What Is the Oldest Car Race in the World?

Sarah | 07 - 01 - 2020
What Is the Oldest Car Race in the World

The oldest car race in the world was held from Paris to Bordeaux. Did you know? The world’s first car race was started by two French men who had an automobile shop in Paris. Emile Levassor and Rene Panhard started the idea of first car racing as a way to promote their business. The first car was developed in Germany in the 1880s. Some feared it would lead to mass casualties but a few welcomed the idea.

First Car Race to Redefine the History of Car Racing

The first car racing was held on June 13th in 1895. The first and oldest car race took place only with a handful of cars and their top speeds were only twenty kilometers per hour. Emile Levassor and Rene Panhard were long-term business partners who managed to secure a patent from Daimler. Initially, they sold Daimler cars from their automobile shop later they modified the actual engine and use their design. The Panhard-Levassor engine was a superior model to anything that the Germans could make.

History of the Oldest Car Race in the World

The first car race was held from Paris to Bordeaux and back to Paris. The first car racing covered a distance of 730 miles. The first car race took over two days, with a top speed of twenty kilometers, and the road was not good. The drivers had a bumpy ride. The French engineers started the oldest car race in the world with several journalists to advertise their new automobile and generate popular enthusiasm for the new invention.

1. Who Started the First Car Racing?
  • A. Charles Edgar Duryea his brother Frank
  • B. Emile Levassor and Rene Panhard
  • C. Gottlieb Wilhelm Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach
  • D. Karl Friedrich Benz

Car Engines: Front or Back?

In 1891, Levassor realized that the engine of the car had to be in front of the vehicle. They also developed a transmission system that was named after the two men. Their partnership helped France to be a leading nation in the automobile industry.

Old Car Racing with a Twin Cylinder and 750 RPM Engine

Levassor and his partner designed and built Panhard-Levassor with a twin-cylinder, 750 RPM engine. He easily won the race and was eleven hours ahead of Peugeot. However, he was disqualified for the technicality of the car and the second-placed Peugeot was declared the winner. Though he did not win, Levassor and his partner enjoyed the fame and attention they received.

This race did inspire the beginning of the Automobile Club de France and gave a great boost to the auto racing industry. Later, everyone who had cars started racing which laid the foundation for Formula One racing.

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