Following up on my posts of February 17, 2008 and July 8, 2008, the delayed commemorative re-run of the 1908 New York-to-Paris “Great Race” will come to life later this week. Since the race was delayed in May (now set to start April 25, 2009), Luke Rizzuto and other fans have organized a US-only event called The Longest Auto Race Centennial. Riding with Luke will be Jeff Mahl, great-grandson of George Schuster, winner of the grueling 1908 race. Here is a great video of Luke Rizzuto and his 1918 Chevy:
The 3,700-mile cross-country event will start in New York City on October 18, 2008, and finish in San Francisco on November 8. Much of the 21-day route will follow the Lincoln Highway from coast to coast — click HERE for a full itinerary. All are invited to log onto their website and join the tour for even one day with no fees or rigid regulations.
Luke’s wife Joan-E Rizzuto wrote me, “The excitement and momentum are building significantly, considering we only took over the organizational part of it six weeks ago. Who knew? It must be that this race is NOT about money or glory, but was born out of people’s desire to authentically and respectfully honor those early-day automotive pioneers. Those participants had no roads, AAA service, gas stations or auto parts stores to make their journey less challenging. If you read the accounts of what George Schuster encountered, it is truly humbling.”