Glidden Tour Stats

First Super Speedway contributor Ken Parrotte assembled the information that you will find attached here. The topic is the Glidden Tour, certainly one of the most significant stock car competition events of the early days of the 20th century, 1905 through 1913. Some historians hold the opinion that it was actually the single most important stock car contest of those days. That's because the machines were straight off the assembly line with virtually no modifications. There were plenty of stock car auto races during those times but the teams drove the tech inspectors crazy by incessantly pushing the envelope with alterations to the cars and bending the rules concerning the numbers of units created for sale. Officials even prescribed modifications, primarily to the engine. As a result, many of the races were classified as "stock chassis." 
Speed was relevant to the Glidden Tour, but not the primary consideration. These were rally runs across hundreds of miles, sometimes more than a thousand. These events were sanctioned by the American Automobile Association (AAA). Officials used "Pathfinder" cars - a great promotional tool in itself - to deploy surveyors and automotive experts to plot courses over terrain that did not even meet the definition of what was road - dirt, gravel horse paths - in the day. Sometimes they were even required to ford creeks.
Winners were determined by the competitors' ability to reach checkpoints within a time window with minimal mechanical malfunction. Demerits were tallied against cars for any failures or apparent weakness. The reliability of the machine was the real test because this was all about proving the viability of not just specific models, but automobiles in general. The auto industry was in its nascent stages and most adults were still tugging the reins of horses from wagons and buggies. Consumers were skeptical and needed to be convinced that the newfangled contraptions were worth the cash outlay. 
The Glidden Tour was not really a spectator attraction. Yes, crowds gathered in the cities and towns that hosted the start, the finish, and checkpoints between, but they were not purchasing tickets. At its core, it was part rolling auto industry convention, part media event. Newspapermen were embedded in the event, many times riding along with an executive from one of the manufacturers. Because this was not ten-tenths, on-the-edge racing company officers such as Howard Marmon were frequently at the wheel. Some entries employed the services of professional drivers such as Johnny Aitken, "Jap" Clemens, and Webb Jay.
I think you will find this attachment particularly powerful because it is a boxscore-style presentation of salient facts: who, what, when, where. This concise format efficiently presents the basic facts for a big-picture look at this important history. This is your point of departure if you are looking to develop your knowledge and understanding of the Glidden Tour.
Again, First Super Speedway appreciates Ken's passion for this history and we're honored to share.

Glidden Tour.KJP_.4.16.2018.pdf80.27 KB