09.06.07

Schumer Urges Planners Of Historic 2008 "Great Race Centennial Celebration" To Remain True To Original Course And Pass Through Buffalo

The City of Buffalo is an Important Piece of Great Race History, as Home to 1908 winner George Schuster and his Buffalo-made Automobile, the Thomas FlyerCentennial Race Planners Currently Re-Routing 2008 Race through Ottawa and Canada, excluding Buffalo from this Historic CelebrationSchumer: Remaining Loyal to Race's Original Route will Appropriately Commemorate both

In anticipation of the 2008 centennial celebration of the New York City to Paris Automobile Race of 1908, the Greatest Auto Race, Senator Charles E. Schumer today urged race planners to maintain its original route and pass through the City of Buffalo. The current route for the 2008 race unfairly bypasses Buffalo, home to the 1908 winner George Schuster and his Buffalomade automobile, the Thomas Flyer. In a letter to Rally Partners, Inc. CEO Bill Ewing, Schumer stressed the importance of this history to both the race itself and the City of Buffalo.

 

"I kindly urge Rally Partners, Inc. to amend the race to pass through Buffalo - as it did in 1908," said Schumer. "This change will both commemorate the city's winning role in the Great Race, and more closely resemble the route's original trajectory for the centennial celebration. It is an important part of the City of Buffalo's history, and any reenactment of the Great Race should recognize this."

 

Historically, the 1908 Great Automobile Race generated significant interest in the mass production of automobiles and the construction of major roadways. Buffalo is strongly linked to these movements as an early center of automobile and automobile parts production and a leader in transforming the urban landscape to facilitate high speed traffic. In 1901 Buffalo proudly claimed to have more asphaltpaved streets than any other city in the world. It was a leader, before Detroit, in experimental automobile production, and was home to many progenitors in automobile manufacturing such as the Buffalo Electric Vehicle Company and the PierceArrow Motor Car Company. The first integrated automobile plant in the world, designed by famed industrial architect Albert Kahn in 1904, was the Pierce Arrow plant on Elmwood Avenue. The Thomas Flyer plant, located on Niagara Street, is still extant and is now home to one of Buffalo's largest companies, Rich Products.

 

Rally Partners, Inc. is currently planning The Great Race 2008: New York to Paris. The race will depart New York City on May 30 and travel 35,000 kilometers to Paris to finish on August 2, 2008. The current route planned for the 2008 race bypasses Buffalo and now travels from New York City to Ottawa and then west through Canada.

 

"I strongly believe the Great Race 2008 will gain in publicity and fanfare by following as closely as possible the race's original route through Buffalo, the home of the winning driver and car, George Schuster and the Thomas Flyer," Schumer concluded in the letter. "When President Teddy Roosevelt said upon the completion of the Great Race in 1908, 'I like people who do something, not the good man who stays at home,' he most certainly had people like George Schuster of Buffalo in mind."

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