American drivers on French roads

Posted on 17th January 2023 by simonbeattie

I like finding English books which were printed abroad. Published in Paris in 1893, this is a copy of the bilingual regulations—English, then French—of the Reunion Road Club, newly founded in France by American coaching fanatic, George William Tiffany (1842–1905).

The son of a Boston banker, Tiffany was ‘one of the most astounding amateurs ever to tool a coach-and-four’ (Wheeling, p. 378) and became famed in both Britain and France for his driving skills.  In 1893, he was instrumental ‘in the formation of the Reunion Road Club in Paris, with the formalized objective of encouraging road coaching’ (op. cit., p. 379).  Largely modelled on the New York Coaching Club, by 1900 the Reunion Road Club had ’33 members on the roster …  Essentially it represented a fair proportion of the American community in Paris …  The club limited the number of elected members to 40, specifying an eligibility requirement that prospective members shall have “driven for a season a road coach either at Paris, Pau, Nice, London, Newport or New York.”  The uniform was blue gray in colour, with Club Buttons and a gray hat …  Whether the Reunion Road Club could claim credit for it or not, Paris in the 1890’s saw a great deal of road coaching most of which centred around the Paris Office of the New York Herald’ (ibid.).  See Kenneth Edward Wheeling, ‘The gentleman coachman: George William Tiffany’, The Carriage Journal, vol. 15, no., 4 (Spring 1978), pp. 377–381.

I was only able to locate one other copy, at the Carriage Museum of America.

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One response to “American drivers on French roads”

  1. Good evening,
    I am researching and I published some articles on coaching in France about coaches built by Million Guiet or Guiet & C°. I wonder if in the rules of the RCC that you hold, the coaches must respect certain regulations and if you can make me a copy?
    I will be sure to reference your blog with a link.
    With many thanks

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