The First American Grand Prix

The Savannah Auto Races, 1908–1911

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SKU: 9780786476978 Categories: , , ,

About the Book

This book provides an in-depth look at the great motor races that took place in Savannah, Georgia, in the golden era of early road racing: the Grand Prize of the Automobile Club of America and the Vanderbilt Cup. By examining Savannah’s earlier fame in national bicycle racing competitions and its ties to the powerful dynasties who controlled the racing world, the book explains how and why Savannah was chosen. It details the construction of the course, reveals why the races and course were considered “America’s greatest” by international racing experts of the period and includes many biographies of the drivers who came to Savannah. Finally, the book explores the theories and complexities of why Savannah’s races and road racing in general came to an end.

About the Author(s)

Tanya A. Bailey is the owner and curator of the Great Savannah Races Museum in Savannah, Georgia. She is also an award-winning author, motorsports journalist, media relations volunteer and member of the Horseless Carriage Foundation and Society of Automotive Historians. She lives in Savannah.

Bibliographic Details

Tanya A. Bailey
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 240
Bibliographic Info: 105 photos, 4 maps, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7697-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1522-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Preface 1
Prologue: Early Racing in Savannah 5
1. The Automobile Club of America and the American Automobile Association 15
2. Early Racing in the South 25
3. America’s Finest Course, of Course! 31
4. March 1908 Drivers 47
5. From Triumph to Tragedy in Savannah 61
6. Drivers of the International Light Car and American Grand Prize Races of 1908 80
7. International Light Car Race of 1908 112
8. American Grand Prize of 1908 120
9. Drivers of the 1910 and 1911 Races 135
10. Cars and Races of 1910 147
11. The November 27, 1911, Races: The Tiedeman Trophy, the Savannah Challenge, and the Vanderbilt Cup 167
12. American Grand Prize of 1911 179
13. What Happened to the Great Savannah Races After 1911? 197
Epilogue 205
Appendix: Specifications and Race Results
Specifications: Cars of 1911 206
Race Results, 1908 208
Race Results, 1910 209
Race Results, 1911 210
Notes 212
Bibliography 220
Index 222

Book Reviews & Awards

  • Excellence in Public History—Coastal Museum Association. Local History Advocacy Award—Georgia Archives
  • “fantastic retrospective…definitely a must-read”—Horseless Carriage
  • “profusely illustrated…belongs on the book shelf of anyone interested in automobile racing in the early years of the Twentieth Century”—SAH Journal
  • “This book is by an award winning writer who grew up in racing and has produced an award wining book for a serious reference and our enjoyment. It is one of our favorites and we highly recommend it”—Victory Lane
  • “fantastic retrospective…Bailey’s attention to detail here is evident, as well as what obviously was a great deal of painstaking research in preparation of this book…highly recommend…a must-read. Congratulations to Tanya for providing such a fantastic book”—Horseless Carriage Foundation
  • “Bailey, is a passionate storyteller and thorough researcher. She approaches her subject with an unabashed enthusiasm…dozens of captivating images and maps”—The Journal of Southern History
  • “extremely well-researched…this very readable history was obviously a labor of love and a definite add to any automotive bookshelf”—Antique Automobile.