1908 Glidden Tour

The 1908 Glidden Tour

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Thomas Flyer — a tough car, enroute from New York to Paris for the race that shared the public’s attention with the Glidden Tour. It just took block and tackle and a lot of intestinal fortitude. (image courtesy Gerald Lacy Collection)

The tour route for the 1908 Glidden was as strenuous as the previous year, but the scenery was considered even more beautiful.  The route started in Buffalo and ended in Saratoga Springs after descending south towards Pittsburg and Harrisburg PA.

Disagreement and controversy surrounded the 1908 Glidden Tour. Although they had done very well in previous tours, the Maxwell team refused to participate. They believed that a change in the rules favored bigger, more expensive cars and challenged the winner of the tour to an endurance run .

That challenge was never accepted because a winner was never determined. The system of score-keeping resulted in twenty-eight of the forty-six cars entered receiving perfect scores. Five runabouts that were tied re-ran a course a second time in an effort to determine a winner by process of elimination. The Peerless and Haynes factory teams declined to participate in a runoff, and the Pierce team declined to accept the trophy under the circumstances. As a result the Glidden Trophy was not awarded and was returned to Mr. Glidden.