Welcome to 365 Days of Motoring

An Everyday Journey Through Motoring History, Facts & Trivia

Belt up and enjoy this 365-day ride as you cruise past the most momentous motoring events in history. Packed with fascinating facts about races, motorists and the history of the mighty engine, this is a must-visit web site for any car enthusiast.

On This Day


Saturday 15th May 1982

37 years ago

Racer Gordon Smiley (36) died from the impact of a crash in Indianapolis. The following is an extract from the statement of Dr Steve Olvey, Indycar Medical Director between 1979 and 2003, about the fatal accident: “During an attempt to qualify for the Indy 500, Gordon Smiley, a cocky young driver from Texas, was determined to break 200 mph or die trying. Several veteran drivers had warned him that he was in way over his head, driving all wrong for the Speedway. Smiley was a road racer and was used to counter-steering his car to avoid a crash if the rear wheels broke traction. While rushing to the car immediately after the impact, I noticed small splotches of a peculiar gray substance marking a trail on the asphalt leading up to the driver. When I reached the car, I was shocked to see that Smiley’s helmet was gone, along with the top of his skull. He had essentially been scalped by the debris fence. The material on the race track was most of his brain. His helmet, due to massive centrifugal force, was literally pulled from his head on impact. I rode to the care centre with the body. On the way in I performed a cursory examination and realized that nearly every bone in his body was shattered. He had a gaping wound in his side that looked as if he had been attacked by a large shark. I had never seen such trauma.’

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