Classic Chicago

The First American Auto Race

America's first auto race took place in 1895 right here in Chicago


We’ve got NASCAR, the Daytona 500, Indy 500, Formula One and so many more high-speed car races that take place all year. But have you ever thought about when the first one took place in the U.S.?

Back in 1895, six “motocycles” set off from Jackson Park — in the snow — on a 54-mile round-trip race to Evanston and back. It took 10 hours, but in the end inventor J. Frank Duryea took the title after driving an average 7.3 miles per hour. You can likely walk faster than that! Duryea won a $2,000 purse, which would be about $55,000 today. Not a bad haul for 10 hours of driving a new horseless vehicle!

Thanks to our friends at Calumet412.com for the info!

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