1895 Times-Herald Expo Run (Chicago-Waukegan-Chicago)
1895 Times-Herald Expo Run (Chicago-Waukegan-Chicago, November 2nd; 151km) Pos Driver Entrant Average Speed 1. Oscar Mueller Mueller Benz 15.8 kph Retirements J Frank Duryea Duryea Motor Wagen n/a
The first American race was announced on July 9th 1895 in the Chicago Times-Herald, with further details being published on July 11th and 14th, before a provisional running date of November 2nd was announced in its July 16th copy.
A September 5th entry deadline was also unveiled on July 16th, with the contest limited to “automatic carriages (also known as ‘horseless carriages’)” that carry three or more wheels and carry two or more people. All vehicles were permitted to be fuelled by petrol, gasoline, electricity or steam.
Awards for the contest being judged upon the following criteria:
General utility; speed; cost; economy; general appearance and excellence of design.
Pre-event testing for vehicles began on October 29th and continued through to the 31st, with all machines due for final pre-event appearances by 1pm on November 1st (or risk disqualification); however despite a 100-car entry list, only two started due to a lack of ready machines.
Eventually, the original event was declared an “Expo Run” (with a prize of $500 US for the “victor”) and, as such, is not considered the first motor race on American soil. The race was rescheduled to November 28th (see entry here).
During the course of the Expo Run, Duryea’s machine was damaged when it went into a ditch overtaking a farmer’s wagon.