On Jan. 9, 1915, AAA sponsored a 300 mile road race over a six mile course around Point Loma on roads that exist to this day.
Earl Cooper in Stutz #8 won the race averaging over 65 mph. Only 5 cars finished the grueling route out of 18 cars that started. 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 20-50,000 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.” For more information see the 2009 U-T Article “Point Loma site of wild automobile race in 1915”.
On January 10, 2015, this event will be commemorated by the San Diego Horseless Carriage Clubs with a living history car show and tour over the original race course featuring a procession of race cars and horseless carriages.
On car that participated in the race, the 1914 Tahis Special, will be retracing the route 100 years later. More information on this fascinating car will be posted later.