HARKNESS THE LATEST
Record Between Boston and New York Slashed by Two Complete Hours on Monday – Motor Age Chicago
New York, June 1904 21—Harry S. Harkness, of this city, who has won fame as a track racer and as designer of an original racing machine, made a big cut of the Boston to New York record yesterday. Driving his new 60-horsepower Mercedes car, he made the run of 244 miles from the Boston Athletic Club to the Central Bridge in 6 hours 41 minutes elapsed time, or 6 hours 4 minutes running time. The previous elapsed time record of 10 hours 40 minutes was held by Harry Fosdick and the Winton, and the running time record of 8 hours 42 minutes by C. A. F. Phizenmayer and the Locomobile. Fosdick’s running time was 8 hours 54 minutes. Mr. Harkness drove his car to Boston on Friday to study the course. He left the B. A. A. at 3:15 a. m., having with him his chauffeur, Joseph Jagersberger, who sat on the floor, strapped in. Two stops of consequence were made to repair tires, one of 18 and the other of 19 minutes.
Telling of his ride, Mr. Harkness said: “We left the club in Boston at 3:15. At the very start we made speed. It was dark, of course. I didn’t carry a headlight. I could see well enough ahead.
“Through the Boston suburbs we flew along at 60 miles an hour. The police were bobbing up all along. To get by them, I ran close to the curb, just a few inches away. The trees and telegraph poles served to shield us. We began to have trouble before we got to Marlborough, where we lost the road. Only one foot brake was working. The other was clogged and the hand brake was gone. Then, the hood over the motors kept lifting, flying back in our laps. Jagersberger, half the time, was lying on top of it, holding it down. (Next time, we’ll strap it.) The vibration would loosen the fastenings, and the wind would throw it up.
“We got to Worcester at 5:05. At Windsor Locks, we had a puncture. We fixed it in 8 minutes, nearly record time. Then we were off again. We got to Hartford at 6:54. I ate half of a sandwich, drank a little milk and took on some gasoline and water. We were away at 7:04. We had another puncture at North Haven and fixed that one in 19 minutes. Luck was with us.
“It was 8:10 when we hit New Haven. On the level and down grade we made great time. We got to Stamford at 9:19. When we neared New Rochelle we slowed up. We knew we had the record and didn’t want to be stopped. We came down through the Bronx at 10 miles an hour. It was just 10:10 when we reached Central bridge.”
His best run was the 53 miles from Worcester to Springfield, which he covered in an hour. The average time was about 43 miles an hour. Mr. Harkness declares that his speedometer registered as high as 83 miles an hour. The time at the start was taken by the Chronograph club.