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Automotive Trailblazer’s Great-Grandson to Retrace ‘Great Race’


The great-grandson of George N. Schuster, whose record-setting performance in a 1908 automotive race from New York to Paris remains unmatched more than a century later, will share the epic story with a Pennsylvania College of Technology audience on Tuesday, April 2.

“The Great Auto Race” will be presented by Jeff Mahl at 3:30 p.m. in the Klump Academic Center Auditorium on the college’s main campus in Williamsport. The event, coordinated by the School of Transportation Technology, is free and open to the public.

Mahl will offer a first-person perspective of the monumental race, just as he heard it told by his “Great Gramp.” The presentation draws upon personal recollection, diary entries, letters, photographs and other artifacts from the headline-grabbing international event.

Jeff Mahl, in the garb of his great-grandfather’s era, with the history-making Thomas Flyer.
Jeff Mahl, in the garb of his great-grandfather’s era, with the history-making Thomas Flyer.

“He is a high-energy speaker, guaranteed to captivate an audience with his portrayal of his great-grandfather,” said Colin W. Williamson, dean of transportation technology, who met Mahl at the Antique Automobile Club of America Museum in Hershey during the Fall 2012 semester.

The winning Thomas Flyer Team covered three continents and more than 22,000 miles in 169 days, a feat that has never been equaled. Mahl will also discuss World Race 2011, during which he followed the 1908 route, highlighting what has changed in technology – and what has remained the same in the human spirit of exploration.

Schuster, a mechanic from Buffalo, N.Y., died July 4, 1972, at the age of 99. He was posthumously inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in October 2010.

For more information about automobile restoration technology and other “degrees that work” in the college’s School of Transportation Technology or call 570-327-4516.

For more about Penn College, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

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