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Glidden tour 1903

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I found this intersting article about early automotive pioneer. The article was publiced in a Finnish newspaper called Uusi Aura. It was publiced here in Turku, Finland.

Enxlose is a copy of newspaper article which tells about the tour Mr. and Mrs. Charles Glidden took to Artic circle. The artikle tells that the coupe and their car has arrived in Haaparanta (Sweden) Saturday 22 nd of August 1903. They were coming from Luulaja (Sweden). Their journey started from Ireland. Then they went to England, Denmark and Sweden. Their car has 16 hp engine and weighs 1700 kg. The average speed for the car is 30 to 40 km/h. During the last four years the Glidden´s have mostly been traveling. This summer (1903) they driven 37 000 km.

Best wishes from Turku Finland


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I guess The Gliddens used this same Napier while touring in Northern Sweden that is shown in a photo taken in London in 1902.

Nowadays it is possible to read newspaper on your own computer in home. Finnish newspaper are in digital form from 1771 till the end of year 1910. Newspapers are a great source for information on early automotive history.

Best wishes from Turku, Finland

Juha Kaitanen


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  • 1 month later...


Great find in that Suomi newspaper! The Glidden Trophy, below, was presented annually to the

winning team of the Glidden Tours from 1905 to 1913, except for 1912 when there was no tour.

Sitting atop the porcelain-enamelled globe was a small, silver model of the Napier the Gliddens

used on their world tour, but the little Napier car has long since disappeared.


The trophy is displayed at AAA World Headquarters outside Orlando, FL.

The tours were held under the auspices of AAA.

In 1959 this brass tour badge and commemmorative pin were created for that year's Glidden Tour,

and these items pop up on ebay occasionally. They depict the original trophy complete with the Napier,

and the grille badge shows the route of the '59 tour through the Midwest. I have two of each and

they are some of my favorite little treasures.


There are two 2-page articles in The Bulb Horn, Summer, 1958, (the VMCCA magazine) that detail

Glidden's world tour, reprinted from the Mid-July 1911, Country Life in America. (The VMCCA

and the AACA have alternately held the annual modern Glidden Tours since 1946). One of those period

articles states that the Gliddens reached the Arctic Circle in Sweden on August 16, 1903, the northern-

most point yet attained in motoring. A fascinating man, and tremendous times in automotive history!

Hyvää päivää,


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Thanks for the info - I've seen the small pins for sale in some antique shops and of course on ebay and always wondered about them. Suspected since so many seemed to be around they were probably later momentos of the event rather than original like some would lead you to believe. Any idea what they should bring price-wise and how many were made?


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Terry, the '59 Revival Glidden had 380 cars participating, according to the Oct-Nov & Christmas '59 Antique Automobile, in which the tour was covered. They covered alot of ground with stops at Studebaker-Packard in South Bend, a drive around the Indy track, with visits to the GM Tech Center, Greenfield Village & the HF Museum. FoMoCo feted the tourists at a cocktail party and banquet at the Veterans Memorial Bldg, where the speaker was the company's Chief Body Engineer, Gordon Buehrig.

There's no mention of how many badges and pins were made, but given all the heavy hitters at the tour stops, I would guess somewhere north of 500 each. It's noted that the pin and badge were "taken from the original 1909 tour badge," so there must be some originals from 1909 out there, too. The badge is two pieces, with the trophy affixed to it, and neither pin nor badge have any maker's mark in the casting. I would think the 1909 version would be marked, but don't know.

I'll have mine in Philly this February so you can look it over. As for price, I've paid between $10 and $30 for pins and badges, but have seen the pin alone go for upwards of $50.


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