Land Speed Racer Memorial

                 1910-1939

Lee Bible

Born:  May 26, 1885

Died:  March 13, 1929

Buried:  Sinking Springs Cemetery, Greene County, Tennessee

Age:  43

Full Name:  Connie Leon Bible

Nickname: 

Location:   Daytona Beach, Florida

Event:  

Accident Date:  March 13, 1929

Vehicle:  tri-motored Liberty airplane engined White Triplex

Biographical:  Jim White, a wealthy Philadephian, wanted to wrest the land speed record from British racers Henry Segrave and Malcolm Campbell.  He mounted three war-surplus 12-cylinder Liberty airplane engines on a solid chassis.  He hired Ray Keech, an experienced Indianapolis racer, to try for the record.  He set a new speed record of 207.55 MPH at Daytona Beach on April 22, 1928.  That record stood for almost a year until bested by Henry Segrave at Daytona Beach.  On March 11, 1929, Segrave set the new record with a run of 231.446 in his Golden Arrow.  Jim White asked Keech if he wouldn't drive the Triplex again to try to reclaim the record.  Keech declined because he thought the car was too dangerous.  White hired Lee Bible, a local mechanic and garage operator, to drive the brutish car.  The record attempt was made on March 13, 1929.  On his first run, he was clocked at less than 186 MPH.  On his return run, he had reached 202 MPH when the car suddenly swerved past the timing trap.  The car crashed into the sand dunes about 100 feet beyond the timing trap and rolled before finally coming to a stop.  Bible was thrown from the car and was killed instantly.  Charles Traub, a cameraman, also was killed when he tried to get out of the way of the out-of-control vehicle.  About 20,000 people witnessed the fatal accident.  Some suspected that he got off the accelerator too quickly, causing his car to begin swerving.

Sources

"Lee Bible dies in attempt to set speed mark," Montreal Gazette, March 14, 1929

"Lee Bible speeding along at 202 miles an hour when car gets beyond control, crashes," Ottawa Citizen, March 13, 1929

"Beach grieves for Lee Bible," Prescott Evening Courier, March 14, 1929

"Graphic account of Daytona Beach race tragedy told by eye witness," St. Petersburg Evening Independent, March 14, 1929

1900 U.S. Census  (Connie Bible, born May 1885, age 15, son of William and Hester A. Bible, living in Greene Co., Tenn.)

1910 U.S. Census  (Connie L. Bible, age 28, in Knoxville, TN, married, born in Tenn., automobile machinist)

Florida Death Index  (Connie Leon Bible, died in Volusia Co., FL, in 1929)

The White Triplex (http://theselvedgeyard.wordpress.com/2009/12/28/the-white-triplex-three-engines-1500-hp-and-one-tragic-result/)

Photos

The White Triplex (http://theselvedgeyard.wordpress.com/2009/12/28/the-white-triplex-three-engines-1500-hp-and-one-tragic-result/)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_Bible  (accessed 5/26/10)

http://www.floridastockcars.com/gallery3/v/Early+Daytona/1929+-+Lee+Bible.jpg.html?g2_GALLERYSID=8d2bd9b894c0894396ac0cae6fd186c2 

 

 

 

 

Eric Fernihough

Born:  February 17, 1905

Died:  April 23, 1938

Buried: East Cemetery, Bournemouth, Dorset, England

Age:  33

Full Name:  

Nickname: 

Location:   Gyon Road, Budapest, Hungary

Event:  

Accident Date:  April 23, 1938

Vehicle:  supercharged Brough Superior motorcycle

Biographical:  In 1937 the British motorcycle racer set the world speed record for motorcycles at Budapest of 169.786 MPH.  When his record was eclipsed by the German, Ernst Henne, in November 1937, he returned to Budapest to try to reclaim the record.  He had reached a speed of about 170 MPH when his motorcycle suddenly left the track.  He was thrown about 30 yards from the bike upon impact.  Unconscious but alive, he was rushed to University Clinic where he died without regaining consciousness.  He had a fractured skull.  

Sources

"Killed in world record attempt," Melbourne Argus, April 25, 1938

"Famous motor cyclist killed," Glasgow Herald, April 25, 1938

"English motorcycle champion is killed," Chicago Tribune, April 24, 1938

"British motorcycle racer killed," New York Times, April 24, 1938

Photos

"History of Motorcycle Racing," Euroopanmestarit 1924-48  (http://riutat.suntuubi.com/?cat=36)

http://thenewcaferacersociety.blogspot.com/2009_01_01_archive.html  (accessed 7/4/10)

http://www.londonvendeglo.hu/gyonibeton_elemei/slide0017.htm  (accessed 7/4/10)

http://www.motorsokk.hu/HiREK/Motorsokk_Gyoni_Beton_rendezveny-Mutathirszulo.html  (accessed 7/4/10)

 

 

 

Percy Lambert

Born:  ca. October 5, 1880

Died:  October 31, 1913

Buried:  Brompton Cemetery, London, England

Age:  32

Full Name:  Percy Edgar Lambert

Nickname: 

Location:  Brooklands Motor Race Track, near Weybridge, England 

Event:  

Accident Date:  October 31, 1913

Vehicle:  Talbot

Biographical:  On February 15, 1913, he set a world record of 103 MPH at Brooklands, becoming the first to drive one hundred miles in an hour.  Eight months later he returned to Brooklands to try to regain his land speed record from Peugeot.  He had averaged over 110 MPH for the first 20 laps, but a rear tire broke apart on the 21st lap and he rolled down an embankment.  He died while being transported to Weybridge Cottage Hospital.  It happened only two weeks before he was going to get married and retire from racing.

Sources

"Death at 109 miles an hour," London Evening News, Oct. 31, 1913.

Photos

Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Percy_E._Lambert)

http://familylambert.net/History/bios/percy.html (accessed 5/2/10)

Frank Lockhart

Born:  April 8, 1903

Died:  April 25, 1928

Buried:  Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, California

Age:  25

Full Name:  

Nickname: 

Location:   Daytona Beach, Florida

Event:  

Accident Date:  April 25, 1928

Vehicle:  Stutz Black Hawk Special

Biographical:  His tire blew out while he was speeding 200 MPH in an attempt to set a new speed record.  The car swerved back and forth, then rolled out of control for 350 feet and went airborne.  It landed, bounced sideways 550 feet, before taking another 300 foot jump.  He was hurled from the car into the sand.  The car disintegrated before coming to a rest.  He was rushed to the hospital, but was dead upon arrival.  He was survived by his wife, Ella, who witnessed the fatal crash.  Lockhart was reported to have held every American record from one to one hundred miles on circular courses.  He was the winner of the Indianapolis Speedway race in 1926.

Video:

Sources

"Lockhart meets death in attempt at record," Los Angeles Times, April 26, 1928

"Lockhart is near death in auto race," Hartford Courant, February 23, 1928 

Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Lockhart)

Photos

http://www.nieworld.com/special/racing/gallery2.htm  (accessed 5/7/10)

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=318104&page=2   (accessed 5/7/10)

 

 

J. G. Parry-Thomas

Born:  April 6, 1884

Died:  March 3, 1927

Buried:  St. Mary's Churchyard, Byfleet, Surrey, England

Age:  42

Full Name:  John Godfrey Parry-Thomas

Nickname: 

Location:  Pendine Sands, Wales

Event:  

Accident Date:  March 3, 1927

Vehicle:  "Babs" Liberty V12 airplane-engined race car

Biographical:  After working as an engineer for the Leyland Motors automobile manufacturing company, he decided to devote full time to automobile racing and engineering in his own company in 1920.  Five years later, he focused on the land speed record.  On April 27, 1926, he broke the land speed record at over 170 MPH on Pendine Sands, a six-mile beach in Wales.  That record stood for almost a year until Malcolm Campbell broke it at Pendine Sands in February 1927.  Only weeks later, Parry-Thomas returned to Pendine-Sands to try to reclaim his record.  The high engine cover required him to lean his head out of the right-hand side for visibility.  The car operated with an external chain drive which was also located on the right side of the car directly beneath his exposed head.  He was traveling about 170 MPH when the right-hand drive chain broke, causing a fatal head injury.  His car was buried at Pendine Sands, but was recovered forty years later and restored.

Video:

Sources

Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J.G._Parry-Thomas)

Photos

http://www.bluebird-electric.net/parry_thomas.htm (accessed 5/2/10)

Simon Lewis Transport Books 

 

 

Dario Resta

Born:  August 19, 1882

Died:  September 2, 1924

Buried:  

Age:  42

Full Name:  

Nickname:  "Dolly"

Location:   Brooklands

Event:  record attempt

Accident Date:  September 2, 1924

Vehicle:  160 HP Grand Prix Sunbeam

Biographical:  He was trying to break the 50-kilometer closed-course record.  On his second lap around the race track, his car skidded for about 300 yards and drifted sideways before plunging over an embankment and through an iron fence.  The accident happened along the straightaway.  It nosed itself into the ground, righted itself, then caught fire and was destroyed.  His accompanying mechanic escaped with minor injuries.  Resta was thrown from the car with great force, striking his head in the process, and was killed instantly.  It was estimated that he was speeding about 122 MPH at the time of the accident.  A security belt broke and punctured one of the tires.  Some witnesses thought Resta was able to keep the car under control, but apparently not.  He was a veteran racer with two decades of experience and had only recently come from America to England.  He won the Indianapolis 500 in 1916.

Sources

Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dario_Resta)

"Dario Resta, auto race driver dies as car smashes," Deseret News, September 3, 1924

"Dario Resta is killed in British race," Schenectady Gazette, September 3, 1924

"Dario Resta is killed on track," Gettysburg Times, September 4, 1924

"Noted auto racer killed," Reading Eagle, September 3, 1924

"Speed king Resta is killed on track," Lewiston Daily Sun, September 4, 1924

Photos

http://www.rumbledrome.com/10stats.html  (accessed 5/12/10)

http://www.moodyscollectibles.com/postcard-news/?p=657  (accessed 5/13/10)

Dario Resta (on left)

 

Bernd Rosemeyer

Born:  October 14, 1909

Died:  January 28, 1938

Buried:  Waldfriedhof Dahlem on Hütten Weg, Berlin, Germany

Age:  28

Full Name:  

Nickname: 

Location:   Frankfurt/Darmstadt Autobahn, Germany

Event:  land speed record attempt

Accident Date:  January 28, 1938

Vehicle:  Auto Union Streamliner

Biographical:  He was a successful German race car driver in Grand Prix events.  He was competing against Rudolf Caracciola in an attempt to set a world land speed record on the same day.  Caracciola, driving for Mercedes, set a 268 MPH mark early in the day.  After two preliminary runs, he was making his third and final attempt near mid-day when his vehicle suddenly went out of control.  His front tire wrenched off and it skidded to the left, then to the right, but went off the highway where it went airborne.  Rosemeyer was thrown from the car as it flipped over and over through the air.  He died instantly.  He was survived by his widow, noted aviatrix Elly Beinhorn.

Video:

 

 

Sources

"Bernd Rosemeyer killed when racer crashes at 275 M.P.H.," Salt Lake Telegram, January 28, 1938

Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernd_Rosemeyer)

Photos

Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernd_Rosemeyer)

http://www.isitreal.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=644&Itemid=1 (accessed 5/2/10)

http://www.seriouswheels.com/abc/Auto-Union-Type-C-1937-Grand-Prix-Donington-Park-Great-Britain-Driver-Bernd-Rosemeyer-1024x768.htm  (accessed 5/2/10)

Find a Grave website (http://www.findagrave.com/)

 

 

Memorial on Autobahn near the location of Rosemeyer's fatal crash

 

Grave in cemetery in Berlin

Nathan Windman

Born:  ca. 1919

Died:  May 7, 1934

Buried:  

Age:  16

Full Name:  

Nickname: 

Location:   Muroc Dry Lake, California

Event:  testing

Accident Date:  May 7, 1934

Vehicle:  stock car

Biographical:  He was testing his race car shortly after dawn.  He collided with another car driven by George Collins.  The impact was so terrific that the engine in his car catapulted fifty feet into the air.  William Conidi, a friend riding in Windman's car, was injured and taken to a hospital.  He lived in Los Angeles.

Sources 

"Two killed at Muroc," Los Angeles Times, May 7, 1934 [2602 East Third Street]

"Three killed in series of Kern auto accidents," Fresno Bee, May 7, 1934

Motorsport Memorial website (http://www.motorsportmemorial.org/focus.php?db=ct&n=8308)

1930 U.S. Census  (Nathan Windman, age 11, born in New Jersey, son of Philip and Minnie Windman, living in Los Angeles, had brothers Samuel, age 18, Murray, age 16, Irving, age 14, Oscar, age 9, and Frederick, age 4 10/12)

Photos

Name/Year of Accident

  • Arnett (1995)

  • Beckett (2005)

  • Bennett (1964)

  • Bible (1929)

  • Bigelow (1951)
  • Black (1970)
  • Blair (1940s)
  • Bryant (2009)

  • Buckmaster (1972)

  • Cass (1948

  • Dean (1984)

  • Deneau (2012)

  • Donaldson (1955)

  • Emick (1969)

  • Fadave (1949)

  • Fancher (1949)

  • Fernihough (1938

  • Funk (1962)

  • Glover (1948

  • Graham (1960)

  • Gullett (2008

  • Haller (1953?)

  • Herda (1969)

  • Jacobs (2006)

  • Johnson (1950)

  • Johnston (1998

  • Lambert (1913)

  • Leasher (1962)

  • Lockhart (1928)

  • Lombardi (?)

  • Lubinsky (1969)

  • Lyons (2012)

  • McGregor (1949)

  • Owen (2008

  • Parry-Thomas (1927)

  • Pendleton (1949)

  • Resta (1924)

  • Robinson (1950)

  • Rosemeyer (1938

  • Schlegel (1947)

  • Sproul (1955)

  • Stewart (1968

  • Warner (2013)

  • Werder (1949)

  • Wheeler (2016)

  • White (2002)

  • Windman (1934)

  • Wynja (1951)

Names Added Recently

  • Jim Buckmaster
  • Floyd Fancher
  • Eric Fernihough
  • Gerald Deneau
  • Johan Jacobs
  • Guy Lombardi
  • Jerry Wayne Lyons
  • Dave Owen
  • Charles Sproul
  • Jack Stewart
  • Bill Warner
  • Sam Wheeler