Think of Barney Oldfield and sepia-tinged images of a stogie-chomping superstar urging his car to the edge of control will form. Abnormally brave, he won this 14-carat medal — complete with a single ‘European-cut’ diamond — for winning the seventh annual Cactus Derby, run on November 9-11, 1914.
From Los Angeles to Phoenix, the tortuous route took cars over the El Cajon Pass, north towards Victorville and Barstow, then east to an overnight stop at Needles, a distance of 301 miles. The following day the 236-mile route saw drivers cross the Colorado River, head north to Kingman and Peach Springs, east again to Seligman and Ashfork, the south to Prescott. The final day featured a 134-mile run to the finishing line at the Phoenix Fairgrounds.
Battling rain and hailstorms — and after getting stuck fast in river silt — Oldfield was crowned Master Driver of The World after taking victory in his Stutz.