Kuiper sits in the driver's seat of a car.

World of Speed

Kuiper takes a driving lesson at @worldofspeedusa, a rad motorsports museum 🏁🏍️🏎️ just south of Portland, OR.

We had a great time checking out the race cars at World of Speed today! Kuiper got a little overwhelmed at first by a small army of starstruck young new fans 😂 but we had a lot of fun. The museum has quite the collection, including 30s cars, 60s cars, motorcycles and even a hydroplane! We’ll be sharing several pictures from the museum. Many thanks to World of Speed for making this special visit possible!

Automobile racing has been around since before there were vehicles we would recognize today as cars. 140 years ago, the first auto race in the United States was held in Wisconsin (with steam buggies!) The WI State Legislature had offered a reward of $10,000 (~$230k in 2018) for the “invention and production of a machine propelled by steam or other motive agent which shall be a cheap and practical substitute for the horse…” They further required that it be able to travel both forwards and backwards and “perform a journey of at least two hundred miles…propelled by its own internal power, at the average rate of at least five miles per hour.”

Out of six vehicles registered for the “Great Race of ’78,” two made it all the way to the start line. On July 16th, 1878, the “Oshkosh” and the “Green Bay” steamers began chugging along a 200 mile route from Green Bay, WI to Madison. “Green Bay” had the lead by several miles until it broke down nearly halfway. The race was paused(!!!) while “Green Bay” was shipped to the nearest town for repairs (where they decided it was prudent to stop using its fastest gear.)

Upon resuming the race, “Oshkosh” pulled ahead. It arrived in Madison on July 23rd, with an official time of 33 hours and 27 minutes (6 mph!! 🚀💨) Despite winning the race fair and square, the “Oshkosh” crew didn’t receive their $10,000 prize. The contest judges argued that their vehicle was “neither cheap nor practical. 🤔 The state legislature eventually voted to give them half credit; they were awarded $5,000.

I will save the story of the first gas-powered car race in the US (1895, during a Chicago snowstorm!) for another day!

Original post: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bl3_Y0RgwOq/

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