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    Senior Member Stan Reid's Avatar
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    Exclamation Firsts and Lasts in Motorsports

    The place to post firsts and lasts in motorsports so for a start off maybe the first event that could be considered a motorsport:

    It was on July the 27th of 1811 and it was a race between two steamboats. At Albany NY, the Hope under Captain Bunker and the Clarmont under Captain Bartholomew squared off in a one on one race. Hope took the early lead and essentially won the event when Bunker put a block on Bartholomew as he tried to make an inside pass at a bend in the river. The result was also the first motorsports accident which ended the contest although no one was hurt and neither craft was seriously damaged.
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    Senior Member Stan Reid's Avatar
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    The first land based motor race I can find, and it's only half so, was the race between the steam locomotive Tom Thumb and a horse drawn rail car. It happened in Maryland on August 28 of 1830. The horse got off to an early lead but Peter Cooper, who was at the controls of Tom Thumb, got the boiler pressure up and passed the horse. Shortly afterward, a belt began to slip on the engine and the horse took the lead back and went on to the win.
    Last edited by Stan Reid; 26th January 2016 at 01:35.
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    Senior Member Stan Reid's Avatar
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    The first auto race, of a sort, was apparently a contest between two steam carriages on the roads outside of Manchester, England on August 30 of 1867. A machine owned by Isaac Boulton and purportedly driven by his son James came in first at the end of the eight mile event over Daniel Adamson's car, perhaps driven by a Mr. Schmidt.
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    Senior Member Stan Reid's Avatar
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    It looks like the first air race happened in Germany on September 18 of 1908. The contest was between two dirigibles, one commanded by Major Von Parceval and the other by Major Gross. Neither airship made it to the destination but Gross got the farthest so I suppose he would be considered the winner.
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    Senior Member Stan Reid's Avatar
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    The first and last time a motorcycle held the land speed and overall speed record:

    In January 1907, Frank Curtiss on his V-8 motorcycle broke the automobile and absolute speed record set a year earlier by Frank Marriott. At Ormand Beach, Florida, he was clocked at 136.36 miles per hour. The record was not broken until August 1918 when Roland Rohlfs hit 163 mph with a airplane in level flight.
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    Senior Member Stan Reid's Avatar
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    The first person to operate a motor vehicle at a speed above 100 kph was Engineer John Pemberton at the controls of the steam locomotive Antelope in 1848. During the second half of the 26 mile speed run through Massachusetts, he averaged 65.0 miles per hour which converts to 104.6 kilometers per hour-And it's a new land speed record!
    Last edited by Stan Reid; 25th January 2016 at 01:42.
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    Senior Member Stan Reid's Avatar
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    The first person to operate a motor vehicle over 100 miles per hour was Engineer Charles Hogan who, at the controls of the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad #999 locomotive, reached 102.8 mph (165.4 kph) on May 9 of 1893. Hogan hit his speed while traveling through Upstate New York.
    Last edited by Stan Reid; 25th January 2016 at 01:30.
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    Senior Member Stan Reid's Avatar
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    The first and only time that a single person officially held more than one of the three ultimate speed records was from September 1 of 1937 to November 19 of 1937 when Malcolm Campbell held both the water and land speed records.

    Notes:

    From August 23 of 1909 to August 24 of 1909, Glenn Curtiss unofficially held both the air and land speed records.

    From July 17 of 1964 to December 11 of 1964, Donald Campbell held the water speed record and the FIA automobile land speed record but the actual land speed record at the time (recognized by both USAC and the FIM) was held by Craig Breedlove.
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    Senior Member Stan Reid's Avatar
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    The Rainhill Trials in Northern England on October 6-8 of 1829 would seem to be the first land based motorsports competition. It was a rally of sorts where 5 locomotives (four were steam powered and one was powered by a horse on a treadmill) were clocked as they ran back and forth on a level mile long stretch of rails. The event was won by Robert Stevenson's steam locomotive named the Rocket. Steam locomotives also placed second and third. The horse powered machine came in forth only ahead of the forth steam locomotive that was a DNS.
    Last edited by Stan Reid; 26th January 2016 at 02:16.
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    Senior Member Stan Reid's Avatar
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    Perhaps the first motorsports fatality was on July 28 of 1852. The steamboat Henry Clay under Captain Thomas Collyer was racing the Armenia, another steamboat Captained by Isaac Smith, down the Hudson River out of Albany. An overheating boiler set the Henry Clay on fire. The boat was intentionally grounded and most aboard survived but 81 of the craft's passengers died either in the fire or from drowning.
    This is my opinion and to the best of my knowledge, that is, if I'm not joking

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