A 1-mile long speedway / motordrome was built in 1921 on the present site of Lenkurt Electric. The “Greater San Francisco Speedway” was 50 feet wide, a quarter mile in length, and “saucer-shaped,” lacking any straightaways at all. Then motordrome creator, Jack Prince, dubbed it his masterpiece.

The December 11, 1921 inaugural race drew a crowd of 40,000, equivalent to about eight percent of the population of San Francisco at the time. Celebrity drivers competed for a purse worth the equivalent of over $600,000 today. But by June 1922, the speedway was gone forever, after hosting only three auto races in its brief lifetime. It wasn’t another strike, and races didn’t go out of fashion. Rather, a summer brush fire spread to the structure. The track was made entirely of wood, and had been soaked with oil from dozens of cars.

PHOTO: San Carlos Speedway and Hanger, from the San Carlos Aviation Association Collection

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