THE 93rd RUNNING OF AMERICA'S MOUNTAIN IS SUNDAY, BUT HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THE FIRST?
We sat down to talk with Jason Campbell, Head Curator of the Penrose Heritage Museum, to find out more about the history behind the first Hill Climb and the backstory behind this iconic photo of Spencer Penrose.
Among those entered in that first-ever event was crowd-pleaser Barney Oldfield. He drove a big Delage, and although he did not distinguish himself among the top drivers, spectators came to watch this famous man attack the Peak.
Berna Eli "Barney" Oldfield (January 29, 1878 – October 4, 1946) was an American pioneer automobile racer who was known for speed the first two decades of the 20th century. He began racing in 1902 and continued until his retirement in 1918. He was the first man to drive a car at 60 miles per hour (96 km/h).
The Picture above shows Penrose with Oatfield, aka "the fastest man in the world," the Penrose Trophy, and The Broadmoor Special Delage two of three which are held by the museum today. The trophy is located upstairs in the museum and the original Broadmoor Special, which is typically on a elevated platform in the center by the entrance of the museum, is currently in Denver being restored to running condition. The car will return next year for the 94th running and 100th anniversary of the race.
The 100th anniversary commemorates 100 years since the first running of the Pikes Peak Hill Climb in 1916. The reason that the race is said to be on its' 93rd running this year is because during WWI and WWII the race was not held. Next year during the 100th anniversary the Delage shown the picture above will be brought back to The Broadmoor to be driven at the opening of the race. The car will not be taken all the way to the top of Pikes Peak, but it will be a sight to see and something you do not want to miss!
View our interview of Jason at the Penrose Heritage Museum by clicking any photo on this post.