratulated.
This April has a few notable historic milestones:
April 1, 1967 – The U. S. Department of Transportation begins operation under the leadership of President Lyndon Johnson appointed Secretary Alan S. Boyd;
April 17, 1964 – Then Ford Motor Company vice-president Lee Iacocca introduced a new model for 1965 called the Mustang at the New York World’s Fair;
April 25, 1901 – New York became the first state to require vehicle registration along with vehicle and operator identification; and,
April 29, 2004 – Oldsmobile built the last vehicle in its 107-year history . . . the vehicle was an Alero GLS four-passenger mid-sized sedan.
(Many thanks to Roberto X. Cruz of the AAA Drivers Nation newsletter for his milestones information, AAA Drivers Nation, Volume 1, Issue 4, New Jersey edition, April 2017, page 16)