Land Speed Racer Memorial


Roberto Barsanti

Born:  1871

Died:  June 13, 1921



Full Name:  


Location:   Firenze, Italy

Event:   Coppa delle Cascine - Chilometro Lanciato

Accident Date:  June 13, 1921

Vehicle:  airplane-engined Isotta Fraschini

Biographical:  He was killed while taking part in a flying kilometer event held on a street course at Cascine Park in Florence. He lost control of his car in front of the grandstands and crashed head-on into a tree, dying instantly. 


Motorsport Memorial


Crash photo

Lee Bible

Born:  May 26, 1885

Died:  March 13, 1929

Buried:  Sinking Springs Cemetery, Greene County, Tennessee

Age:  43

Full Name:  Connie Leon Bible


Location:   Daytona Beach, Florida


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.


"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 (


The White Triplex (  (accessed 5/26/10) 






Eric Fernihough

Born:  February 17, 1905

Died:  April 23, 1938

Buried: East Cemetery, Bournemouth, Dorset, England

Age:  33

Full Name:  


Location:   Gyon Road, Budapest, Hungary


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.  


"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


"History of Motorcycle Racing," Euroopanmestarit 1924-48  (  (accessed 7/4/10)  (accessed 7/4/10)  (accessed 7/4/10)




Frank Lockhart

Born:  April 8, 1903

Died:  April 25, 1928

Buried:  Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, California

Age:  25

Full Name:  


Location:   Daytona Beach, Florida


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.



"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 (

Photos  (accessed 5/7/10)   (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


Location:  Pendine Sands, Wales


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.



Wikipedia (

Photos (accessed 5/2/10)

Simon Lewis Transport Books 



Bernd Rosemeyer

Born:  October 14, 1909

Died:  January 28, 1938

Buried:  Waldfriedhof Dahlem on Hütten Weg, Berlin, Germany

Age:  28

Full Name:  


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.





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

Wikipedia (


Wikipedia ( (accessed 5/2/10)  (accessed 5/2/10)

Find a Grave website (



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


Grave in cemetery in Berlin

János Somariba


Died:  September 3, 1933



Full Name:  


Location:   Tát, Komárom-Esztergom county, Hungary


Accident Date:  September 3, 1933

Vehicle:  motorcycle

Biographical:  A straightaway on public roads was established for speed record attempts in the early 1930s near the small town of Tat near the Slovak border in Hungary. The 1933 event attracted international car and motorcycle riders. Somariba was killed during this event.


Motorsport Memorial


Nathan Windman

Born:  ca. 1919

Died:  May 7, 1934


Age:  16

Full Name:  


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.


"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 (

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)


Name/Year of Accident

Arnett, Sonny (1995)

Barsanti, Roberto (1921)

Beckett, John (2005)

Bennett, Charles (1964)

Bible, Lee (1929)

Bigelow, Ken (1951)

Black, Noel (1970)

Bryant, Barry (2009)

Buckmaster, Jim (1972)

Cass, Wayne (1948)

Combs, Jessi (2019)

Dean, Pete (1984)

Deneau, Gerald (2012)

Donaldson, John (1955)

Emick, "Geezer" (1969)

Fadave, Robert (1949)

Fancher, Floyd (1949)

Fernihough, Eric (1938)

Foster, Tony (2014)

Funk, Robert (1962)

Glover, Tom (1948)

Graham, Athol (1960)

Gullett, Cliff (2008)

Haller, Harvey (1953)

Herda, Bob (1969)

Jacobs, Johan (2006)

Johnson, Jim (1957)

Johnston, Bruce (1998)

Leasher, Glenn (1962)

Lockhart, Frank (1928)

Lombardi, Guy (2009)

Lubinsky, Larry (1969)

Lyons, Jerry (2012)

McGregor, Rulon (1949)

Magi, Renato (1951)

Meo, Vaifro (1984)

Owen, Dave (2008)

Parry-Thomas, J. G. (1927)

Partridge, Tim (2018)

Pendleton, Jackson (1949)

Robinson, Bob (1950)

Rosemeyer, Bernd (1938)

Schlegel, Nicholas (1947)

Somariba, Janos (1933)

Sproul, Charles (1955)

Stewart, Jack (1968)

Warner, Bill (2013)

Watts, Tommy (1980)

Werder, Wilbert (1949)

Wheeler, Sam (2016)

White, Nolan (2002)

Williams, Elwyn (1954)

Windman, Nathan (1934)

Wynja, Cornelius (1951)