Vanderbilt and the “Race to Death”

Vanderbilt returned to Europe in May 1903 to compete among 216 cars in the infamous Paris-to-Madrid Race driving his 80-hp Mors. While it must have been disappointing at the time, a cracked cylinder on the first day of competition spared him exposure to the numerous accidents that earned the event the name “Race to Death.” At least eight people were killed during the race, including car maker Marcel Renault, ending the first great era of motor racing, the European city-to-city races on open roads.