Centennial Celebration 1908 - 2008

                                      NY to Paris Car Race - an epic test of men and machines

World Race 2011

Film Documentary

Photo Library

1908 Blog

1908 Route



     Does Your Organization Need a Speaker?

A live, first person presentation "The Great Auto Race - New York to Paris 1908 & 2011"  is available for your organization.  Jeff Mahl takes you back to the turn of the last century for this impossible yet true adventure, just as he heard the saga from his great-grandfather George Schuster Sr., driver of the Thomas Flyer and winner of the 1908 Great Race.  Schuster was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame on October 12, 2010**.  The story now includes a special update of the remarkable saga comparing the 1908 New York to Paris Race with World Race 2011 .  Join us for the wild ride through automotive history!

  Click for a Preview Video Clip

If you would like more information on a program for your group, or to request additional general information via e-mail click: Request for additional information

PRIVACY: The Great Auto Race acknowledges the importance of protecting your privacy.  Information which you may provide is never shared with any third party or organization.

 Special Events: Announced Schedule with Jeff Mahl as guest speaker

 < Click to enlarge "Jaw dropping moments... mesmerized the dinner crowd" S. Selvaggio, Events Manager - York Concours d'Elegance.  See the York Heritage Trust Program - Review for additional information on "Bandits, Guns and Automobiles", and how it can benefit your organization.

 "Incredible... an emotional, spellbinding performance... extremely rare standing ovation!" Bruce Wennerstrom, President - Madison Avenue Sports Car Driving & Chowder Society at Sardi's NYC.

   "Highly anticipated evening's program... most interesting presentation ever seen, bar none, and had guests glued to their seats" AACA - National Antique Automobile Club of America 75th Jubilee Anniversary - Review at the Kentucky Expo Center Louisville, KY

 "Absolutely brilliant storyteller... kept the audience enthralled and thrilled.  A terrific performance that attained a very high level of inspiration and genuine emotional impact" Marty W. Merkley Vice President & Director of Programming Chautauqua Institution  For the full review click: Chautauqua - Review

  "Magical evening... compelling story" J. Frady, Director - National Automobile Museum.  See the National Automobile Museum Program - Review  Jeff Mahl at the starting crank of the winning Thomas Flyer, for the grand opening the 2008 Centennial New York to Paris Race Exhibit at the National Automobile Museum (Harrah Collection) in Reno, NV

  **October 12, 2010: George N. Schuster Sr. was Inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame, the Highest Place of Honor in the International Motor Vehicle Industry.  Induction is the single greatest honor for an individual, intended to recognize a career and/or lifetime achievement.  George took his place among automotive legends including Ford, Andretti, Benz, Ferrari, Olds, and Shelby.



  April 14 - July 21, 2011: A Race combining the future with the past.  World Race 2011 commemorates the 1908 epic, and made history of its own!  With a start in New York City, participants circled the globe with their automobiles to the finish line in Paris.  For video see: World Race 2011 Video-KREX


January 28, 2012: The Henry Ford Museum opens Driving America "The World's Premier Automotive Exhibition" in Dearborn, MI.  Featured in the new collection is the 1908 New York to Paris Race exhibit complete with artifacts carried by George Schuster the winning driver of the American built Thomas Flyer!  George's compass which he used to navigate the world route and the medical kit from Dr. Shaw as they passed through Seattle with the wonder drugs of the day, give a glimpse of what "horseless carriage" travel was like at the turn of the last century.

 January, 2013:
The Old Motor launches a new series with the story of the New York to Paris Race Great Race of 1908  For the first time, the saga will unfold including rare colorized images (hand painted by 1909 artists) from the original photos.  It will look at the event from a broad perspective, giving a unique glimpse into the people and events surrounding the Race that forever changed automotive history.

2015 Special Commemorative Events!

   January 31, 2015 The Ladies of the Elks will feature the saga of the 1908 New York to Paris Race event on Pine Island, FL.  The family friendly program will benefit the Pine Island Elementary School.  Plan now to be surrounded by classic cars with an afternoon of incredible stories and original photos of the epic Race that still holds world records.  Also see what the 1908 route looks like a century later!

   March 28, 2015 The MARC Edison Ford Region and AACA Peace River Club  plan a special combined event for classic and vintage car enthusiast at the First Assembly of God Church in Ft. Myers, FL.  A wide range of cars from Ford Model A's to classic Chevy's will be on display, with the feature program about the 1908 Great Race from New York to Paris beginning at 2PM.

  June 13, 2015:  The Trans-American Challenge 2015 crosses the North American Continent from Halifax Canada to San Francisco USA in this competition with a field of International Competitors.  As the Teams pass through Buffalo, NY they will hear the story of the first global automobile race from New York to Paris in 1908 in a special presentation at the stunning Buffalo Transportation Pierce Arrow Museum on June 13.  Then on June 26, competitors will get to see the winning Thomas Flyer when they stop at the iconic National Automobile Museum in Reno, NV.

  June 20-28, 2015:  Great Race 2015 covers historic Route 66 from Kirkwood, MO to Santa Monica, CA!  The Southwest run will feature over 100 classic and vintage cars including new teams in the X-Cup Division.  Younger competitors with Drivers at least 21 years old and Navigators under 22 get the opportunity of a lifetime in automobiles much older than they are.  Alfred State College is fielding a 1953 Dodge Power Wagon in the event.  You will be able to monitor the progress and challenges encountered along the way.  The 2015 Racers will get to experience for themselves the "anything is possible" spirit of the 1908 Great Racers, more than a century later.  Join us for a "Bucket List" event!

Want a Good Book or DVD?

 The Great Automobile Race - New York to Paris 1908

  From the original account of the race with forward written by Jeff Mahl (great-grandson of George Schuster), this limited edition book is still available.  The 85 pages include details of the winning Thomas Flyer and the epic event, as well as numerous original photographs.

  "It shows the American car is on a par with the foreign machine and it marks the beginning of the end, in my opinion of the European supremacy."   - American Automobile Association, 1908

"Original account of the greatest race ever... It's a must" Read the Antique Automobile review in the May/June 2008 issue of the Antique Automobile Club of America member's magazine. If you would like a copy of The Great Automobile Race - New York to Paris 1908 signed by the author, click: Request for copy of The Great Automobile Race

[New!] The Great Race New York to Paris 1908 DVD is now available!  See the incredible story unfold in the words of the winner George Schuster, as told by his Great Grandson Jeff Mahl.  Packed with original images from the epic 1908 Race, the saga of this triumph of men and machines brings to life a turning point in automotive history.  For his accomplishments, George Schuster was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame and the winning American built Thomas Flyer is featured in the Harrah Collection of the National Automobile Museum in Reno, NV.  This professionally produced DVD is now available click: Request for DVD The Great Race - New York to Paris 1908


For a map of the original 1908 New York to Paris Race route, visit: Google Map - Greatest Race of 1908

The medical kit given by Doctor Shaw in Seattle with all the wonder drugs of the day, including boric acid, nitroglycerine, and morphine.  Dysentery was a common problem.   George's remedy was often exercise, running behind the car, and a shot of brandy.


 The handmade sextant George used to navigate much of Asia.  Detailed maps were nonexistent, and with the language barriers often sign language, the sextant and instinct were their only resources.


The compass George used to circumnavigate the world.  The solid brass device was often carried in his coat pocket.  It was especially useful at night or on overcast days when there was no sun for reference.


The .32 caliber pistol George carried in his coat pocket around the world.  He later used the same pistol to guard the Winfield Smith machine manufacturing plant during World War II.


Halfway To Tonopah by R. Cinkel on exhibit National Automobile Museum


 Thomas Flyer Stamp issued by Grenada




Very special thanks and credit to the following for important historical references:

Paintings by artists Peter Helck and Robert Cinkel

Additional photos from the  National Automobile Museum - Harrah Collection; Reno, NV.

A&E-TV         A&E Network Video New York, NY

SPEED-TV   The Speed Channel Inc.

WATV            Los Angles, CA

WGRZ-TV     Buffalo, NY

WNED-TV     Buffalo, NY

WKBW-TV    Buffalo, NY

You Asked For It - hosted by Jack Smith


 [  Home  ] [ The Race ] Thomas Restored ] Updates ] Centennial-2008 ] [ Information ]TWorld Race 2011 ] [ The Film ]he New York to Paris Race was an epic International Competition.  It was won by George Schuster driving the Thomas Flyer in 1908.
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