The earliest Motor Dromes were designed as more of a shallow tapered bowl than the straight up and down 14 foot board wall Drome that came along a little later. Here is a photo of one of the earliest "Wall Of Death" Dromes taken in the early 1900's.


Actually "Motor Dromes" and the name we've all come to associate with the midway Motorcycle Drome Shows were first given to wooden, half mile racetracks designed for the race cars and motorcycles of that day. The tires on the cars polished the wooden boards as smooth as glass and the race courses became extremely dangerous especially when they got wet. Board tracks proliferated in part because they were inexpensive to construct, but they lacked durability and required a great deal of maintenance to remain usable. Many of the tracks survived for as little as three years before being abandoned. Board track racing was gone by the 1920's, replaced by asphalt or concrete race tracks which offered better traction making them considerably safer for race cars and motorcycles whose speeds were increasing.


Enjoy this short piece of film of early 1919 board track racing:
Board Track Racing. 

 

International Independent Showmens Museum

 


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