A Bit Of History from South Florida

The Fulford–Miami Speedway was a board race track located in North Miami Beach and was the first speedway built in South Florida. The 1.25 mile track was built in 1925 by Indianapolis Motor Speedway co-founder Carl Fisher. To help build the track, Fisher hired 1911 Indianapolis 500 winner Ray Harroun, who also served as general manager of the track. The track’s banking was at 50 degrees, and as a result, cars had to drive at a speed of 110 miles per hour in order to remain on the track without sliding off (in comparison, the Daytona International Speedway’s banking is 32 degrees). Because of the speed the track’s configuration produced, it was considered as the fastest in the world at that time.

The track held only one event, the Carl G. Fisher Trophy (this is the bill promoting the event) during the 1926 AAA Championship Car season. The race was 240 laps/300 miles and was held on February 22, 1926 with a crowd of 20,000 in attendance. The race’s official starter was Barney Oldfield. The pole position was won by Tommy Milton with a lap speed of 142.93 mph, while the race was won by 1925 Indianapolis 500 winner Peter DePaolo. Harry Hartz finished second, less than a minute behind. Out of the 18 cars competing, only six finished the race. On September 17, 1926, the track was destroyed by the Great Miami Hurricane, after which the lumber that comprised the track’s surface was scattered across the neighborhood, and was later, after being recovered, used by the city for reconstruction. After its destruction, the area was taken over by the Presidential County Club. South Florida did not have another major open wheel race until 1985 when Tamiami Park held an IndyCar race on a street circuit.

Note that this event was mostly for the affluent of the time. General admission was a whopping three dollars and sitting in the stands would cost between six and fifteen bucks, a lot of money at the time. Most of the Sprint Car and Midget races in the mid-1920s had admissions of around 50-75 cents…

Cool story dave, I never new that, thanks for sharing.

I like the one driver’s name: simply, “Dr. Shattuck” (it looks like)…

Dr. William E. “Doc” Shattuc (born 1894) of Kentucky was a full-fledged medicial doctor who had been a staff physician at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the 1923 and 1924 races. Here the wealthy Shattuc met the reigning AAA drivers of the day and everyone soon engaged in friendly banter and chatter, during the physical examinations and elsewhere. The AAA racers were always saying to the “Doc” how tough it was to drive the cars, but Shattuc just made fun of it all and laughed at them. Finally someone challenged Shattuc, and told him that if he thought it was all so easy to race, why didn’t he go out and buy a car and try it. Actually Shattuc had already gotten the racing bug himself at Indianapolis in 1924. The upshot of it all was that Shattuc did just that in late 1924 and went directly to Harry Miller and purchased a car. Then he entered it in the inaugural Culver City 250. He ran 35 races through the 1927 season (he also was a relief driver in the 1928 Indy 500) before retiring from racing to devote full time to his practice… He passed away in 1962…
He never won a race but had eight top-five finishes with a career-best second place at Atlantic City on 7/17/26…

That is neat Dave. Those guys were tough. 300 miles with no roll cage, no helmet, no fire suit. Ballsey to sat the least!

And, as I remember (not really), they kept carpenter’s on hand to repair/replace the boards “During” the race. This information always amazed me to think about them racing on boards.
Announcer Dave mentioned this years ago, and I did some research on it as well…truly amazing…OSF

Board tracks were built quite strong… The boards were not laid out flat, like you would build a floor in your house, but on end which more than tripled the strength… You had to use a lot more wood but it made it more “bendable” during construction and much stronger for racing…

Another poster for the race:

Before the September hurricane:

Below: Ralph Hepburn has just won the pole for the February 22, 1926 300-mile race with a lap of 141.90mph. The car is a Miller Straight Eight. Barney Oldfield is on the left. Built by Carl Fisher (of Indianapolis Speedway fame), the 1-1/4 mile (with 50 degree banking!) Fulford-Miami Speedway held only one race.

…and after:


Me thinks you need to hire Jimmy, he’s pretty good at this research stuff. I have a book some where on nthe Kansas city Speedway. It was a mile and a half board track.

Here is a 1920’s pic of Kansas City!

Here ot is!

Hey maybe Speedworld ought to try the bus thing from downtown and advertise down there. Advertise. What a concept. All the years I’ve been in Orlando, all my life, I have never seen any advertising west of Bithlo for the circle track. Carl did for the Drag Strip.

Very interesting. I know that racing on board tracks was VERY dangerous. Was anyone killed during that race?

Board tracks

Thanks for all that stuff. I know that the board tracks were all over the country in or near major cities. N.J. had a few, Nutley, W.-park in Newark, Atlantic city, and Atco, which was I believe 2-1/2 miles? it was burned up during WWII., I think the boards were orig. built for 6-day bicycle races, and got real popular for Indy cars, Midgets and Motorcycles. Most race fans today have zero idea of these tracks and just how fast the cars ran on them.

Dave, Speaking of South Florida. I’ve always wondered why the Allison gang were always called the Alabama Gang when they were originally from South Florida/Miami? I remember on a couple occasions when I worked at the tranny shop (long time ago. you know which one.) Bobby would stop in on his way back south from Alabama to Miami for whatever reason to B/S with Bob.

Then u weren’t looking.
Radio tv news flying banners over down town . Car shows at Hooters. car shows at all the Mc Donalds in Orlando. here are a few that I know have been done…


Bobby & Donnie Allison, along with Red Farmer were all from Miami but migrated to Hueytown, AL in the very early '60s… Since they all now lived in Alabama and no one really knew where they were originally from, they became known as the “Alabama Gang” mostly because they all traveled to most of the same races and one of them would usually win… Some people add Neil Bonnett to the group but he was not considered an actual member… neither was Davey…

[QUOTE=dd38;133201]Dave, Speaking of South Florida. I’ve always wondered why the Allison gang were always called the Alabama Gang when they were originally from South Florida/Miami? [/QUOTE]Because the Allisons and Farmer didn’t really become well-known until after they moved to Hueytown. Red moved up there first, because he found out they were racing five and six nights a week up there (like in Wisconsin) and could actually make money racing. He called up Bobby and Donnie, his good friends from Hialeah, and the rest is history.

They didn’t actually get the nickname until the late '60s, I believe, when a reporter for a local track in North Carolina saw them pulling into the pits, and said, “Here comes that damn ‘Alabama gang’ again!”

http://www.legendsofnascar.com/Red_Farmer.htm - scroll about halfway down; Red tells the story.

Don I was referring to downtown directly. I grew up in Orlando/Conway and never saw anything