Daytona Beach race track holds its first oval stock car race.
Even though the new crop of NASCAR race cars mimics the look of models on the road, they’re still anything but stock — at least until Toyota sells a Camry with rear-wheel-drive and a V-8.
But when the first stock car race was held at Daytona Beach on March 8, 1936, drivers brought their own street-legal open tops, coupes and saloons to the race. The grueling 3.2-mile course didn’t discriminate against aerodynamic tricks or windshield angle; it simply demanded that a car survive its grueling, pit-filled sandy turns.
Marred with scoring controversy, stalled cars and mid-corner mash-ups, the race was stopped after 72 of the 78 laps, and the $1,700 prize went to driver Milt Marion. As the vintage video below shows, more regulation couldn’t have hurt for the chaotic event.