Alfred Letourner drafting behind the modified race car in the year 1941
Alfred Letourner was a champion six day racer during the 1920's and 30s. The Frenchman was known as the "Red Devil". He won his first New York six-day race in March 1931 while wearing number 13 which he had insisted on. He was known for his daring riding style while racing.
Alfred Leourner set the motor paced Speed Record for a measured mile on May 17th, 1941 covering a mile in 33.05 seconds at an average speed of 108.92 miles per hour! He was drafting behind a midget racing car with a special wind break attached. The race car was driven by Ronnie Householder on a highway outside of Bakersfield, California. It took Letourner three miles to get over the 100 miles per hour speed, and another four miles to slow down.
The record he broke was one that he had set a few weeks earlier at a speed of 90.91 miles per hour.
Letourner on his record setting bicycle. Notice the huge front chainring that almost touches the ground and the set back fork and small front wheel. The front end of this bicycle is designed this way so he could get as close as possible to the draft vehicle. Imagine doing that at over 100 miles per hour!
The winning team shaking hands
Alfred Letourner pulling an Airstream trailer with his bicycle for an Airstream advertisement. A local Veterinarian who was an Airstream and cycling enthusiast recreated this historic photo in the 1990s right here in Winston-Salem.