Despite the 2 mile a minute craze that gripped the 1906 race, the 1907 race struggled to recruit entries and was in jeopardy of not being held. Manufacturers disliked the entry of “freak cars”, like the Stanley Steamer that scored the coveted Sir Thomas Dewar Trophy the previous year. Before the meet, several owners of freak cars backed out. Because of the freak car issue, trustees of the Dewar trophy refused to allow the cup to be competed for, even though it was intended to be an annually awarded prize.
The Stanley Steamers, driven by Marriott, H.E. Stanley, and Frank Durbin, dominated the shorter races of the event at distances of less than 5 miles. The gasoline powered cars reigned in the longer races at 10, 20, and 100 miles.
The biggest story out of the tournament was the crash on the final day that left Marriott’s Stanley Steamer in “thousands” of pieces on the beach. Marriott was attempting to lower the mile record when he hit a ridge in the sand, which sent the car airborne. When the car landed it rolled over briefly pinning Marriott. Marriott escaped with serious abrasions, but no broken bones.
Promoter W.J. Morgan viewed the 1907 races as a failure for several reasons: bad weather dampened attendance, the January race date was earlier in the year than the manufacturers wanted, the freak cars controversy discouraged entries, and high costs for shipping cars by rail and ship were a deterrent.
Learn more about the exciting arrival of 4 visitors to the 1907 races.