Competitions, Records and Publicity
The Stanleys believed that the best way to test, promote and advertise their cars was through competitions and stunts that showed off the cars’ capabilities. On August 31, 1899, F.O. Stanley and his wife, Flora, accomplished the first ascent of New Hampshire’s Mount Washington in a stock Locomobile runabout. At nearly 1,600 feet above sea level, the mountain’s summit stood at a steep grade that had defeated all previous attempts; yet, F.O. and Flora triumphed -- and within hours, the world knew of their achievement.
On January 26, 1906, a Stanley automobile set another record, this time for speed. Fred Marriott, a mechanic employed by the Stanleys, set the land speed record at Ormond Beach in Florida in the Stanley “Rocket.” Marriott completed a mile in 28 1/5 seconds, or 127.6 miles per hour -- a record that would stand for six years.