On June 21st and 22nd, 1907, Detroit hosted one of ten 24-hour races held across the U.S.. Detroit wisely chose to hold the race over the longest days of the year. As people woke to the Saturday morning edition of newspapers, they learned that Herb Lytle, well known Pope Toledo driver, was leading a pack of nationally known drivers and cars. A Ford Six driven by Frank Kulick and 60 hp Thomas Flyer driven by C. A. Coey of Chicago were in second and third place.
For context, drivers included Eddie Bald driving an American Underslung, Mongini driving a Stevens Duryea, and Kulick with a Ford. Eddie Bald would later be named driver of the year for 1907 by a national racing association. Mongini was a well known, exciting and excitable driver of the era. Kulick had been associated with several records as a driver for Ford. Coey was a well known Thomas driver, agent and personality from Chicago.
The drivers have been racing around the track since ten o'clock the night before when the race began. It will go all day, ending at ten o'clock tonight......
Excerpts of an article printed a week after the race indicate the crowd at Detroit was the largest ever to witness an automobile race:
This photograph taken sometime during the day (22nd) shows the three leaders at one point racing side by side.
Over the next few days I'll post articles leading up to, and during this race. Articles appeared in newspapers across the U.S., with updates printed in special Saturday editions as hour by hour news of the race were wired across the country.
An earlier report went out via the "Detroit Free Press," after three hours were completed at 1:00 a.m.
The Ford was moving up. With 21 hours left.