Intercontinental and transcontinental marathon races were the significant part of motorsport in the 1900s. It started with the 1907 Peking – Paris race for almost 15 000 km. Next year even more ambitious challenge was held. The cars and drivers had to cover 16700 km from New York to Paris through US, Japan, Manchuria, Siberia and Europe. Six cars from 4 countries started the journey. Three cars (De Dion-Bouton, Motobloc, and Sizaire-Naudin) represented France, a Protos represented Germany, Zust represented Italy, and a Thomas Flyer represented the United States. The team of each car consisted of three members – a captain, mechanic / second driver and a mechanic or journalist. Thomas Flyer crew was racing driver Montague “Monty” Roberts as a captain and main driver, George Schuster as a mechanic and driver, and New York Times correspondent Walter Williams. Roberts withdrew from the Thomas team in Cheyenne after 40 days of driving to fulfill a previous obligation to drive in another race. His replacement was a young man named E. Linn Mathewson who was associated with the Thomas dealer in Wyoming. All three French competitors retired still in US, and 3 other continued to Asia and finally reached the destination. Thomas driven by George Schuster of Buffalo, NY and company arrived in Paris on July 30, 1908. German Protos, driven by Hans Koeppen, Hans Knape and Ernest Mass arrived in Paris four days earlier, but had been penalized a total of 30 days for not going to Japan and for shipping the Protos part of the way by railcar. This gave the victory to Thomas Flyer by a fantastic, albeit virtual, margin of 26 days. The Italian Zust of Emilio Sirtori, Antonio Scarfoglio and Henri Haaga arrived later in September 1908.
|1908||Intercontinental Runs||New York – Paris Trial|
|Emilio Sirtori / Antonio Scarfoglio / Henri Haaga|