The greatest race you’ll ever hear about

If you’re familiar with the film The World’s Fastest Indian starring the incredibly good Sir Anthony Hopkins then you’ll know of the rough time the character in the movie goes through while chasing his racing dreams. If you haven’t seen it, go out and watch it right now because it’s bloody brilliant and you’ll be cheering on his efforts the entire way through.

And once you’ve done that, come back and I’ll tell you about one of the most badly thought out and incredible humorous races the world has ever cobbled together. A race so bad, it make’s Burt Munro’s trip overseas look like the greatest getaway holiday ever.

Actually I’ll do better than that, I’ll point you in the direction of three amazing story tellers who will do a far better job than I ever will..

What I’m talking about is the (in)famous 1908 New York to Paris car race. Yes take the time for your mind to hurt itself trying to figure out the logistics of driving a car all to the way to Paris…from the US. Note that it included the hilarious idea of driving over the Behring sea when it was frozen.

And of course since it’s 1908 and cars were an emerging technology back then, you could just imagine how blistering fast these things went (er..), how jam packed they were with safety features (um…) and how comfortable the ride would be when you’re driving halfway across the world in something like this:

Mind you that wasn’t the classiest vehicle on the track at the time. This looks amazing for something built 110 years ago..

So what went wrong in this absolutely lunatic idea for a car race?

Absolutely everything, including neighbours, mad farmers and gentlemen quitting being gentlemen. It has to be one of the most mental races in the history of automobiles and one of the hilariously awful in terms of what went wrong. Which is why you need to listen to the episode of The Dollop podcast that explores the race from concept to completion. It’s a laugh riot the entire ride from whoa to go and the incredible comedy editions of special guest James Adomian just take the fun and hi jinks to a completely new level.

So go here, download the episode, laugh your nuts off and be thankfully that nobody has come up with a Melbourne to Madrid lunacy race…yet.

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