COTD: Great Gambling In Automotive History Edition

There's a spectacular history of gambling in the automotive world. Many remember that in 1930 one of the Bentley Boys bet 100 he could beat a train from France back to England. Still, that's not my favorite historic bet.

One bet that we all should know involves the legendary Spanish playboy/driver Alfonso António Vicente Eduardo Ángel Blas Francisco de Borja Cabeza de Vaca y Leighton, known to the world as the Alfonso, the Marquis of Portago. At 17 (this is in 1944 or ‘45), he had his recently-acquired flying license taken away from him by the American pilot association for having bet $500 that he could fly under a bridge. He won that bet.


It gives you a sense of why people loved this daredevil when he crashed and died in the 1957 Mille Miglia, injuring 20 spectators and killing 10, five of whom were children.

We got a new automotive bet while we were discussing what to do with future gas stations when we don't use gas anymore. Irving Washington is skeptical and placed this bet, sparking a good debate.

A modest bet. I have 100 US Dollars that say that by the time I die (appx 2055), there will be more gas stations in the US than there are today, and I'll even add to the bet that there will be at least 30% more. I will also agree to pay out the $100 at 2012 value.

And you'd be a fool to take this bet.

Well, I know there are a half dozen gas stations already closed in my hometown, and I look forward to them being repurposed and docking locations for gigantic jellyfish blimp buses. Does anyone else want to take Irving up on his bet?


Photo Credit: Getty Images

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