Jacksonville on Wheels, A Car Culture Retrospective

By Dorothy K. Fletcher

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Jacksonville has long been a mecca for car enthusiasts and collectors, due in part to the city's unique automotive history. Bystanders gazed in wonder as John Einig drove Florida's very first steam-powered horseless carriage through the streets in 1889. Fred Gilbert opened the first automobile dealership in 1903, just before the city's first automobile parade, and people were soon clamoring to buy cars of their own. Claude Nolan, whose local dealership has been in business for well over a century, gained fame for racing his Cadillac against an airplane at the Jacksonville Fairgrounds. NASCAR held races at the Jacksonville Speedway in the '50s and '60s. Author Dorothy K. Fletcher explores the rich history and memories of car culture in the River City.