Join us as we celebrate the 110th Anniversary of the 1908 New York to Paris Race. We’ll be traveling from NY to San Francisco along the route taken in 1908 with vehicles averaging 90 years old!
We will be comparing the events and photos from that epic test of men and machines, with what things look like today over a century later. A good place to start is with a brief look back, and then an overview of what’s ahead!
February 12, 2018 marked an important anniversary in automotive history. It was 110 years ago a race began which changed the perception of the “horseless carriage” from a novelty for the rich, to a viable means of transportation for everyone. The 1908 New York to Paris Race was considered so impossible, Henry Ford and Ransom Olds declined to enter. However, when President Teddy Roosevelt heard French, Italian and German Teams were going to race from Times Square to the Eiffel Tower there would be an American Team! Just days before the February 1908 start, the Buffalo built “Thomas Flyer” was entered.
Three of the six entries actually made it to Paris. More importantly, everyone survived the competition in spite of blizzards, bandits, bad food and no roads along the 22,000 mile route. 169 days after the start, the American Thomas Flyer and its driver George Schuster won the race with records that still stand today. The legendary victory went on to inspire the 1965 movie “The Great Race” starring Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, Natalie Wood and Peter Falk. George has since been inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame, and the Thomas Flyer has been entered into the National Historic Vehicle Register. In celebration of the victory, a group of intrepid vintage car enthusiast will be making the 2018 New York to Paris run along the original route. The itinerary is divided into two legs. The first will be the US Route beginning June 19, 2018 in New York heading west to Oakland/San Francisco arriving July 5. The second Asia/Europe leg has been postponed. As you know from recent reports the Asia situation (particularly North Korea), has become unstable and necessitated postponing that leg until events improve.
There will be special points along the US Itinerary. These are just some of the places we will be stopping with spectacular views, historic venues and some great people.
This is not a race, but rather a relaxed tour covering an average of about 300 miles per day with four days of rest and recreation mixed it. Vintage car enthusiast, and history buffs are welcome to join us at any of our stops. A great way to cross the continent and celebrate the 110th Anniversary of the race with records which have never been equaled, while making some history of your own in your favorite automobile!
Stay tuned for more updates prior to our departure on Wednesday June 19!
*About the author: Some of the above is written in the first person as Jeff Mahl heard the recollections from his Great Grandfather, George Schuster. Jeff is seated to the left of “Great Gramp” holding the 45 star US flag which flew from the Flyer, with brother Matt and sister Jenny. For additional historical information visit: TheGreatAutoRace.com and 2018NYtoParis.com for current events.
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