Today in Automotive History
1916 Corona Boulevard Disaster
Racer Bob Burman crashed through a barrier into the crowd at the last Boulevard Race in Corona, California. Burman, his riding mechanic Eric Scroeder, and a track policeman were killed, and five spectators were badly injured.
The boulevard race started in 1913 as part of the AAA national championship schedule. The race was run on Grand Boulevard, a street that formed a perfect three-mile circle. Bob Burman was coming off an attempt at the world land-speed record at Brighton Beach, New York, where he had run 129mph.
Burman led most of the race at Corona before his blue Peugot broke a wheel, sending the car over the curb and into a pole. The tragedy ended racing in inland Southern California for almost 40 years.