Ocean to Ocean Contest
The New York to Seattle Race of 1909

The great Ocean to Ocean Contest of 1909 was run from New York to Seattle for the opening of the Yukon Alaska Pacific Exposition of 1909 in Seattle Washington, by M. Robert Guggenheim.

Six racers left New York on June 1, 1909. Two new 4cyl. 22hp FORD Model T's, cars #1 and #2; 4cyl. 46hp STERNS # 3 (which dropped out and was towed back to NY); 6 cyl. 48hp ACME #4; 4cyl. 45hp SHAWMUT; and 4cyl. 55hp ITALA.

22 days and 55 minutes later, FORD #2 reached Seattle and was declared the winner, traveling 4,106 miles at an average speed of 7.76 mph over the elapsed time. The SHAWMUT placed 2nd, with FORD #1 third place, and the ACME 4th place while the ITALA did not finish the race.

However, months later, the race officials declared the FORDs had disqualified themselves, and awarded 1st place to the SHAWMUT. But the world became to know the lightweight little FORD Model T was the remarkable automobile that would take the world by storm, selling more than any other early car in history. Over the years from 1909 to 1927, 15,000,000 Model T's would cover the globe.

Replica of the Ford # 2 Model T that won the race.

Close-up of engine valve side of the # 2 racer (replica) showing the early 1909 open valve engine.