September 7, 1896 -“Get a Horse!”

When the first auto race to take place on an American race track began on this day in 1896 it started so slow that spectators were shouting, “Get a horse!” The race, sponsored by automobile manufacturers hoping to attract new buyers, took place at the Narragansett Trotting Park in Cranston, Rhode Island. It marked the first time a US auto race was held on a track, opposed to on public streets. Narragansett was a one mile-long dirt oval track at the state fairgrounds that was generally reserved for horse racing. But on this day seven cars took the field to participate in the five lap “Providence Horseless Carriage Race.” After the trot of a start more than 60,000 spectators became wooed as they watched as a Riker Electric complete the five lap race first, averaging about 20 miles per hour.

The start of the first US auto race on a track

Along with the Riker there were five internal combustion vehicles and one other electric car. Second place went to the other electric car, built by Electric Carriage and Wagon Company, and third place was snagged by a Duryea Motor Wagon.

September 6, 1891 – Peugeot debuts the Type 3 Quadricycle

On this day in 1891 Peugeot released the Type 3 Quadricycle, an internal combustion vehicle of which 64 were produced between 1891 and 1894. It was the second petrol powered auto from Peugeot, following an attempt at building steam powered vehicles. After company founder Armand Peugeot consulted with early automobile engineers Gottlieb Daimler and Emile Levassor he became convinced internal combustion was the future of transportation. His Type 3 featured an engine designed by Daimler that produced 2hp, giving the vehicle an approximate top speed of 11 mph.

To debut the Type 3 Armand Peugeot ran a demonstration model in the inaugural Paris-Brest-Pariscycle race beginning on this day in 1891. The car ran for 2,045 kilometres (1,271 miles), from Peugeot’s factory in to Paris, and then back to Valentigney. It had an average speed of 14.7 km/h (9.1 mph), and suffered no major malfunctions. The demonstrator would later become the first Peugeot sold to the public.