the making of modern michigan

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Bloomfield Blossoms: p. 106-107
Smith, Kay, 1925-

Bloomfield Township Public Library

Automobile racing -- Michigan -- Bloomfield Township

Detroit Automobile Club

Pine Lake Country Club (Michigan

Item Number

part of 'Bloomfield Blossoms' by Kay Smith

text, image


THE CENTURY AUTO RACE AND THE FIRST AUTOMOBILE CLUB On a June Sunday afternoon in 1906, the farmers of Bloomfield were treated to an amazing sight. Over the placid hills came roaring, coughing, purring and snorting an array of horseless carriages. Through the dirt roads they careened, frightening the horses, thrilling the children, heralding the new life. The autos and their costumed drivers had come from the first Detroit Automobile Club, forerunner of The Automobile Club of Michigan, at Pine Lake. They were engaged in a race to Detroit and back from the clubhouse, a serious affair with prizes to anyone who could complete the journey in one day. The Club was founded June 23, 1902, just three years after Colonel Jacob Astor had formed the Automobile Club of America. Its purpose was to interest people in the automobile, and it succeeded upon the genius of its members. At the time of the race depicted here, the members included Russel A. Alger, Jr., Henry B. Joy, Dexter E. Ferry, Henry Ford, John F. Dodge, Horace E. Dodge, James Couzens, Horace H. Rackham, N. A. Hawkins, R. Hupp, E. LeRoy Pelletier and Colonel Edwin S. George. Colonel George suggested the club move to a more appropriate country setting and donated some land around Pine Lake. There, in 1905, the clubhouse was built which is today Pine Lake Country Club. A race was organized, with a prize for anyone who could make the round trip between Pine Lake and Detroit in one day. This race was run three consecutive years, 1906, 1907, and 1908. From a trophy at Pine Lake we chose the first race, 1906, as the subject of our illustration. Three Packards came in first, followed by a Peerless, a White and a Welch. Later races featured such exotic cars as a Pungs Finch, a Wayne, a Mitchell, a Thomas '24 and an Oakland as well as an Olds, Cadillac and Ford.

Bloomfield Blossoms:  p. 106-107 part 1 Bloomfield Blossoms:  p. 106-107 part 2

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