1904 Oldsmobile In Front Of The Plaza Hotel For Glidden Tour

1904 Oldsmobile Was Old In 1946

When I was a child, Oldsmobile was a brand that I imagined was designed and driven by old people. Figuring the name starts with “Old” it’s easy for an eight-year-old to come up with that natural conclusion.

But I would eventually learn it’s called Oldsmobile because the founder was Ransom E. Olds.

Anyhow, this news photo caption explains why the roofless, windowless, antique was in New York.

Off On Glidden Tour
New York – Fred Hoyle and Miss Reba White are shown in a 1904 one cylinder, tiller-steered Oldsmobile at the gathering of the old autos at New York’s Plaza Hotel in preparation for the Glidden Auto Tour. They drove the vehicle from New Hope, PA. Leaving New York , the cavalcade of old cars will wend through Albany, Syracuse, Buffalo, Detroit and Cleveland and finally stop in Columbiana, Ohio. 8-17-1946 Photo: Acme

The Glidden Tour began in 1904. The tour’s purpose was to increase public acceptance of cars and have safer and better roads constructed. The event would test the automobiles competing in a reliability and endurance test. Essentially it was a race going hundreds of miles and lasting for several days. The Glidden Tour ceased in 1913.

In 1946 the Glidden Tour would return. This time as a showcase for old cars traveling with many participants dressing in period costumes. Along the route people would come out to see the traveling antique auto rally.

The Glidden Tour still exists today with The Vintage Motor Car Club of America awarding a trophy to the winning car. From the AAA web site: “Unlike a car show, the tour emphasizes driving a pre-determined route. To win the Revival AAA Glidden Tour trophy, participants must complete the entire tour without requiring the aid of AAA roadside assistance and have the best average time over the course of the week.”

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