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Bakersfield Californian

The Great Auto Race
The Bakersfield Californian, video by Jeff Nachtigal-November 5, 2008

Bakersfield Californian video link
click on image to link to video clip

Bakersfield Californian video link


Road Race Returns to Victor
By Morgan Wesson, correspondent
Daily Messenger
Posted Oct 17, 2008 @ 03:47 PM
Victor, N.Y. —

Calling all old car fans: Be alert Sunday and you can witness a rolling historic re-enactment.
Luke Rizzuto, a building contractor who lives in California’s Santa Cruz Mountains, will lead a band of buddies down Victor’s Main Street on their long ride to San Francisco to trace the 1908 New York-to-Paris Auto Race on its 100th anniversary.

That five-month, around-the-world race inspired Rizzuto to get behind the wheel and drive the entire original North American leg in his 1918 Chevrolet — starting tomorrow. [read the whole story]

Daily Herald-Geneva

Great Race 100th Anniversary Tour Stops in Geneva
October 24, 2008
By Susan Sarkauskas | Daily Herald Staff

LARC passes through Geneva
The Longest Auto Race tour stops in Geneva on the centennial version of the Great Race of 1908, as vintage cars trek across the United States portion of the route.
PHOTO BY Rick West | Staff Photographer

"Here they are! Here they are!" exclaimed Cleon Statton, jumping up from a chair in the lobby of the Geneva History Center and nearly running to the door, despite an achy hip.

A blue Volkswagen Beetle, a bright yellow custom Peterbilt truck, a black 1940 Cadillac and a pretty cream-and-purple Chrysler rolled by, their drivers looking for parking spaces on Third Street Thursday morning.

Statton, of Wheaton, and several dozen other classic car fans swarmed the drivers participating in the Longest Auto Race Centennial Tour, taking pictures of them and their machines and peppering them with questions. [read the whole story]

The Beacon News

Aurora Serves as Rest Stop on Cross-Country Auto Race
October 24, 2008
By KAREN GOVEIA Special to The Beacon News

Pat & Ray in Aurora
Pat McKenna, of Alberta Canada, (left) acts as navigator and mechanic alongside Ray Fowler, also of Alberta, on Thursday as the two take off from Aurora as part of a group re-creating the New York to Paris Auto Race of 1908. (MARIANNE MATHER / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER)

AURORA – A half-dozen vintage cars rolled into town Wednesday evening, and out again on Thursday morning, in celebration of an event in automotive history.

In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the 1908 New York to Paris Auto Race, a caravan of vintage automobile enthusiasts is re-enacting the entire original North American leg of the race.

The convoy, led by Luke Rizzuto, a building contractor from the Santa Cruz Mountains in California, left from Times Square in New York last Saturday and is traveling along the original route of the famous 1908 race. [read the whole story]



The Longest Auto Race
Oct 9, 2008 | Motortopia | by corsa | photo courtesy of Motortopia blog spot

Great Race Archival Photo

In 1908, the New York Times and the Paris newspaper La Matin sponsored a car race that ran from New York to Paris. The race covered over 22,000 miles, and after 169 days, it was won by the Thomas Flyer driven by George Schuster, Sr., of Buffalo, NY. Over 100 years later, his record still stands. (The picture above shows the crowd of over 250,000 people at the start of the race in 1908.)

Fast forward to 2008: Luke Rizzuto, a die-hard Chevy enthusiast, has long had a dream to participate or replicate part or all of that race. With the centennial of the race occurring this year, Rizzuto is finally able to put together the Longest Auto Race Centennial celebration.

Starting in Times Square in New York City on October 18, the event will follow the same historical route of the American leg of the original race to San Francisco. Luke will be driving a 1918 Chevy D Series, and Jeff Mahl, the great-grandson of George Schuster (winner of the original race) will be riding shotgun.

The cars are expected to arrive in San Francisco on November 8. And here's the best part: you can participate! The event is open to all cars and there are no entry fees (you are of course responsible for your own expenses.) You are welcome to join and depart the event at any place along the route. [link to blog post]

Springville Journal

Longest Auto Race Caravan
The Springville Journal-Oct. 9, 2008

The Longest Race Centennial - from New York to San Francisco, California will arrive in Springville on Monday, Oct. 20. The cars will deviate from the original route, traveling from Buffalo via Route 391 to Springville where they will stop at the Springville Elementary School to pick up a wreath from the school children. The cars will then proceed down East Main Street past the Great Race Mural and past the George Schuster Historical marker on North Buffalo Street before proceeding to the Maplewood Cemetery for a ceremony and to place the wreath on the gravesite of George Schuster, winner of the 1908 New York to Paris Auto Race.
The cars will then leave Springville via Route 39 through Gowanda and back to the original route in Fredonia.
The Concord Historical society and the Centennial Great Race Committee is organizing a group of antique auto enthusiasts to meet up with these "Great Race" cars as they approach Springville and to join the events as they make the historic trip through Springville.
If you are interested or would like more information, contact Don Orton by Email at DkoSgo@Aol.com.
[link to online article]

Centennial of the Great Race Winds Through Nevada in November
Filed under: Nevada's Colorful Past, Events

Thomas Flyer 1908
The Original 1908 Thomas Flyer

The Longest Auto Race travels through Nevada Silver Trails Nov. 2-4 making stops in Tonopah and Goldfield. The tour celebrates the centennial of the Great Race of 1908 and retraces the route of the winning American team driving the now-famous Thomas Flyer car.

A Chautauqua performance by Jeff Mahl, great grandson of George Schuster Sr., the driver of the winning American team, is Sunday, Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. at the Tonopah Convention Center. Admission is free and donations benefit the Tonopah Chamber of Commerce.

Following a show-and-shine in Tonopah on Nov. 3, the tour continues to Goldfield Nov. 4 for a 9 a.m. breakfast at the Northern Saloon and Café. Cost is $7 and open to the public. A commemorative lap blanket and 1909 reproduction panorama of the town will be auctioned in Goldfield.

More details are available through the Tonopah Chamber of Commerce at www.TonopahChamberofCommerce.com or by calling 775-482-3859 or the Goldfield Historical Society at 775-485-3560.

Media Contact: Kristin Power or Rachel Milon, media@rkpr.com

Sun-Telegraph Logo

Longest Auto Race Comes to Town
Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2008
BY:DOUG LAW, Sidney Sun-Telegraph

A caravan representing the re-enactment of the North American leg of the Historic Auto Race of 1908 passed through downtown Sidney Monday. There were six cars competing–many of which were very historic and made before World War I.

“It is a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Great Race and takes the same route from New York City to San Francisco, Calif.,” said Luke Rizzuto, one of the organizers and a participant. [read the whole story]


Auto Race Re-creation Makes Pit-stop in Evanston
Posted: Tuesday, Nov 4th, 2008
BY: BECKY CRUM, Herald Reporter

Sparky & V8

These antique automobiles are travelling from Times Square in New York City to the Ferry Building in San Francisco, Calif., re-creating the historic 1908 Great Automobile Race.

Actors Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon were nowhere in sight, but Luke Rizzuto took the lead and put out a computer request for anyone to join him to re-create the north American leg of the historical 1908 Great Automobile Race, which was immortalized in the 1950s film “The Great Race.”

He got several replies and began making plans to travel from Times Square, Central Park, New York to the Ferry Building in San Francisco, Calif.

“We left on Oct. 18 and will arrive in San Francisco on Nov. 8,” Rizzuto said. “Jeff Mahl, the great-grandson of George Schuster, Sr. (who won the New York to Paris Auto Race in 1908), is going to meet us in Ely, Nev. to go the rest of the trip. We aren’t being sponsored by anyone. We’ve done this on our own. We did it because we wanted to do something to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the race.”

Since starting the race on Oct. 18, the group has had several auto clubs come out and go part of the way with them, they have stopped at schools to talk to children, they’ve been in parades and visited museums, talked to historians and stopped at weigh stations along the way.

They are trying to recreate the route as closely as possible to the original one that was used 100 years ago, Rizzuto said.

The vehicles in the procession are a 1947 Dodge, a 1967 Volkswagen, a 1951 Peterbilt, a 1940 Cadillac limo, a 1929 Roadster, and a 1918 V8 Chevy.

“We are having a lot of fun. Evanston seems like a great little town. There are a lot of nice people here. Everyone likes our Peterbilt and we have been welcomed by everyone we see,” Rizzuto said.

Rizzuto said when they arrive in San Francisco on Nov. 7 they have a big celebration planned.
[link to online article]

Nevada Travel Network The Nevada
Travel Network

The Great Race Revisited
The Nevada Travel Network
Trip Report #86 October 2008-Dan Bogart

Luke Rizzuto was one of the people who thrilled when a centennial re-creation of the Great New York to Paris automobile race was announced. He has a rare 1918 Chevrolet touring car with an overhead valve V8 engine— that's right, Chevrolet made this engine from 1917 to 1919 and then abandoned it until 1955 — and he wanted to drive it across country following the route of the winning Thomas Flyer in 1908. So he set about seeking sponsors to defray the substantial cost to participate. [read the whole story]

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