The legend of the Gordon Bennett Cup: a new display at l’Aventure Michelin

From May 1 to August 31, the 110th anniversary of the Gordon-Bennett Cup will be the occasion for a special exhibition about this unprecedented international event that took place in France’s Auvergne. A free-access retrospective presented at L’Aventure Michelin in Clermont-Ferrand, France.

Gordon Bennett

The retrospective retraces in detail the six main themes of this major international competition which became a legend.

A 137-kilometre mountainous circuit, six competing nations, 80,000 spectators: July 5, 1905 was a glorious day for Clermont-Ferrand and its surrounding region that had never before witnessed such an event. As co-organiser, Michelin rose to the occasion and successfully helped to lead the cars shod with its tyres to victory.

Photographs and archival documents, as well as a previously unseen film from the era, reproduce the magnitude of this effort focused around Clermont-Ferrand in the early 20th century. The technological challenges and international economic and sporting rivalries truly caught the public’s imagination. This exhibition re-traces the history of this legendary race which was created in the pioneer era to promote the development of the automobile industry.

It details this unique and unusually difficult road circuit on which prestigious competitors from across Europe and America battled. It bears witness to the resounding success of MICHELIN’s tires and to the innovative publicity campaign that celebrated this victory.