Business And Car Review | Sig Haugdahl goes for the land-speed record

Postcard of Sig Haugdahl in addition to the Wisconsin Special - from the author's collection

Sigurd Olson Haugdahl’s storey begins upon his arrival in the States at the historic menstruum of 19. Making his habitation alongside an uncle inwards Minnesota, he’s presently setting speed records on H2O ice alongside a Indian powered “skimobile”. By 1915, the International Motor Contest Association (IMCA) is formed in addition to J Alex Sloan chop-chop emerges every bit their leading promoter. Sloan had an emerging star inwards Haugdahl in addition to the ii are seen inwards exhibition races in addition to setting rail speed records across the mid-west through the slowly teens.

It was in all likelihood Sloan’s catch to teach to Daytona Beach in addition to challenge Tommy Milton’s tape run of 156 mph inwards 1920. Milton had broken Ralph DePalma’s run of 149 mph inwards the Packard “905” Special the twelvemonth prior. However, it seems clear that it was Sig who built the machine for the project - The Wisconsin Special.

Named the Wisconsin Special due to its purpose of a Wisconsin aviation engine, the engine featured six-cylinders in addition to unopen to 250 horsepower. The Motor Age of Nov 20, 1922 reports that the engine is made of aluminum alongside magnesium alloy pistons in addition to dual carburetors. They teach on to written report that it has a displacement of 764 cubic inches in addition to weighs 610 pounds alongside a maximum 2667 rpm.

Sig was focused on 3 substitution factors for his racing special: first, he wanted to trim back drag past times streamlining the machine in addition to lowering its centre of gravity; second, he looked to trim back weigh past times doing away alongside the clutch in addition to transmission – it was immediately drive; in addition to finally, he paid cracking attending to balancing the wheels in addition to tires. Popular Science of August 1924 reported that “The driving strain at the terrific speed the machine develops is in addition to thence cracking that Haugdahl carries a cigar inwards his calendar month every bit a cushion for his teeth. One fourth dimension he forgot that his cigar was lighted. When speeding at “only” virtually 120 miles per hour, he turned his caput slightly. The current of air blew the cigar into a open fire in addition to burned it to his human face upward inwards an instant nearly causing him to wreck the car.”

Postcard of Sig Haugdahl in addition to the Wisconsin Special - from the author's collection

Once inwards Daytona, it was clear that the American Automobile Association (AAA), a competitive sanctioning trunk to IMCA, would non sanction the run. The AAA in addition to IMCA had a combative relationship, although they would merge inwards 1931 exclusively to disband presently after, the AAA labeled the IMCA an "outlaw" organization.

Sloan in addition to the IMCA were prepared for the tape run alongside observers in addition to timing equipment at hand. After a duet runs in addition to adjustments, Haugdahl in addition to the Wiconsin Special laid a novel three-mile-a-minute tape of 180.27 mph – roofing the mile inwards 19.97 seconds.

Sloan followed upward the number alongside much press in addition to the Wisconsin Special was taken on the circuit to fairs in addition to festivals throughout the country. The machine survives to this day. Sig Haugdahl would upset Fred Horey to take away maintain the IMCA national entitle inwards 1927 in addition to agree on to it for the side past times side v years.

As for Sig Haugdahl, he would teach on to practice a landmark rocket powered machine in addition to organize the offset Daytona Beach stock machine race, inspiring a guy named Bill French Republic to organize a racing serial nosotros telephone band NASCAR.

Popular Science July 22, 1922


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