Romantic Bon Voyage Party

One hundred years ago, on Feb. 12, 1908, a starter gun sent teams from the four superpowers of the day on the historic Around the World, New York to Paris Automobile Race. When the 1907 Thomas Flyer, which is owned by the National Automobile Museum, The Harrah Collection, crossed the finish line 22,000 miles later to win the race – America’s love affair with the automobile began. The car was no longer a toy of the rich, but a reliable means of transportation.

On Feb. 12, 2008, 100 years later, the National Automobile Museum, will celebrate the start of the Around the World, New York to Paris Automobile Race with a Romantic Bon Voyage party, just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Romantic Bon Voyage

The National Automobile Museum event from 7 to 9 p.m. Tues., Feb. 12 at the 10 S. Lake St. in downtown Reno will include:

  • A romantic elegant vintage “disrobe” featuring Lady Carolyn Loftis, who details the function of each garment as she discards it.
  • A ballroom dancing exhibition showcasing dances of 1908 from Never Enough Ballroom performance teams.
  • An opportunity to view priceless artifacts rarely removed from the museum archives.
  • Some insight into the Around the World, New York To Paris Race from women of the day.
  • Delectable refreshments fit for an evening of romance.
  • The Thomas Flyer Exhibit, featuring the 1907 Thomas Flyer that won the race, and a timeline depicting its unequalled victory.
  • 12 newly-commissioned oil paintings by Robert Cinkel depicting scenes of the Thomas Flyer’s adventures throughout the race, from river crossings, blizzards and sand storms to remarkable scenery.

The event benefits the National Automobile Museum. Admission is $25 for members and $35 for the public. Call the Museum at 775-333-9300 for reservations or E-mail

The Race

On Feb. 12, 1908, six racers from France, Germany, Italy and the lone American entry, the Thomas Flyer, embarked on a 22,000 mile odyssey around the world and traveled the wildest stretches of the world’s uncharted realms.

  • No race before or since has approached this contest of man and machine.
  • Race teams crossed the United States from New York to San Francisco in winter, a feat never before accomplished by an automobile.
  • They traversed the island of Japan, the first car ever to be seen in that country, and slogged across Siberia, Manchuria, Russia, Germany and France.
  • The Race was a skidding, shoveling, sleet-stinging, snow-clogging war against winter and it was a rain-drenching, mud-sinking battle against spring.
  • Race teams drove relentlessly without rest, worked late into the night making repairs, changed tires all too often and tested the limits of their endurance, health and sanity.
  • For the winning entry, victory was claimed after 169 days of fierce competition on July 30, 1908.

The exhibit is funded in part by a grant from Nevada Humanities.

Museum Information

The Museum is open Mon. – Sat. from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Sun. from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $4 for children 6 to 18 years. Children age 5 and younger are free.
Family memberships are available for $70 per year, which includes parents, their children and grandchildren under the age of 19. Individual memberships are $45.

Free parking is available in the Museum’s parking lot, off Mill Street. For more information, call (775) 333-9300 or visit

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