Roland Free Sets New Straightaway Record At Daytona

By Chet Billings, Photography by Unknown

The boys had driven out on the beach at 12:30 and at 1:30, E.C. Smith signaled that all was ready.

The first machine taken out was the 74 and it was stock even to the point of having its fenders and headlight. The first run was from south to north, it being purely a test run. Riding slowly back to the stand, Rolly was surprised to learn that the one way trip had been made in 31.51 sec. or better than 114 m.p.h.

He then made his official ride, both ways of the course, and his average through the measured mile was 108.18 m.p.h.

Next taking- the Scout-fondly referred to as his “Chickadee”-he made the north trip in 32.76 sec. or 109.89 m.p.h. and the south trip in 31.78 sec. or 113.27 m.p.h., for an average of 111.55 m.p.h. This beat the former record by approximately 9 ½ m.p.h.

Taking the 74 again, Rolly completed the round trip for a higher average of 109.55 m.p.h.

The wind was a trifle shifty and hoping for a better break, the Scout was taken out again, but it was impossible to top the first ride.

Still not satisfied, one more ride was taken with the 74 and this time the north trip was made in 32.98 sec. and the south in 32.68 sec. for an average of 109.65 m.p.h.

The remarkable part of the trials was that every ride taken was faster than existing records. There was no change of gearings from those installed in Indianapolis. E.C. Smith measured both motors and took samples of the gasoline from each machine.

All this was accomplished and the boys were off the beach by 5:30 p.m.

A report from the Daytona airport for March 17th, gives the following wind figures:

12:41 p.m.: direction, S.W.; rate, 14 m.p.h.

1:41 p.m.: direction, W.S.W.; rate, 15 m.p.h.

2:41 p.m.: direction, W; rate, 15 m.p.h.

3:41p.m.: direction, S.W.; rate, 16 m.p.h.

4:41 p.m.: direction, S.W.; rate 17 m.p.h.

Ordinarily record trials at Daytona involve days of waiting and testing. Officials were naturally surprised at a speedster who came, set his records under existing conditions, and left.

Said Rolly, “St. Patrick smiled on us that day. We are very happy about the whole thing.” The two recorcls-111.55 m.p.h. in the 45” class “C” division and 109.65 m.p.h. in the 74” class ‘’C” Division have been certified by the American Motorcycle Association.

Additional items of interest are that Rolly used Texaco Gasoline, Indian oil, Firestone tires, Diamond chain, Splitdorf magneto and plugs and Perfect Circle rings.

By Chet Billings
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