STOCKBRIDGE — Mr. and Mrs. Stanley B. Smith of East Main Street, together with their 1929 du Pont Speedster, will participate in the 23rd annual revival Glidden Tour in Manchester, Vt., beginning tomorrow.

The first Glidden Tour was held in 1905. Boston millionaire Charles J. Glidden, an avid motor tourist who wished to popularize touring and at the same time bring to the public's attention the appalling condition of the nation's roads, initiated the tour as a competition in automobile reliability and endurance.

On July 11, 1905, the entrants left New York for a 10-day New England tour, which included an overnight stop at the old Aspinwall Hotel in Lenox. Bellamy Partridge reports in his book, "Fill 'Er Up!" "they were stared at by some of the most exclusive matriarchs in the whole of New England."

While it was not Glidden's intention to include automobile manufacturers in the tour, they joined anyway, welcoming the opportunity to prove the merits of their machines, and they made the Glidden Tours popular for almost a decade. The last regular tour was held in 1914. The tours were revived after World War II by antique car buffs and have been held annually ever since.

Smith's du Pont is one of only 30 left in the world. It has won numerous awards at shows and meets and was one of 10 cars in the United States selected after competition to compete against a team of similar British cars in the Anglo-American tour of 1957, a rally-type tour over more than 1,500 miles through Pennsylvania, New England and Long Island.

According to Smith only 600 du Ponts were manufactured by E. Paul du Pont of Wilmington, Del. Some were assembled by the Indian Motorcycle Co. in Springfield.

Smith is a member of the Antique Automobile Club of America of which he is a past president, the Classic Car Club of America, the Vintage Sports Car Club, and the Veteran Motor Car Club of America which is sponsoring this Glidden Tour. 

This Story in History is selected from the archives by Jeannie Maschino, The Berkshire Eagle.

Community News Editor / Librarian

Jeannie Maschino is community news editor and librarian for The Berkshire Eagle. She has worked for the newspaper in various capacities since 1982 and joined the newsroom in 1989.