Friday, October 10, 2014

Compare: Henry Ford's 1901 Race Winner vs 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup

Ford Motor Company PR -- Today marks the 113th Anniversary of Henry Ford’s first and only victory on Oct. 10, 1901 when he beat Alexander Winton in a race that served as the official start of the Ford Racing program and a springboard toward the formation of The Ford Motor Company in June, 1903.  Ford’s race, which was the only event in which he ever competed as a driver, took place at the Detroit Driving Club in Grosse Point, Mich., and was witnessed by a crowd of approximately 8,000 people. 

So how does Henry Ford’s Sweepstakes of 1901 compare to the Ford Fusions that will be racing around Charlotte Motor Speedway tomorrow night?  The specifications below tell that part of the story. 

1901 Sweepstakes Car Specifications:                                          
Frame: Ash wood, reinforced with steel plates                                 
Wheelbase: 96 inches                                                                     
Weight: 2,200 pounds                                                                     
Engine: 2-cylinder, horizontally opposed, water cooled                    
Displacement: 538 cu. in.                                                                
Horsepower: 26 (estimated)                                                            
Maximum RPM: 900                                                                       
Wheels: 28 inches                                                                          
Tire Width: 4 inches                                                                        
Fuel Capacity: 5 gallons                                                                 
Top Speed: 72 mph (estimated)

2014 NASCAR Fusion Specifications:                                            
Frame: Metal                                                                                  
Wheelbase: 110 inches                                                                   
Weight: 3,300 pounds                                                                     
Engine: FR9 OHV V8                                                                      
Displacement: 358 cu. in.                                                                
Horsepower: 850 (estimated)                                                           
Maximum RPM: 9,000                                                                     
Wheels: 15 inches                                                                          
Tire Width: 12 inches                                                                      
Fuel Capacity: 18 gallons                                                                
Top Speed: 200 mph (estimated)

Race Facts from Oct. 10, 1901
Laps: 10
Number of Participants: 2
Avg. Speed of Race: 46 mph
Attendance: 8,000 (approximate)
Winner’s Purse: $1,000
Trophy: Cut-Glass Punch Bowl
Location: Detroit Driving Club
Track Type: One-Mile Oval
Surface: Dirt
Team Members: 4 (incl. driver and riding mechanic)

Bank of America 500 Race Facts
Laps: 334
Number of Participants: 43
Avg. Speed of Race: 158.308 mph (2013)
Attendance: 100,000 (approximate)
Winner’s Purse: $319,441 (2013)
Trophy: Bruton Smith Piston Trophy
Location: Charlotte Motor Speedway
Track Type: 1.5-Mile
Surface: Asphalt
Team Members: 20 (approximately)


  1. 2 cylinder with 538 cubic inches displacement? Did it have coffee cans for Pistons?

    1. Anonymous11:01 PM

      or some really long stroke......900 RPM

  2. russ - mint hill2:34 PM

    Dave, did you have to really dig it in to RFR by comparing their car to a 1901 Ford?