Berna Eli "Barney" Oldfield was an American pioneer automobile racer; his "name was synonymous with speed in the first two decades of the 20th century".
39 Facts About Barney Oldfield
Barney Oldfield was the first man to drive a car at 60 miles per hour on a circular track.
Berna Eli Oldfield was born in York Township, Fulton County, Ohio, near Wauseon and Toledo, on January 29,1878, to Henry Clay Oldfield, a laborer, and his wife Sarah.
Barney Oldfield was named after his father's bunkmate in the 68th Ohio Volunteer Infantry during the American Civil War.
Barney Oldfield dropped out of school after the eighth grade in 1892.
Barney Oldfield started working with his father as a kitchen helper at the mental asylum during the day and a bellhop at the downtown hotel at night.
Barney Oldfield eventually worked at the hotel full-time, as he preferred it to working around mental patients.
Barney Oldfield was described as having a "magnetic personality", and received many tips at the hotel.
Barney Oldfield used them to buy his first bike, an "Advance Traveller" with pneumatic tires.
In 1893, Barney Oldfield began working as an elevator operator at a different hotel.
At age 16, Barney Oldfield began serious bicycle racing in 1894 after officials from the "Dauntless" bicycle factory asked him to ride for the Ohio state championship.
Barney Oldfield was hired as a parts sales representative for the Stearns bicycle factory.
Barney Oldfield was loaned a gasoline-powered bicycle to race at Salt Lake City.
Barney Oldfield agreed and traveled to Michigan for the trial, but neither car started.
Barney Oldfield agreed to drive against the current champion, Alexander Winton.
Barney Oldfield was rumored to have learned how to operate the controls of the "999" only the morning of the event.
Barney Oldfield won by a half mile in the five-mile race.
Barney Oldfield slid through the corners like a motorcycle racer rather than braking.
Barney Oldfield won the state 5 miles championship in the record time of 6:54:06.
On June 20,1903, at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, Barney Oldfield became the first driver to run a mile track in one minute flat, or 60 miles per hour.
Barney Oldfield won first place at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on August 21,1909 in a Mercedes Benz.
Barney Oldfield was suspended by the American Automobile Association for his "outlaw" racing, and was unable to race at sanctioned events for much of his career.
Barney Oldfield made his career by being paid to set speed records, and conducting match races and exhibitions.
Barney Oldfield raced his Fiat car against Beachey's biplanes in at least 35 matches, barnstorming the country.
Barney Oldfield was the first person to run a 100-mile-per-hour lap.
Barney Oldfield used the same car in his victory at the Los Angeles to Phoenix off-road race in November 1914.
Barney Oldfield finished second in two major road races that year, the Vanderbilt Cup and the Corona 300.
Barney Oldfield used the Blitzen Benz to break the existing mile, two-mile, and kilometer records at the Daytona Beach Road Course at Ormond, Florida.
In June 1917 Barney Oldfield used his Golden Submarine, designed with a roll bar to protect the driver, to beat fellow racing legend Ralph DePalma in a series of 10- to 25-mile match races at Milwaukee.
Barney Oldfield retired from racing in 1918, but continued to tour and make movies.
Barney Oldfield died on October 4,1946, of a heart attack.
Barney Oldfield was survived by Bessie Gooby Oldfield, whom he had divorced in 1924 and remarried in 1945, making her both his second and fourth wife.
Barney Oldfield was buried in the Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California.
Barney Oldfield starred as himself for ten weeks in the Broadway musical The Vanderbilt Cup.
Barney Oldfield appeared in movies, including the silent film Barney Oldfield's Race for a Life, where he raced against a train to rescue a heroine tied to the train tracks.
Barney Oldfield was featured in The First Auto as an early pioneer of the automotive history.
Barney Oldfield was a technical advisor for the Vanderbilt Cup sequence in the feature film Back Street.
Barney Oldfield starred as himself in a racing film titled Blonde Comet, the story of a young woman trying to achieve success as a racecar driver.
Barney Oldfield developed what was called the Oldfield tire for Firestone.