Barney Oldfield

Inducted 1968

Established many speed records in a career spanning more than 20 years Promoted the automobile to the general public through his daredevil racing performances When Barney Oldfield first took the wheel of a race car, he gave the American auto industry a colorful hero image. Flamboyant in his style of dressing and driving, Oldfield earned the nickname “Daredevil Promoter.” Wearing flashy outfits and driving cars with names such as “Green Dragon” and Golden Sub,” he captured the popular imagination and brought fame to the companies he represented, including the fledgling Ford Motor Company. Frequently, Oldfield’s race car was the first that people had ever seen…and he made sure that their experience was a memorable one. While others may have won more races, no one matched the sheer excitement he generated on the track. Although he often established speed records in competition with other professional drivers, he was at his best on small-town dirt tracks. Oldfield’s daring inspired one reporter to describe: “After a nerve-shattering battle…Oldfield would rip into the final turn wheel-to-wheel with his rival, and at the last possible moment, dive between the other car and the fence to win by a cigar wrapper!”

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