Mercedes Flying Dutchman


Date Location Driver Driver Country Vehicle Power Speed over
1 Km
Speed over
1 Mile
January 24, 1905 Daytona Beach, USA Herbert Bowden USA

Mercedes Flying Dutchman
2 x 4 cylinder inline

IC     Bowden broke the Napier 6 record, but was disqualified because the vehicle exceeded weight limit of 2204.6 lbs. This forced an organization to be made for the United States, Great Britain and France

The car was a Mercedes that the frame was extended enough to accommodate the two engines and the only other major modification was strengthening of the front axle. The extra engine came out of the Mercedes U.S.A., Bowden’s speed boat. A special two piece nickel steel straight-eight crankshaft was machined for it and the press reported that the crankcase was of phosphor bronze. Mercedes crankcases were cast of aluminum so unless they cast and machined new crankcases of bronze we believe they were possibly referring to the casting which joins the two crankcases.

It is not known how much the car weighed with its extra engine, as it did not meet the maximum weight limit set for international competition, which was set 2204 lb.

The officials let the car run anyway for time only and it turned out to be the fastest of the meet, setting a time for a mile of 32 4/5 seconds which is almost 110 mph.

The car is seen above on the scales being weighed in at the meet.
The very rare photo below shows the intake side of the engine and the bottom photo from the March 1905, Motor magazine shows the exhaust side. The make-and-break ignition and the over-head valves are clearly visible