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Village of Delta



The Great Auto Race of 1908

German Protos makes stop in Delta



The Great Auto Race of 1908, New York to Paris



A 1907 Model 35 with 4 cylinders and 60 horsepower, dubbed Thomas Flyer, won the 1908 New York to Paris Race, the first and only around-the-world automobile race ever held. The race began in Times Square, New York, on February 12 and covered some 22,000 miles (35,000 km), finishing in Paris on July 30, 1908. Six teams started the race (one Italian, one German, three French, and the American Flyer). Only three of the cars finished, the Thomas Flyer which won, the German Protos, and the Italian Züst. The original intent was to drive the full distance using the frozen Bering Strait to drive across the Pacific Ocean. In the course of the race, the Flyer was the first car to cross the United States taking 41 days 8 hours and 15 minutes, and the first to do so in the winter with George Schuster the first automobile driver to ever make the transcontinental winter crossing of the US.  Finishing in 169 days was a remarkable feat, considering the lack of roads and services in 1908. Schuster, the driver, was the only member of the Thomas crew to go the full distance.

The Flyer survived and was restored to the exact condition it entered Paris on that day by William F. Harrah. It is now on exhibit at the National Automobile Museum in Reno, Nevada. Additional details with numerous photos and videos on the 1908 New York to Paris Race are available at The Great Auto Race of 1908

The Germans arrived in Paris on July 26, 1908. The American Flyer arrived at the edge of the city on July 30, and initially was not allowed into Paris by police because it had a broken headlamp. A passerby offered the team a bicycle light. With no tools to remove the light, they simply strapped the bike on the Thomas Flyer so they could enter Paris and finish the race. The questionable setback put them in second with the Germans arriving first. It was later discovered the Protos took some shortcuts on its path and was penalized, so the American team that actually arrived second was declared the official winner of the epic race.




Back to Odds and Ends


Links to Other Pages



Calendar of Sesquicentennial Events




Sesquicentennial Committee Appreciation Page




Early Delta History




Delta Park History


Delta Photos of the Past


1860 Federal Census list for Village of Delta

with other facts and biographical information of the early settlers


Mary Augusta WOOD

First child born in village of Delta


Delta Antique Building Collapses

June 2008




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