Winton 'Bullet' No. 2, 1903


In 1878, a Scottish immigrant named Alexander Winton arrived in New York City. By the turn of the century, he would be one of America’s best known automobile makers and race car drivers. The first Winton car was sold on March 24, 1898. Winton saw racing not only as a way to attract investors and customers but also as essential to developing and testing technologies for his production automobiles. He built the first of his three Bullet race cars in 1902. Winton built his second Bullet in 1903 to compete in the Gordon Bennett Road Race in Ireland. Built to withstand the rigors of 327 miles of rough Irish roads, Bullet No. 2 was more powerful and built with a heavier frame than the first Bullet. It had one of the first in-line, eight-cylinder engines, consisting of two in-line, four-cylinder engines bolted together. After a promising start, mechanical difficulties caused Winton to drop out of the race. Upon his return from Ireland, he announced his retirement from racing. Winton continued racing the Bullets with hired drivers behind the wheel. With Winton’s financial support, Barney Oldfield traveled across the United States performing automotive feats with a flamboyant style and his trademark cigar clenched in his teeth. On January 28, 1904, at the second Florida Winter Speed Carnival, Oldfield drove Bullet No. 2 a mile in 43 seconds, which was equivalent to 80 miles per hour and close to the world record at the time. In 1930 the Winton Engine Company donated Bullet No. 1, Bullet No. 2, and the first Winton sold to the Smithsonian Institution.

Date Made: 1903

Restored: Stine, JohnMaker: Winton Engine Company

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United States: Ohio, Cleveland

Subject: Engineering


See more items in: Work and Industry: Transportation, Road, Sports & Leisure, Automobiles, Transportation, Road Transportation


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Gift of The Winton Engine Co.

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: TR.309603Accession Number: 105119Catalog Number: 309603

Object Name: automobile, racing

Physical Description: steel (overall material)rubber (overall material)Measurements: overall: 50 in x 66 in x 150 in; 127 cm x 167.64 cm x 381 cmon pallet: 59 1/2 in x 66 in x 151 in; 151.13 cm x 167.64 cm x 383.54 cm


Record Id: nmah_834514

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