Land Speed Record Centennial
1906 ~ 2006
Ormond Beach, Florida
Photos by Chuk Williams

Back to PageOne


Stanley Steamer Commemorative Monument at Speed Park   Sarah Stanley and the Rocket Landry(Marriott's Great Grandson) makes a run in the Rocket Win Howard and his Vanderbilt Racer-  Race Director Dan Smith on Right

      The Kissell - with enough spares for a real voyage! Barnes' Vanderbilt making a run down the beach    
    Bill Thompsons' Toledo Steam Buggy The Boudemans and their beautiful Vanderbilt A Stanley Pickup! Pat Farrells' 30 hp Stanley Mountain Wagon    
    In the Pit Area - getting ready to run! Kissell Gasoline Racer Chuk and George - hard at work! Mike Cross and the Hibblers - ready for a cold tour to St. Augustine George at work    
    1916 Stanley 826c Mountain Wagon - Pat Farrell ...the brick road 1909 Stanley Model R - Mark Cantor 1921 Doble D2 Leslie Special - movie auto from 'The Great Race' - resembling a 1907 Thomas Flyer

These 5 photos by Pat Farrell

    ~ Click thumbnail images to enlarge, hover on thumbnail for caption [Windows]~

       The Land Speed Record Centennial Celebration was huge fun and quite a success. There were approximately fifty steam cars there, with about ten early gas cars also attending.  The Stanley Museum and the City of Ormond Beach had organized a nice big parking lot alongside the headquarters hotel for the cars to be stored and displayed-which worked out very well. The NE SACA group was very well represented, with 16 members attending…the NW Steam Society also had quite a few members present. Pat Farrell had brought his Mountain Wagon all the way from Northern Washington-when he did the tours, there were 10-12 people aboard!

              Three Vanderbilt replicas were there… Almost all the steam cars were Stanleys, with the exception of one Toledo and one Doble. The Toledo ran around giving everyone rides, but the Doble had superheater problems and wasn’t driven at all. The owner had shipped it in from the UK-twas a shame the car didn’t get to participate in the tours or the Centennial Event on the beach.

         Wednesday was the first real day of the Event, with the Loop Tour during the day and the Reception at the Casements in the evening. The cars were all displayed under the lights, with free food and drink supplied by the Carrabbas Grill.

         Thursday-100 years-to the day-after Marriott set the Land Speed Record, the wind was blowing  at 15 knots from the north-directly onshore….the sky was clear and the sun was out, but conditions on the beach weren’t very good at all until around 9:30. The Centennial Reenactment was scheduled to begin at 10 am-by that time, there was approximately 75 feet of dry hard sand along  the water’s edge—just enough! George Nutz and I were “Race Staff”-we helped with crowd control and such-and had a very good vantage point!

             The Rocket was first down the beach, with a Stanley driving…Great-granddaughter of one of the Stanley twins. A Marriott descendent also piloted the Rocket for a run-both drivers giving us a real glimpse of  history.  The other cars-both Steam and Gas-lined up single file and were  given a green flag to begin their run down the beach-each car running alone. A checkered flag marked the end of the 1/8th mile course, with a radar unit giving a readout of each car’s speed as they passed. The condition of the sand was such that speed was limited to 20-30 mph, and even though everyone was disappointed that we didn’t see any real speed, the beautiful day and the fabulous cars made up for it.

          After the beach Event, the crowd made their way back to the Birthplace of Speed Park, where the cars were displayed while we had a picnic lunch. After lunch there was a dedication of the monument commemorating the Record set by Marriott in the Stanley Rocket. Later that evening , we attended a very nice dinner at the Oceanside Country Club.

           Friday dawned blustery and cool-but was bright and sunny.  The longest tour of the Celebration departed at 9am, with quite a few cars participating. They headed off to St. Augustine-50 miles to the north-with everyone bundled up and ready for the cold-I heard later that the trip was a very cold one. That evening one of the local auto enthusiasts treated everyone in the steam group to a barbeque at his very nice “Warehouse”, which was a large 3 bay garage with several 60’s vehicles displayed inside. Quite impressive when you realize that there were probably 200 people there-enjoying the food, drink, and great conversation….

            Saturday morning I said goodbye to everyone and headed home-about three hours away. This was the first large steam car event I’ve ever attended, and I was quite impressed with both the cars and the people owning them. The Stanley Museum and the city of Ormond Beach did a very good job with the organization and handling of the event.

               Meeting people for the first time that I already knew thru the  internet was a real treat as well as seeing the Rocket run down the beach  under its own steam!!


Chuk Williams

Venice, Florida



 Hit Counter