Jeff Mahl, great-grandson of George Shuster, the winner of The Great Auto Race of 1908, poses with the museum’s rare Thomas Flyer, which is the model of the car Shuster drove in the 1908 race. PHOTO COURTESY OF SEAL COVE AUTO MUSEUM

Historical event comes to life at auto museum 

SEAL COVE —The Seal Cove Auto Museum will bring a historical event to life on Sept. 23. 

Jeff Mahl will put on a mechanic overcoat and be transformed into his great-grandfather, George Shuster, while he recalls, with pictures, the stories of The Great Auto Race of 1908, told to him as a boy at Shuster’s knee. 

In 1908, George Shuster was the chief mechanic for the Thomas Motor Company in Buffalo, N.Y., when he got a phone call saying that the company had decided, at President Theodore Roosevelt’s urging, to enter an automobile in the New York to Paris race that was to start in New York City in a few days (Feb. 12, 1908).  

Shuster raced across three continents, going from New York to Paris in 169 days, to win the 22,000-mile race on July 30, 1908. The car was the American-made 1907 Thomas Flyer. That feat has never been equaled, and the U.S. holds the world record 113 years later. 

Tickets are available at at $10 for museum members and $15 for nonmembers. Children under 18 get in for free. Space is limited. 

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