The Great Race from New York To Paris in 1908 was a publicity stunt dreamed up by the New York Times. In 1908 6 cars left Times Square in New York city at a whopping 35 MPH heading to Paris from NY. Back in 1908 there were not to many cars and there were no roads as we have today, so these six cars drove through conditions beyond extreme.
The cars were bound for Alaska but when they got there the travel was impossible due to deep snow and melting rivers.With this obstacle in the way the cars were shipped back to Seattle,and them shipped to Japan to continue the race.
On July 30th the Thomas Flyer had reached Paris,but one of the guards would not let them into the country without a working headlight. One light worked on the car but the other was broken.A guy on a bicycle passing by heard the commotion and gave the driver his bicycle that had a headlight on it.They strapped the whole bike to the hood of the car and continued on.
With two cars left in the race barreling towards the finish line, the Protos had crossed the finish line first but received a 1 month penalty for taking short cuts and skipping Alaska and Japan.
So the Thomas Flyer was declared the winner of the Great Race.
Photo borrowed from the New York Times