Gordon Bennett! Michelin celebrates anniversary in Clermont Ferrand
Over the weekend, Michelin celebrated the 110th anniversary of the 1905 Gordon Bennett Cup race, which was held in the tyre maker’s home town. To mark the occasion, 50 cars built before 1919 made the journey to Clermont Ferrand, France to follow the route of the famous race.
Following its victory in Germany the previous year, France was given the honour of organising the sixth and final Gordon Bennett Cup in 1905. Clermont Ferrand was chosen to host the 548 kilometre race, which consisted of four laps of a 137 kilometre course created by the Michelin brothers. Six nations each entered three cars, and the Cup went to French driver Léon Théry driving a Brasier. Théry’s car was shod with Michelin tyres, as were the cars that finished second, third and fourth.
“In addition to the traditional smooth tyres, Michelin offered antiskid tyres, which were simply marvellous. I saw that these tyres were undaunted by even the sharpest braking which would have reduced to shreds more makeshift assemblies of fabric, rubber and steel rivets. The Michelin Man’s latest creation is most praiseworthy,” wrote Maurice Chérié, reporting on the race for France Automobile, 5 July 1905.