The French Clement-Bayard

The prestige of the Vanderbilt name drew many leading European manufacturers and drivers to the race. Cars entered by France (6), USA (5), Germany (5), and Italy (2) were among the 18 starters. The French cars included three 90-hp Panhards, a 60-hp Renault, an 80-hp De Dietrich, and an 80-hp #12 Clement-Bayard (pictured above at the starting line). At the wheel of the De Dietrich was one of the leading European drivers, Fernand Gabriel, who finished second in the 1903 Gordon Bennett Race and was the declared winner of the 1903 Paris-Madrid Race. The German cars were all Mercedes, each owned by Americans. Two 90-hp F.I.A.T. cars represented Italy, one owned by Willie K’s cousin, Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt.