The roller coaster opened in 1914 as part of the rebuilt Fraser’s Million Dollar Pier, which had been destroyed by fire in 1912. However, the same fate would meet the Ben Hur Racer, which was destroyed by fire a mere year after it opened.
The novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, by Lew Wallace, was published in 1880 and became the best selling novel in US history–a status held until 1936. It was first adapted for the movies in 1907. The first feature length version came in 1925, with the 1959 adaptation starring Charlton Heston the most famous and successful, culminating with a Best Picture win at the Academy Awards.
“BEN HUR RACES (Over the Sea on Santa Monica Bay) OCEAN PARK CALIFORNIA The safest, fastest and most exhilarating ride ever constructed”