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New Records for Automobile.

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Pre-WWII Racing Topics:  Barney Oldfield

New Records for Automobile.

Washington Post
June 21, 1903

Barney Oldfield, of Dayton, Sent Machine at Terrific Pace

Indianapolis, Ind., June 20. - Barney Oldfield, of Dayton, Ohio, broke the world's records for automobiles on an elliptical mile track from one to five miles to-day by driving his machine in 0:59 3-5.  Not satisfied with this, he broke every record from one to five miles, clipping 23 2-5 seconds off the five mile record, held by Winton, by going the distance in 5:04 3-5.  He drove his "red devil," which was designed by himself.

The records were made in a pursuit with Tom Cooper, of Detroit, who drove "999."  The former world's record was 1:01 2-5, held by Oldfield himself.  He smashed this on his first time around for his second heat in the pursuit race with Cooper.  On his next turn he broke the two mile record, held by himself, covering the distance in 2:00 2-5.  The former record was 2:05.  On the third lap he again broke the record by making it in 3:02.  On the fourth lap he covered the distance in 4:03 3-5.  For the five miles he made the record 5:04 3-5.  On three miles of his laps he covered the distance in less than record time.  He received $1,200 for breaking the record.

Tom Cooper was also in form and came within a second of equaling the record, as he covered one of his miles in 1:02 2-5.  He also beat the previous five mile record made by Winton.  In his first heat he covered the distance in 5:24, and in his second heat in 5:18.

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