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August 9, 1917 – Barney Oldfield sets new speed records in Golden Submarine

The Golden Submarine. By Raynardo -CC BY 3.0

After Bob Burman, a close friend of fellow racing great Barney Oldfield, died when his open cockpit car rolled over in a race, Oldfield pledged to make racing safer. He teamed up with Fred Offenhauser and Harry Miller to build the Golden Submarine race car in 1917. The car was a first of its kind streamlined, closed cockpit racing car. After many tests, Oldfield set out to test the car’s limits. In doing so he broke several speed records. During his trials he drove the Golden Submarine to a new one mile at 80 miles per hour. He followed that with a five mile record with an average speed of 77.2 mph. Next came a 25 mile average speed record of 75.4 mph and lastly a 50 mile record at 73.5 miles per hour.

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