Hard Driving: The 1908 Auto Race from New York to Paris

Dermot Cole, Author Paragon House Publishers $21.95 (247p) ISBN 978-1-55778-360-8
``Impossible'' driving might more accurately describe the famed round-the-world trip cosponsored by Le Matin of Paris and the New York Times. The race began in Manhattan in February of 1908 with six vehicles entered: three French, a German, an Italian and an American. One of the French entries lasted less than 100 miles, but the others all finished, the first of them in July. The cars headed to Chicago via Buffalo over wretched roads, and west to California over virtually nonexistent roads. The plan to continue via Alaska was scrapped, so the contestants took ship to Japan, drove across that country, then went by ship again to Vladivostok, motoring across Siberia, Russia and Europe. All of the drivers hitched more than one ride on railroads. The German car reached Paris first, but the American team was declared the winner. Cole, editor of the Fairbanks, Alaska, Daily News-Miner , has written a rollicking, fun-filled book. Photos not seen by PW. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/29/1991
Release date: 05/01/1991
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