Motoring History: The Race That Changed Everything

HenryFord_youngIn the history of the Ford Motor Company, they call it the “race that changed everything.”  Henry Ford had founded the Detroit Automobile Company on August 5, 1899 and in January of 1901 the company was dissolved.  Henry Ford had already reinvented himself when he left home at age 16 and headed to Detroit to make his mark on the world.  In 1901 he would have to begin to reinvent himself once again.

On October 10, 1901 the Detroit Driving Club was holding a twenty-five lap racing event at the Grosse Point Race Track.  At that time, Alexander Winton had the best-selling gas-fueled passenger cars in America – he was also the best race driver.  But Winton wasn’t really interested in this particular race, that is until he struck a deal with race officials who allowed him to pick out the trophy (which, of course, he presumed to win).  There was also a cash prize of one thousand dollars.

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