Italian Vincenzo Lancia was an Early Favorite

Competing against the five American cars, France, Germany, and Italy started 14 of their greatest cars and drivers. F.I.A.T. provided five cars for Italy, with engines ranging from 90 to 120 hp. The most prominent driver in the race was Italian Vincenzo Lancia who won the 1904 Florio Cup, covering the 231 mile Italian course with a then astounding average speed of 71.88 mph. The affable Lancia was both the crowd and gamblers’ favorite and later went on to develop his own car company.