April 30, 2007

AAA returns 1911 Glidden trophy to South Carolina city

Heathrow, Florida – The American Automobile Association (AAA) has returned a 1911 trophy to the city of Anderson, South Carolina after a 96-year absence. The ornate silver punchbowl was presented to the AAA by the city in 1911, whereupon it became one of several perpetual prizes offered to participants in the Glidden Automobile Reliability Tours, sponsored by AAA from 1904 to 1913.

At the time, the trophy was valued at US$1,200, approximately US$25,000 in today’s dollars. The punchbowl is engraved with an image of the Anderson County Courthouse and AAA’s early logos.

“The return of the Anderson Touring Trophy to its hometown after so many years is especially appropriate at this time in our city’s history,” says Terence Roberts, mayor of Anderson. “So great was the need for improved infrastructure that money for the trophy was contributed by the citizens of Anderson to assist AAA in encouraging better roads and services for travellers, and to help put our community on the map. Today, our citizens are justifiably proud of the redevelopment efforts that are well underway in transforming Anderson into one of the state’s most attractive business and cultural centres.”

The 1911 tour, which ran from October 13 to 26, covered 1,476 miles (2,375 km) from New York to Jacksonville, Florida. Many of the vehicles got stuck in swollen water crossings or in mud on unfinished roads. The winning team was fielded by the Maxwell Motor Car Company (which eventually became Chrysler) and was driven by Governor Hoke Smith of Georgia, who won both the Anderson and Glidden Trophy.

The Anderson Touring Trophy will be on public display in Anderson for one year; afterwards, AAA and the city will alternate custody of the trophy every other year.

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