Siberian Leg - NY to Paris

The articles in the attachments below come from the Indianapolis Star from June and July 1908. The topic is the New York to Paris auto race, also known as "The Great Race." An ambitious undertaking in 1908 it pitted automobiles from France, Germany, Italy and the United States against each other in a grueling struggle - especially when you consider the state of roads (in many cases nonexistent) and the primitive nature of the sub-100 horsepower, wooden wheel cars of the day. Six cars with teams representing the nations (Check attachment 1908GreatRace021608 of this article) left New York city to the cheers of some 250,000 people in February 1908. In the end the American entry, the Thomas, would prevail in somewhat of an upset as European marques were generally seen as technologically superior to American. For the Thomas Motor Company the victory was their bright, shining moment as the corporation would fail and slip into history 10 years hence.
These articles describe some of the challenges of crossing Siberia. The first, in attachment GreatRace060708, also discusses the prize awards for the first three finishers of the race when they arrived in Paris - which, at the time of publication, was still weeks away. The practicality of cars passing the Bering Strait up in Alaska had been reassessed in the middle of the race and because it was not deemed feasible the finishing awards were changed. Why that made a difference I am not clear on but future research may reveal the answer. The article also mentions how difficult the travel across sometimes muddy, sometimes frozen Siberia was - with its essentially nonexistent roads. By this time the race had boiled down to a showdown between the German Protos and American Thomas teams. In lieu of roads the teams took to driving on the Trans-Siberian Railroad tracks. At least they could be sure about where they were going...
The article in attachment GreatRace070508 provides more detail into the back and forth battle of the American and German teams in the backdrop of Russia and more specifically Siberia and the railroad. At the point of publication the Americans held about a 24 hour advantage on the Germans.

GreatRace060708.pdf564.57 KB
GreatRace070508.pdf221.96 KB