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The Lake Erie Region of the
Antique Automobile Club of America

2018 New York to Paris
Celebraing the 110th Anniversary
by Jeff Mahl, February 2018


February 12, 2018 marks 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. The race was an epic challenge of men and machines with three of the six entries actually making it to Paris. More importantly, no one died during 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 entered Paris and it's 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 Faulk.

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 beginning June 19, 2018 in New York heading west to 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 very unstable and necessitated postponing that leg until events improve.

With many stops along the way, there will betime for special events and some spectacular views. Classic car enthusiast, and history buffs are welcome from start to finish or may join in anywhe re along the route. A great way to cross the continent and celebrate the 110th Anniversary, while making some history of your own in your favorite automobile! Complete details including the US itinerary can be found by visiting: 2018nytoparis.com/news.html Photos of the Flyer and some of the 2018 participants Photos courtesy of TheGreatAutoRace.com