Fast on the Sand

The Daytona Beach Land Speed Record Runs of 1928


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About the Book

The 1928 quest for the Land Speed Record on the sands of Daytona Beach was a first for America, a singular mix of technology, thrills and tragedy. Tens of thousands lined the dunes along the beach, a crowd larger than any yet seen at Indianapolis 500. Three contenders, two Americans and a Briton, raced for the ultimate distance-averaged top speed, in magnificent machines built by different schools of design. This book chronicles the high-speed drama. The top American driver, Frank Lockhart, 25, survived a spectacular accident and rebuilt his Stutz Black Hawk, only to meet his fate in the new runs. The facts and myths behind the competition are examined in depth for the first time, along with the innovations and fatal mistakes of vehicle design.

About the Author(s)

Aldo Zana is an Italian motor historian and journalist. He began writing articles for motor magazines in the 1960s as a freelance editor of Autosprint and Rombo magazines developing an inclination towards history and historic cars and races. Since the late 1980s, he has become a regular contributor to Italian and foreign historic car publications. He is a member of SAH, Speed Record Club (UK), Aisa (Italian Association of Motor Historians), the Museum and History Commission of ASI (Italian National Historic Car and Bike Association), and Ugis (Italian Science Journalist Guild). He lives in Milano, Italy.

Bibliographic Details

Aldo Zana
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 204
Bibliographic Info: 96 photos, bibliography, notes, index
Copyright Date: 2022
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8087-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4359-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface 1
1. Prelude 3
2. Act One—February 6
3. Intermission—March 78
4. Act Two—April 87
5. Epilogue—May 115
6. Aftermath—1929–1935 125
Appendix 1: The Aerodynamics of the 1928 Vehicles 147
Appendix 2: Campbell’s 1928 Blue Bird 160
Appendix 3: Stutz Blackhawk Special 164
Appendix 4: The Engines 171
Final Word: The Lockhart Saga—A Review 176
Chapter Notes 179
Bibliography 195
Index 197

Book Reviews & Awards

• “Extensive background information….a thorough look at the aerodynamics of the cars, the development of their engines, and an assessment of vehicular weight versus horsepower. An interesting read about a landmark event in racing history and the cars and personalities at the center of it….recommended”—Choice

• “Zana puts the reader on the sand while the course is being marked and timing lines strung. Then, too, on the days of scheduled runs when Mother Nature wasn’t cooperative sending crosswinds over the course and corrugating the sand until, finally, days when all is good to go with spectators, each having paid a 50-cent admission, in attendance along with the reader experiencing the drama, the action, and, yes, the tragedy as all were part of the contest for 1928’s land speed record.—Antique Automobile

• “A grand story which Zana tells in detail chronologically so the reader is along for the successes, the failures, the frustrations, the tragedy and the boredom when rains, incoming tides or crosswinds made any attempted run impossible…It’s a story that has captivated Zana’s fascination and attention for decades as he continually gathered information until he felt he could tell it more fully and completely than any had accomplished before. The book belongs in any enthusiast/historian’s library as well as that of those simply wanting to learn about those dramatic 1928 land speed record runs on the sands of Daytona Beach.”—SAH Journal

• “An extraordinary automotive racing history and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library collections.”—Midwest Book Review