The first annual automobile race meet on the beaches of Daytona and Ormond, FL was held in March 1903. The event was sanctioned by American Automobile Association (the same AAA we know of today for their roadside assistance and travel services) and managed by New York businessman W.J. Morgan.


Among the multiple races and time trials held on the beach during the meet, the 1 mile events earned special attention. Before the meet the racing enthusiasts and meet organizers believed the 1 mile record could be lowered to 50 seconds or less. Alexander Winton, born in Scotland, but a longtime USA resident by the early 1900s, failed to set a new world record in the mile, but he set a course record at 52 1/5 seconds driving his Winton Bullet. The time was a record for an American automobile.


And an annual tradition of speeding across the Florida beaches was born.

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