Ocean to Ocean by Model T
Henry Ford and the
1909 Transcontinental Auto Contest
This is interesting.
Fords with several violations of the rules, including bribing a ferry operator to
delay the passage of the Shawmut car; sending in a replacement driver from
Seattle while stuck in Snoqualmie Pass; and illegally replacing an axle and an
engine on Ford No. 2.64 At the time Robert Guggenheim, who acted as referee,
determined there was insufficient evidence behind the charges. In November
1909, however, the Automobile Club of America reversed Guggenheim’s ruling
and threw out the Ford victory on the grounds that the engine on the winning car
had been changed in Idaho.65
Those associated with the Ford crew always maintained that they had not
cheated. But with Henry Ford’s personal prestige on the line, and that of the
entire Ford Motor Company, there was enormous pressure for the Model T to
win. Years later C. J. Smith, the mechanic on Ford No. 2, admitted that the
engine might possibly have been changed en route without his knowledge “by
one of the many Ford dealers who were eager to see it win.”
Ya, they cheated.
Cheating is not new. Post WWII Harley-Davidson was claiming wins of of HRD Vincent. The photo sessions would show a rider on a bike, leg over the fuel tank with the Letters H - D exposed. Yep that's a Harley.