The Stanley Brothers built their first steam-powered car in Watertown, Massachusetts in 1897. Within a decade, they created the 'Fastest Car in the World,' the Stanley Rocket. F.E. Stanley fathered the project, completing the design, build and test work in 1905. The Rocket made its public debut on Ormond Beach in January 1906.
The Stanley's chose Fred Marriott, a daredevil racer, to pilot their car. The first day on the sand the car won the Dewar Trophy and set a record in the one-mile steam championship. The next day he set a record in a five-mile open race. On January 26th, Marriott set a one-kilometer record at 121.6 mph, the first person to traverse two miles in less than a minute. Two hours later, he upped it to 127.7, a record which lasted until 1910.
In 1907, the Stanley's returned with a more powerful Rocket. However, a combination of poor beach conditions and a partial boycott thinned the competition. Undaunted, the improved Rocket hit a top speed of 150 mph just prior to hitting a depression in the sand which destroyed the car and sent its boiler rolling into the surf. Marriott was injured but vowed to return. He did not; the rules were changed to exclude short distance steam cars and the Stanley Brothers decided the speeds were too risky for their fearless pilot. Neither the brothers nor Fred Marriott returned to Ormond Beach again.
The vehicle displayed is a three-quarter replica of the original Stanley Steamer Rocket described above.