Vintage Video Shows What Racing Looked Like 120 Years Ago

28 Janeiro 2022 - motor1

Racing Cars in 1902

See motorsport at the turn of the 20th century.

A few weeks ago, we went back to the '30s thanks to some glorious, restored footage from the decade. It was filmed in New York City, and the video's clarity made it an immersive experience. This time around, we're going back even further.

Imagine yourself in the early 1900s with some of the most significant inventions ramping up development at the time. One of them is the automobile, and some wealthy folks and industrialists decided to take some of those out for a race. For those living during that era, it was probably quite the spectacle.

If you're wondering what it was like to see those cars in action in their heyday, the folks from King Rose Archive have a treat for you. What they have here is a race around a European countryside, circa 1902. This is impressive archive footage given that the film camera hit the mainstream just a few years prior. Even then, these were not the most affordable items around.

This video should prove a treat for antique (or veteran) era car spotters. Given that several inventors and investors dipped their toes in auto manufacturing, identifying the exact and model of the cars here will be a challenge. Nonetheless, it's fascinating to see race cars from 120 years ago in action. The races were also nothing like the ones that run today. The race was run on dirt since there weren't a lot of paved roads at the time. Perhaps the closest modern equivalent would be rallying or endurance trials.

What you're watching is likely to be one of the earliest recorded races in motorsport history. A quick Google search suggests that these could be snippets of the 1902 Paris to Vienna Trail. If so, that race was won by Marcel Renault, the brother of Louis and Fernand Renault. The company that the brothers formed became more popular because of the publicity. The rest, they say, is history.

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