Then & Now

1908 Italian Zust:

In the coming weeks, we will be looking back to the events of 110 years ago in the epic 1908 New York to Paris Race. A good place to start is by introducing the 1908 and 2018 Teams, who you will learn more about as we make our way west to San Francisco.  We start with the Italian Brixia-Zust, one of the three teams that made it to the 1908 finish line in Paris!  A capable machine, the Zust took 3rd Place with a 4-cylinder 40 HP engine,  4 Speed transmission and speed of  60 mph. It weighed in at  3,500 pounds, with a 114” wheelbase and fuel capacity of  132 gallons in three reservoirs.  The crew included Giulio Sirtori, 26; Henri Haaga, 22; and Antonio Scarfoglio, 21.

The Italian team were in their early 20’s, and quite impressed with what they saw in America (particularly the young ladies).  At one point they even considered quitting the Race as the passed through California, and wanted to stay there!

1928 Plymouth Speedster

John Quam had first planned to take his custom built 1928 Plymouth Speedster, which is patterned after a 20’s race car with a lot of 20’s original parts. Having a Norwegian heritage, he named it “Thor” after the Norwegian god.  After a test run earlier this week in the 90*+ heat he discovered without a windshield or top driving the Speedster was like standing in front of a blast furnace.  He made the change to drive his 1928 Plymouth Roadster, considering we have Death Valley ahead of us!

John is an accomplished long distance driver, having participated in NY to Paris Great Race US leg in 2008 organized to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Great Race. In 2014, he completed the Vladivostok, Russia to Paris leg which was an amazing trip.

John and his Roadster will be a great addition, and he is looking forward to this trip meeting new people in a more “driver friendly” ride.