Barney Oldfield is known as a pioneering race car driver but before Henry Ford asked him to pilot 999, Ford’s second race car, in a five mile race against automaker Alexander Winton, Oldfield had never even driven an automobile. He was, however, a successful bicycle racer so he understood competition. He also turned out to be a natural behind the wheel – or in the case of the 999, the tiller. Shortly before his death, Henry Ford is said to have remarked to Barney Oldfield: “You made me and I made you.” Oldfield shook his head and replied “Old 999 made both of us.”
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