Today we know of auto racing as a sport that costs a lot of money, but also gives winners a chance to earn a lot of money. But how much did a race car cost in 1910? How much was winning worth? How much did it cost to be a fan? In the chart below we look at the dollars and cents from the early 1900s translated into today’s value (2015 dollars) through use of the Inflation Calculator (http://www.westegg.com/inflation/). 

$50,000

Barney Oldfield's projected earnings in 1906

Today that is $1,330,203

$6,000

Announced purse for a race between Barney Oldfield and Ralph DePalma in the one mile straightaway race at Daytona in 1910. However, DePalma suffered a broken piston and was unable to compete.

Today that is $153,980

$86

Cost of a round trip rail ticket from Minneapolis to Daytona in 1906

Today that is $2,288

$500,000

Estimated amount to be spent on new machines for the 1906 event

Today that is $13,302,030

$500

Prize for winning the 10 mile straightaway race at the 1903 meet

Today that is $13,302

$10 a day

New rule proposed by AAA to pay race referees in 1909. Previously referees had volunteered for the privilege.

Today that is $266

$2,000

Sir Thomas Dewar Trophy value, first awarded in 1905 to Louis Ross

Today that is $53,208

$50,000

Amount raised by FECAA through the first 7 tournaments (1903-1909)

Today that is $1,330,645

$3,000,000

Cost to build Brooklands, England track (Cost to build the Ormond-Daytona beach course=$0)

Today that is $76,990,054

$14,000

Amount Barney Oldfield paid for Hemery’s Benz in 1910

Today that is $359,287

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