A Brief History of the Birthplace of Speed

Fri, Sep 27, 2019 at 4:11PM

A Brief History of the Birthplace of Speed

Many people know Daytona Beach as the hub of NASCAR. Here’s where the corporate offices are located, as well as the world-famous Daytona International Speedway — home of the Daytona 500, Daytona 200, and many other motorsports events throughout the year.

What might not be as well-known is the fact that racing in the region actually got its start a few miles away in Ormond Beach. In fact, today Ormond Beach is known and recognized at the “birthplace of speed.”  Read on to learn more about the early days of auto racing, and how you can be part of this dynamic community.

Racing Interest Comes to Florida

In the early 1900s, tourists from the northern United States would flock to Central Florida to get away from the harsh winters in their home locales. One favorite activity was riding bicycles by the ocean. That’s when some people discovered that the hard sand of Ormond Beach handled tires well. They wondered if motorized vehicles would achieve the same effect.

In 1904, Henry Flagler opened the Ormond Garage. Soon after, beach car races were offered as an entertainment option to guests at his Ormond Hotel. Soon, racing fever caught on with locals and tourists alike.

The original Ormond Garage burned to the ground in 1976, but a new one has since been built. There’s also a replica of the original at the main approach to Ormond Beach, just off U.S. Route 40 (Granada Boulevard).

Humble Beginnings

Racing interest and enthusiasm continued well into the ensuing decades. In 1947, during a rooftop session at the Streamline Hotel in Daytona Beach, Bill France and others met to discuss normalizing operations and relations between various stock car outlets. This meeting is recognized as the beginnings of what would eventually become NASCAR.

Recently restored, the Streamline Hotel stands today as a historical throwback to that important session. Notably, it was the first building in Daytona Beach designated to be fireproof. The structure was also slated to be used as a bomb shelter, should that need arise.

Enduring Legacy

While racing fans flock each year to the Daytona International Speedway for the various events held there, not far away in Ormond Beach stands the “Birthplace of Speed” Park. Settled on nearly one acre of land with beach access, this family-friendly park features a picnic area (with outdoor grills), public parking, and nearby restroom facilities, including outdoor showers.  

Visitors can also view a plaque and glean information about the early days of auto racing in the area. As mentioned, this is also where the replica of the original Ormond Garage is located. Several weddings, anniversary parties, and special functions are also held at the park throughout the year.

Community-Minded Spirit

In fact, Ormond Beach has long been known as a laid-back and inclusive region of Central Florida. This area is a family and pet-friendly community, where locals and visitors of all ages come to relax, unwind, and simply enjoy the sun and sand. In addition, a thriving downtown full of unique shops, restaurants, art galleries, attractions, and points of interest make it easy to spend a whole day filled with entertainment and information.

That’s partly why more people who visit the area choose to make Ormond Beach home for all or part of the year. Doing so is easy when you live in a high-quality custom residence tailored to your exact personal preferences and requirements.

Along with the Halifax Plantation neighborhood in Ormond Beach, we also build in some of the most outstanding communities in Central Florida. Browse our website to witness the beauty and elegance of which we’re capable. Then, contact us today to get started on the custom home of your dreams.

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