1908 Thomas Flyer
The United States was represented by the 1907 Thomas Flyer Model 35. It was taken off the factory lot just days before the Race, without the extensive modifications the other International teams had made to their vehicles. The 4-cylinder 60 HP engine was to become the largest production 4 cylinder ever built at 571.3 cubic inches. Its 4 speed transmission could achieve 60 mph and it weighed in at 5,700 pounds. At 11.7’ the Flyer had a long sleek look and was referred to as the “Silver Fox”. With a fuel capacity of 125 gallons in two reservoirs it was a reliable machine.
The starting Team members were George Schuster, 35; Montague Roberts, 24; and T. Walter Williams a New York Times reporter of some fame having covered Teddy Roosevelt’s safaris. You will discover more about each of the 1908 and 2018 Teams in the coming weeks!
1929 Model A Roadster Pickup
The 1929 Model A “Tommy” you have come to know in earlier posts, so we only briefly mention that it will make for a far better ride than my Great Grandfather had in the 1907 Thomas Flyer. I must admit that when Henry Ford designed the Model A, it was built for practicality and purpose. Perhaps that is why Ford produced 4,858,644 between 1927 and 1932. The flat head 4 cylinder engine became an industry standard, as it was easy to maintain and durable. Many A’s survive to this day, and after nearly 90 years they still bring smiles to faces as they pass.