In 1908 only the ultra-rich owned cars (mostly for racing around circular tracks) and therefore there were few roads to drive them on. The automobile industry was in its infancy and desperate to find a place for cars in the lives of regular folks.
To achieve this goal, a few automobile makers, The New York Times and the French newspaper, Le Matin, decided to co-sponsor a “race around the world” to promote the car as a means of long-distance travel. Six teams (three French, one Italian, one German and one from the US) began the race in New York City with the end goal of Paris, France. The race would take these teams across the United States, the Behring Strait, Siberia, Asia and eventually to Europe! Wow.
The Great Race: The Amazing Round-the-World Auto Race of 1908 tells how challenging terrain, extreme weather conditions, eccentric personalities and the lack of drivable roads, auto mechanics and car parts made this race a competition like no other! The Great Race includes many original photographs that help bring this story to life.
When you’ve finished the book, you’ll enjoy watching the 1965 film, The Great Race, starring Tony Curtis, Jack Lemon and Natalie Wood!
Middle Grade reading level, 144 pages, non-fiction, books for boys, published in 2008.