Jun 10 2010

The Royal Tourist in the Vanderbilt Cup Races (1904-1910)

In 1903 Edward Schurmer acquired control of the Hoffman Automobile and Manufacturing Company based in Cleveland, Ohio. He reorganized the company as the Royal Motor Company for the production of a new car called the Royal Tourist. As with many other automobile companies, Royal promoted their cars by entering the Vanderbilt Cup Races of 1904 , 1905 and 1910.


For the 1904 Vanderbilt Cup Race, the Royal Motor Company entered a 4-cylinder 35 HP Royal Tourist driven by Joe Tracy. The car was "a stock car changed to a racing car".


The company proudly promoted their entry in the automobile trade journals.


Joe Tracy and the #3 Royal Tourist at the Westbury starting line on Jericho Turnpike.


The Royal Tourist twisted its propeller shaft during the second lap and left the 1904 race. Reflecting its 17th place finish of the 18 cars entered, Royal ran this ad.


Royal Motor returned the following year for the 1905 American Trial to determine the five American entries for the Vanderbilt Cup Race. Royal's chief engineer Robert Jardine designed and built the car noting; “It is one of our regular models…We picked out one, slapped a racing seat on it and it was ready for the race.”


Since Joe Tracy was hired to drive a Locomobile for the Trial, engineer Jardine was also the #7 Royal Tourist's driver.


Although the Royal Tourist finished third in the Trial, it was not selected to compete in the Vanderbilt Cup Race. Royal Motor ran this ad in the 1905 Program Guide as a modest protest.


Royal encountered financial problems and manage to survive a receivership in 1907. Their final Vanderbilt Cup Race entry was this #30 Royal Tourist in the 1910 Race.


Driven by "P.H." Jardine, the Royal Tourist again broke down during second lap finishing 29th of the 30 cars. Financial problems continued and in 1911 the company merged with Croxton of Cleveland and the Acme Body & Veneer Company. Within months, the merger collapsed and the Royal Tourist marque was gone....and until last Sunday forgotten.


At last week's AACA Old Westbury Gardens Car Show, a beautiful blue touring car was parked four cars form the "Black Beast"...a 1910 Royal Tourist!


The 7-passenger Royal Tourist Model M-2 touring car is owned by Evan Price of Bellmore, New York who has provided these photos of his impressive car.




Thanks Evan for your contribution to VanderbiltCupRaces.com!


Jul 25 2010 galtamore 2:42 PM

you can park that in front of my house any time

Feb 11 2019 Peter Bristow 7:34 PM

My maternal grandfather, Emil Gairing, was superintendent of the tool room at Royal Motor Car Company during this era.  He later moved to Detroit and was founder president of the Gairing Tool Company.  His company made cutting tools that were sold worldwide.

Howard Kroplick

Very cool!

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