Benz racing history goes back to the very beginning of the motorsport – it took part in the first organized motorsport event – Paris – Rouen trial in 1894. In 1890s – 1910s Benz was the regular entrant of many major automobile races. At the beginning of 1909, Julius Ganss, working for Benz, was given permission to design a car which could reach a speed of over 200 km/h. This car was based on the 150 hp Benz Grand-Prix car. Its gigantic four-cylinder engine had an output of 184 hp at 1500/min, which could be increased to 200 hp at 1600/min by precision tuning. The engine weight was 407 kg. At first time the car was still fitted with the body of the Benz Grand-Prix car and entered competitions under that name. Later designers in Mannheim had set to work on a new body for the record car which was to give the vehicle its typical look and a car became known as “Blitzen Benz” (“Lightning Benz”). On 16 March 1910 Barney Oldfield drove the Blitzen Benz in the record run on the sands of Daytona Beach, Florida. He covered a measured mile with a flying start in 27.33 seconds (211.97 km/h). The speed achieved over a measured kilometre, also with a flying start, was only insignificantly lower at 211.09 km/h. The record was not officially acknowledged because the highest supervisory authority for motor sports, the Association Internationale des Automobile Clubs Reconnus (A.I.A.C.R.), had stipulated that in world record trials the distance had to be covered in both directions and that the mean value from both runs made up the final value.
|1910||Speed Record Trials||Daytona Beach Record Run|