San Diego Exposition Road Race Centennial

Car Show at Balboa Park

and Tour in Point Loma

Saturday, January 10, 2015, 9 am – 4 pm

The local groups of the Horseless Carriage Club of America will commemorate the 1915 Road Race that was the opening event for the Panama-California Exposition.

Car Show : A living history show of the cars of the period will be presented in front of the San Diego Automotive Museum in Balboa Park. The drivers and their families will describe the cars and participate in a living history of a 1915 era outing in the park. The public is invited at no charge.

Tour in Point Loma: At 10 am, the road worthy cars will tour out of Balboa Park to the race venue in Point Loma where they will retrace the route of the race, returning to Balboa Park for the rest of the car show.   At 10:30 am a ceremonial start will be held at the original grandstand area on Rosecrans St. at Elliot St. in Point Loma. The public is also invited to observe the tour along the route.


About the San Diego Exposition Road Race: On Jan. 9, 1915, the Automobile Club of Southern California and Al Bahr Shrine sponsored a 300 mile road race over a 6 mile course around Point Loma. The race was planned as one of the opening events of the 1915 Panama California Exposition in Balboa Park. The race course routed around Point Loma starting on Rosecrans St., heading North, turning West Lytton St., South on Chatsworth Blvd. and Catalina Blvd., East on Cañon St. and back onto Rosecrans. Almost five hours and fifty one laps later, Earl Cooper in Stutz #8 won the race averaging over 65 mph. Only 5 of the 18 cars that started the race finished the grueling 300 mile 51 lap route. Racing cars in those days carried a driver as well as a mechanic. Other notable drivers were San Diegan, William Carlson, who finished 2nd, Barney Oldfield, Eddie Rickenbacker, and Bob Burman. On the morning of the great race, an estimated 50,000 people spread out along the course to watch the spectacle. The San Diego Union newspaper proclaimed, “It was the greatest throng ever seen at one event in San Diego, excepting, perhaps, the opening of the exposition.”

More details are included in the attached brochures and at our web sites:  San Diego Exposition Road Race Centennial Facebook Page

For more information contact:  Newell Booth, Horseless Carriage Club of America  Chairman, 1915Centennial Activities Committee,   newellbooth@gmail.com, 619-318-5682


Early in the race, the leader Grover Ruckstell in No. 4 Mercer is followed by Eddie Rickenbacher in No. 7 Peugeot rounding the 6th turn at Canon St. and Rosecrans St. The winner, Earl Cooper, can be seen in his No 8 Stutz behind Rickenbacher’s dust. The curve of Trumbell St. behind Cabrillo Elementary School can be seen in the back ground on the left. Photo from Auto Club of Southern California, one of the sponsors of the race.


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