1897: A Lackluster Motorsport Season Concludes Early.

1897 did not really have a “major” motorsport race, at least not on the scale as seen in 1896.  I share in Gerald Rose’s criticism of the season that, “It is certainly due to this lack of competition that the falling off in [technical] improvement is due.  There was very little difference in the cars of 1896 and 1897, such improvements as appeared being of a minor character.”

1897 Paris to Trouville.

The Paris to Trouville race was scheduled for August 14th, 1897.  There were two classes, as had recently become customary: one for light motorcycles and the other for proper automobiles.

Basically, the short of it is that the race was a second-consecutive victory for one Mr.

Das benzinbetriebene Dreirad Voiturette von Lé...
Das benzinbetriebene Dreirad Voiturette von Léon_Bollée, 1896; Damit legte er die Strecke Le Mans – Paris in sieben Stunden zurück. 650 ccm, Cité de l’Automobile – Musée National – Collection Schlumpf, Mülhausen, Frankreich (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jamin rocking a Bollée.  A Mr. Viet had a bad crash, due to cruising around a 90-degree off-camber bend, much to quickly.

On a positive note, the winning speeds of these early races continued to climb.  This race was won, by a vehicle similar to the one pictured, at an average speed of 28.2 miles per hour.  The fastest car, a Panhard et Levassor clocked in at 25.2 miles per hour.

A Personal Note on the Lackluster.

As I am quickly discovering, one of the challenges of this blog will be to effectively, efficiently–yet interestingly–deal with the uneventful.  Let me be completely honest.  Not much anything of significance happened in 1897.  Perhaps, on some level, that is–in and of itself–modestly useful to point out.

Regardless, I remain excited about this project.  Even in the face of minutia, I am firmly convinced with absolute confidence that GPevolved is preserving a story worth telling in a unique format.

Stay tuned for next post on “The Origin of Motoring in the UK” (from a Yankee, as it were).

/ Travis Turner of GPevolved.com

Primary Source:

A Record of Motor Racing: 1894 – 1908, Gerald Rose (2d. ed. 1949)

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