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Saturday, October 10, 2009

‘THE GREAT AUTO RACE OF 1908’ TOPIC OF PRESENTATION AT PITT-BRADFORD

replica of the 1907 Thomas Flyer that won the Great Auto Race. It was created by Frame 30 Productions Lt. for a two-hour documentary on the race. On Oct. 13 at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, Jeff Mahl, great-grandson of the man who drove the Flyer, will give a multi-media presentation about the race.



‘THE GREAT AUTO RACE OF 1908’ TOPIC OF PRESENTATION AT PITT-BRADFORD

BRADFORD, Pa. – Jeff Mahl, whose great-grandfather raced an automobile from New York to Paris in 1908, a feat no one else has matched, will share stories of the trek on Tuesday, Oct. 13, at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

The free program, “The Great Auto Race of 1908: N.Y. to Paris,” will be presented at 7 p.m. in the Mukaiyama University Room of the Frame-Westerberg Commons. Sponsors are Friends of Hanley Library, University of Pittsburgh at Bradford History/Political Science Club and Pat and H.L. “Woody” Woodruff of Bradford.

With more than 250,000 onlookers cheering on the team, Mahl’s great-grandfather George Schuster Sr. of Buffalo, N.Y., a member of the American team of the Great Race, started the journey at Times Square in New York City on Feb. 12, 1908.

The crew traversed in a 1907 Thomas Flyer through three continents and more than 22,000 miles in 169 days, often driving over terrain without roads and in the dead of winter. Many people also had never seen an automobile.

“The race was an epic international event, matching the best in automotive technology of the world super powers, Germany, France, Italy and the United States,” said Dr. Holly J. Spittler, president of the Friends of Hanley Library and associate dean of student affairs. “The story is told in first person, a unique perspective, just as Jeff heard the story told to him by his great- grandfather.

“The multi-media presentation includes glimpses into what really happened, with many stories and images never before published. It shows the human side of the participants, as well as giving a true appreciation for the marvelous machines that propelled those daring men around the world.”

Additional information is available by contacting Spittler at (814) 362-7657 or spittler@pitt.edu.

For disability-related needs, contact the Office of Disability Resources and Services at 814-362-7609 or arj4@pitt.edu.

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