Thursday, 12 April 2018

Emperor Nicholas II Inspecting Racing Cars

The first automobile race from St. Petersburg to Moscow was held in May 1908. Prince Andrew and Princess Alice of Greece were at the finish line on May 19th to welcome the ten cars out of seventeen that completed the race. In May 1910 Count Leo Tolstoy traveled from his home Yasnaya Polyana to Tula to watch the racing cars pass by that were competing in the Moscow-Tula-Orel race.

In Peterhof on Monday June 11th 1912 Emperor Nicholas II at three in the afternoon ‘walked to the gates of the Petersburg highway [below], where thirty-one automobiles were arranged, having completed the Moscow-Novgorod-St. Petersburg race in nineteen days. Cars from all the famous firms took part’.

Photographs (below) of Nicholas II inspecting the cars on June 11th 1912. The gates on the highway, where the emperor is standing, lead to the road past the Cottage and down the hill to the Lower Dacha.

Photographs (below) of the Peterhof Highway Gates to the Cottage and Lower Dacha today



  1. Do you know if Nicholas II ever raced Joanna?

  2. Nicholas never entered a race but he did write the time and speed going from Tsarskoe to Ropsha or Gatchina, etc. in his diary.

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  4. Thank you very much. I was fascinated reading about the first cars in the imperial family!