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Great Race Coming Through Cheyenne
June 28 @ 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
This is not a train or cowboy story.
On Thursday June 28th a bit of little known Cheyenne history will come to life.
This is the reenactment of the GREAT RACE, the longest Road Race in History. Cheyenne played a part 110 years ago. This was event that was to change the perception of the automobile.
This truly world class event included National Teams from France, Italy, Germany and the United States. The New York to Paris Automobile Race was to be driven across the frozen Bering Straits in the dead of winter 1908. All this at a time when horses were considered more reliable than automobiles.
What many called “The Great Race” was sponsored by the NEW YORK TIMES and the LA MATIN (a Paris newspaper).
At Times Square, New York City February 12,1908 with over 250,000 cheering the start of a race to circle the globe from New York to Paris by auto! It would become the longest automobile competition in history, often with no roads & during a bitter cold winter. The Around the World Auto Race would cover 22,000 miles in 169 days!
The winning car, a 1907 Thomas Flyer at $4,000 was a proven machine. Weighing 5,000 pounds loaded, its 4 cylinder 60 hp engine could speed along at 60 mph. However, the car offered little in rider comfort or amenities.
With no roads, the Flyer is designated as Union Pacific Train #49. Rules forbid riding the rails, so they straddled them bumping along tie to tie for hundreds of miles. A Union Pacific Conductor even rode with the Thomas!
Where there were no rails, the Thomas was often forced to go “cross country”, long before the days of 4WD. Here, the car mired in quicksand, broke a pinion gear. It was repaired in the creek bed.
On June 28th one hundred ten years later come meet the drivers, see restored cars and enjoy a free showing of the ‘The Great Race” at the Atlas Theater.
You might have seen the classic 1965 Blake Edwards movie “The Great Race” starring Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis and Natalie Wood, but did you know it was based on the historic event? In the film Cheyenne is the Western frontier town of Boracho.
Noon – Great Race Lunch at The Plains Hotel (based on the menu served to drivers in 1908). ONLY $15.00 Reservations required: 307-638-3311.
4:00 pm – Car Show at Depot Plaza
6:00 pm – Short ceremony & free showing, underwritten by The Plains Hotel
of “The Great Race” at the Atlas.
Box dinners available. ONLY $9.08 Must pre-order by 6/27/18: 307-638-3311.
More info at www.2018NYtoParis.com and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffS8YDFgkTg&feature=youtu.be