From the February 1940 Issue of Motorcyclist magazine
Two grand oldtimers pose with Ted Evans the likeable winner of the 1940 Daytona novice eve
The rest of the United States has poked so much fun at Florida and the southern states about their cold spell that anything further would sound like rubbing it in. Suffice to say that the weather pulled a sneaker, and the motorcycle festivities held at Daytona Beach were cooled off, but definitely not dampened.
While travel conditions that actually existed in many of the intervening states, and the much worse travel conditions which existed only in the minds of many who wanted to go to Florida, did prevent some visitors from making the trip, the actual attendance was large, satisfying motorcycledom and Daytona Beach alike.
The coldest part of the wave was during the early part of the week, when the competition committee was in meeting. The real spell broke just before the first race, and it was even warmer for the day of the actual race.
The competition committee went into meeting on Tuesday morning, January 23rd. Their discussion of ways and means to lubricate the machinery of rules and regulations was hefty and lasted through until midnight of Wednesday. Many ideas were weighed, with some being discarded and others being added to present standards. A full discussion of this part of the Daytona Beach annual conclave is presented in detail elsewhere in this issue.
Mr. C.R. Allen, City Recreation Director, had complete charge of all details of traffic regulation, preparation of the race course, and collaboration with A.M.A. officials. Under his direction the course had been overhauled to the eventual end that it was much faster than during any previous year. The corners had been laid with a new type of conglomerate and rolled. To this was added a certain amount of calcium chloride. The new handling of the corners tended to prevent them from tearing up, eliminated all dust, and undoubtedly added to the speed that was possible in that part of the course.
When A.M.A. officials first reached Daytona Beach, Mr. Allen had a conference with them and proceeded to put all the finishing touches needed to make the course safe, provide facilities for the different phases of the A.M.A. checking system, and protection of the crowd.
Unfortunately in one way, but toward the end of creating a new set of conditions for the national event, the cold slowed up the work on the course. As a result, it was impossible for the boys to get in the customary practice on the actual track. Instead they used a 15-mile stretch of beach and from 11:00 A.M. on they could be seen and heard, tearing back and forth. In the minds of experts, it is thought that the final outcome of both events may have been partly determined in these trials on that stretch. The basic reason for most failures on both days was some part of oiling. To a man, no rider expected the cold temperatures. A good many of the riders were not used to trying out with the thermometer as far down as it was. At home, and in the summer time, most motors would warm up quicker than they were wont to do on that 15-mile stretch. No doubt more than one machine was driven up and down it at high speeds before the oil was properly reaching all points. This, it is thought by some, caused injury to many of the machines that was later to show up in the early parts of both races.