On the 100th anniversary of the "Greatest Auto Race" of 1908, which proved the viability of the new-fangled automobile by racing from New York to Paris, a reincarnation of the famous event - the "Great Race 2008" - will see forty teams attempt to cover much of the same route, for a $1 million purse.
The forty teams will be equally divided between two classes, vintage automobiles and alternative-fuel vehicles. The latter will be tasked with completing the 22,000 mile rally-race in 80 days. The organizers hope that the event will demonstrate the commercial viability of alternative fuel vehicles in much the same way that the original event helped launch the automobile to commercial success.
The event will start in New York City, 100 years to the day after the start of the "Greatest Auto Race." The original race was won by the American team's Thomas Flyer driven by George Schuster, with a world-record elapsed time of 169 days. Schuster and his team still hold the world record today.