A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“The shortest distance between two points is always under construction” (6/27)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (6/27)
“If I had a dollar for every existential crisis I’ve ever had…does money even matter?” (6/27)
“Keep your cymbal jokes to yourself. We’ve heard them all a Zildjian times” (6/27)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (6/27)
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Entry from July 31, 2016
“The first automobile race occurred right after the second car was built”

"The first automobile race occurred right after the second car was built” is a saying of uncertain origin. American automaker Henry Ford (1863-1947) is often credited, but there’s no evidence that he said it.

“Of course, there’s the other theory that stock car racing began when the second car was sold,” actor Robert Blake said about his stock car racing movie, Corky (1972). “There are those who say the first motor race occurred shortly after the second car was built” was cited in 1976.


Google News Archive
8 March 1972, Wilmington (NC) Morning Star, “‘Corky’: Race driver in the big time,” pg. 15, col. 6:
“Of course, there’s the other theory that stock car racing began when the second car was sold.”
(Robert Blake, an actor who played a small-town stock car driver.—ed.)

28 May 1976, The Des Plaines Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), “Death taps drivers on shoulder at every turn” by Bob Frisk, sec. 3, pg. 1, col. 3:
There are those who say the first motor race occurred shortly after the second car was built.

30 May 1978, Lexington (KY) Herald, “Television Shields Viewers From Fiery Indy Explosion” by Edwin Pope (Knight-Ridder Newspapers), pg. B-1, col. 4:
They say auto racing began just after the second car was built.

3 May 1981, Chicago (IL) Tribune, “Rutherford the driver to beat as Indy practice opens” by Cooper Rollow, sec. 4, pg. 11, col. 1:
INDIANAPOLIS—It has been said that the first auto race occurred shortly after the second car was built.

Google Books
Sports in World History
By David G. McComb
New York, NY: Taylor & Francis Inc.
2004
Pg. 58:
It is common lore that the first auto race was predestined as soon as the second car was built.

Google Books
The Oxford Handbook of Sports Economics:
Volume 1: The Economics of Sports

Edited by Leo H. Kahane and Stephen Shmanske
New York, NY: Oxford University Press
2012
Pg. 319:
There is an old saying, usually attributed to the iconic NASCAR driver Richard Petty, that the first automobile race occurred right after the second car was built.

Google Books
Quotes To Remember (Volume 4)
By Dr Purushothaman
Kollam, Kerala, India: Centre For Human Perfection
2014
Pg. 37:
Auto racing began 5 minutes after the second car was built.
Henry Ford

Google Books
Drive!:
Henry Ford, George Selden, and the Race to Invent the Auto Age

By Lawrence Goldstone
New York, NY: Random House
2016
Pg. 83:
Ford famously quipped that auto racing began five minutes after the second car was built. It took longer than that, but not much.

Wayne Post (Wayne County, NY)
Book captures history of area dirt tracks
‘Stock car racing in the ‘50s’ includes Canandaigua, Naples tracks and author is coming to both towns to talk emailprint

By Bob Chavez

Posted Jul. 31, 2016 at 9:00 AM
Canandaigua, N.Y.
The old joke is that auto racing got its start five minutes after the second car was built.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Sunday, July 31, 2016 • Permalink