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Re: [Land-speed] The Steam Boys

Subject: Re: [Land-speed] The Steam Boys
From: Wester Potter <>
Date: Sun, 30 Aug 2009 05:14:08 -0600
I've wondered about what Ormond Beach, Florida (today's Daytona) was  
They ran close to the water on a course that was damp sand.  It gave  
support that they ran multiple lap stock car races on it.  One  
direction on the
beach and then up onto the asphalt to complete a lap.  There's a Jeff  
life sized bronze of Joe Petralli on a streamlined 1937 Harley at   
that transition
from beach to pavement today.  That was a 147 MPH record run that stood
until Rollie Free made his iconic 150.313 average Bonneville run in  

It is my understanding that they are running on a paved runway at  
today.  Certainly a better surface for rolling resistance than the  
Bonneville salt
or the playa at ElMirage.  Mike Cook is there and could give a  
definitive answer.

Ormond/Daytona was a better course than the Pendine Sands of Wales.  If
not the racers would have stayed in the British Isles for top speed  
attempts.  Perhaps the Florida sand was just a longer course too.  When
Campbell made the first 300 + MPH pass it was at Bonneville and that was
a faster surface than that day's Daytona.

Ab Jenkins (and I assume the other endurance racers of the 1930's) when
the course would break up had the Utah State Road Commission crew
put rock fill into those areas between his 10 or 12.5 mile laps.   
Can't you see
the BLM  reaction to that today?  He also just extended the course  
away from the tightest line to avoid the soft spots.

Malcolm should be able to give an answer about the differences.   
the course, the frontal area on the Stanley race car was pretty large  
they were running on taller, narrower tires.

I have a funny mental image just keeps coming back:  a Jack Costella,
steam powered streamliner towing a water tank trailer at Bonneville.
Could that be the configuration for a future American steam powered  
attempt?  Do the rules specify how many wheels?


On Aug 29, 2009, at 11:34 PM, wrote:

> One thing that would be interesting to know would be the difference  
> in rolling
> resistance from the sands of Daytona in 1906 to Edwards Air Force  
> Base in
> 2009.
> Did the Steam Boys run onB some kind of pavement,B or dirt, at  
> Edwards?B
> They say that the sand at Daytona was a lot harder 'back in the day'  
> than it
> is now. I wonder how that compares to what theB  British Steam Boys  
> ran
> on.....and also how does it compare to the salt at Bonneville.
> (The only sand I ever ran on was on a beach in California with my
> bicycle......and it was darnB tough going!!)
> Would this give more or less credit to Team Stanley?
> JG
> _______________________________________________
I've wondered about the difference
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