Easily established is the fact that the Daytona Beach area is North America’s birthplace of speed. At the turn of the 20th century the “elite” of the world attended Daytona Beach to shed the winter blues. The Playboy personalities brought along their latest inventions and toys (not much different than today, just the styles on the arm candy has changed) to show off.
The newest of inventions of the day was the automobile and with that came unorganized competitions between the owners and builders of the early autos. Documentation of the early unorganized events can be found in many locations of the area and will be covered in future articles.
Fast forward to 1947. Bill France, a garage owner, race car builder, race car driver and race promoter was living in the town of Daytona Beach and operating a vehicle repair garage on Main St. At the same time he had been promoting races and campaigning a modified class of race car throughout the south east. He had listened to other owner/drivers moaning about poor pay offs and unscrupulous promoters running off with the purses before the race was completed and decided to try to organize them into a solid group that would work together.
Big Bill, being a very successful entrepreneur felt that Daytona Beach would be the place of the inaugural meeting and the place would be the Streamline Hotel located just off the beach at 140 South Atlantic Avenue. The date is well documented to be December 14, 1947. It has been said (backed by hotel documentation) that Bill operated the bar at the Streamline Lounge that day in an effort to raise funds for the initial organizational costs of opening the new organization. All of the elite of stock car racing were invited an in attendance. Out of that meeting in the rooftop lounge came the Organization now known as NASCAR. Hence this hotel can claim the distinct title of “The Birthplace of Nascar”.
NASCAR founder Bill France, Sr. and numerous drivers, officials, and promoters gathered in the Ebony Club's rooftop hotel bar on December 14, 1947. Drivers, mechanics and promoters, attendees of the four day meeting that formed NASCAR, sit in Daytona's Streamline Hotel in 1947. Bill France Sr. is at the end of the table wearing a white shirt and no tie.
The meeting concerned various issues such as drivers failing to get paid due to promoters leaving races with the gate receipts before they ended, along with the lack of consistent rules. After 69 days of conversations and ideas, the meeting adjourned on February 21, 1948 with the formation of the National Stock Car Racing Association (NSCRA), but was later renamed to NASCAR after it turned out that there was another sanctioning body by that name.
In 1947, a group of drivers, mechanics, etc. gathered at the Streamline Hotel to organize the meeting resulted in what is now known as NASCAR to be led by Bill France Sr. This is the group at
the top of the hotel. (front) Kneeling: Chick DiNatale, Jimmy Quisenberry, Ed Bruce, Jack Peters, Alvin Hawkins. (back) Standing: Freddie Horton, Sam Packard, Ed Samples (hidden), Joe Ross, Marshall Teague, Bill Tuthill, Joe Littlejohn, Bob Osiecki, Buddy Shuman, Lucky Sauer (hidden), Tom Galan, Eddie Bland, Bill France Sr., Bob Richards, Harvey Tattersall Jr., Fred Dagavar, Bill Streeter, Jimmy Cox. ...
NASCAR's first offices were located three blocks away from the hotel at the Selden Bank Building. Daytona International Speedway is located six miles west of the hotel.