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May 5, 1914 – Erwin “Cannonball” Baker starts first cross country run
This Day

May 5, 1914 – Erwin “Cannonball” Baker starts first cross country run

Cannonball Baker Motorcycle racer Erwin “Cannonball” Baker left San Diego for New York City on an Indian Motorcycle on this day in 1914, his first of several cross country runs. Baker, the winner of the first race ever held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (a motorcycle race, in which he rode an Indian), reached his destination in just 11 days, smashing the old record by 9 days. After the incredibly quick run a journalist wrote that Baker was faster than the Cannonball express train. The name stuck. To this day, cross country races, usually unsanctioned and outlawed, are known as cannonball runs all across the world. Dashboard of an AMG driven in a record breaking run in in 2019. Note the 130+ speed. By Arne Toman. In the 1970s, Car and Driver magazine sponsored five Cannonball...
The First Cannonball Run
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The First Cannonball Run

Erwin “Cannonball” Baker, the winner of the first race ever at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (a motorcycle race in which he rode an Indian), took off from San Diego on this day in 1914 in his first of many runs across America. He reached his destination, New York City, riding an Indian Motorcycle in just 11 days, smashing the old record by 9 days. After the incredibly quick run a journalist stated that Baker was faster than the Cannonball express train. The name stuck. To this day cross country races, usually unsanctioned and outlawed, are known as cannonball runs all across the world. In the 1970s Car and Driver sponsored five Cannonball Runs, none were official races, yet they gathered quite a crowd and allowed for numerous records to be set. They were conducted in protest of the 55 MP...

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