1922 Wisconsin Special

The Wisconsin Special was driven by Sig Haugdahl to over 180 mph on a one-way run at the Daytona Beach racing oval. This was a tremendous accomplishment as the car had reached speeds a full 24 mph father than the previous record holder.

Haugdahl had built the car to prove to the USAC that he was a great race car driver and that he could outpace anyone. The heart of the Special was an enormous 836 cubic-inch Wisconsin Special Airplane engine connected directly to the rear axle. The width of the car measuring a mere 20 inches was basically the width of the engine.

To keep the car aerodynamic and stable at speeds, all exposed parts were taped, covered, and smoothed. The engine was mounted in the front with the driver, Haugdahl, sitting directly behind in it and just in front of the rear wheels. The boat-tailed rear end was designed to also reduce drag and increase the vehicles aerodynamics.

Haugdahl determination and attention to detail paid off, and became the first person to travel three miles in a minute. The record breaking run was never officially observed by the USAC governing body, as none of its members were present during the event.
The unofficial record would stand for more than a decade.

By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2008

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