1907 Glidden Tour

The 1907 Glidden Tour


A 1907-1908 Breese-Paris and a couple of salty dogs touring on a beautiful day in New York City — an inspiration to 1990’s antique automobilists who only tour when the sun shines. (image courtesy of the Gerald Lacy Collection)

The contest for the Glidden Trophy in 1907 was a club affair with teams from automobile organizations who represented different cities competing for the prize. Eighty-two cars carrying nearly three hundred passengers started out July 9 at Cleveland and concluded in New York City on July 24. The distance covered on this tour was 1,519 miles over roads that ran from gravel and clay to brick pavement or asphalt and many were in very bad condition.

The tour started in Cleveland, went to Toledo, then South Bend, on to Chicago, and back to South Bend, Indianapolis, Columbus, Canton, Pittsburgh, Bedford, Baltimore, and Philadelphia, before reaching New York City.

This Glidden was a very strenuous tour that was marred by several terrible accidents. Officials were criticized for setting short completion times for long distances, causing the tourists to push their cars to the limit. Mr. T. J. Clark died from injuries received when his Packard skidded on a sharp muddy turn and rolled into a ditch. Miss Teenie Rollins suffered a broken jaw and shoulder when she and other passengers in the Pierce Great Arrow driven by Kenneth R. Otis overturned.

Contemporary reports of the tour show that accidents and breakdowns were simply considered to be part of early touring with the majority of starters persevering to complete their Glidden Tour.