In 1907 an event
took place that would forever change the look of auto racing.
This was the opening of the Lakeside Auto Speedway in Lakeside,
California, a little resort town in the foothills of San Diego
County. The Lakeside Auto Speedway
was claimed to be the first purpose-built auto racing facility in the
country. Now races could be
held off the dangerous public roads and horserace tracks, which are not
ideally suited to cars.
Because of the significance of this milestone 100 years ago the Lakeside
Historical Society is organizing a 2007 Centennial celebration at the
site of the original Speedway. This event will be highlighted
by a gathering of the finest antique racecars and other vehicles from
the era of 1907 though 1919. These
historic vehicles will be on display to the public and will be invited
to a parade around the roads closely following the path of the original
speedway. This running display
will enable spectators to visualize what the speedway atmosphere must
have been like a century ago.
The public is
invited to participate, either with a historic vehicle or as a
The Lakeside Auto Speedway was constructed by John H. Gay, owner of the
Lakeside Inn. This spectacular
Victorian hotel was located adjacent to
in the town of
California. The Inn was a tourist attraction
due to its beautiful country location and easy access from San Diego
via railroad. To improve business
the owner, Mr. Gay, invested $10,000 in construction of the speedway.
was a 2-mile high-speed oval circling
adjacent to the Lakeside Inn.
The first event featured perhaps the best-known driver in the country,
Barney Oldfield. Huge crowds
arriving by train watched him pilot his Green Dragon racer to a new
speed record. The opening of
Lakeside Auto Speedway initiated a successful run of events that
continued until the
closed in 1920. The history
surrounding the Inn and the Speedway is being collected and documented by the Lakeside Historical Society.
A selection of historical publications including period photos
will be available for viewing and purchase at the event.
The centennial celebration of the Lakeside Auto Speedway is scheduled
for Sunday, November 18, 2007 at the
, 25 miles east of San Diego. The
event’s presenting sponsor is Barona, famed for its popular Indian
gaming casino, and location of the only remaining racing speedway in San Diego
County. The Barona Resort Casino and
luxury hotel are located six miles north of downtown
Lakeside. The Lakeside Historical Society
has its headquarters and museum at the historic Olde
Community Church at 9906 Maine Avenue.
For event entry information contact Fred Puhn, Entry Chairman, at
For information on
Historical Society call (619) 561-1886.