Hubert Le Blon

World record-holder for steam cars. Also an early racing aviator, he died during an exhibition flight.

Nationality: France
Born: March 21, 1874
Died: April 2, 1910 San Sebastian, Spain 36 Years


Hubert le Blon was born in France on March 21, 1874. He raced a Serpollet for five years and set several world records for steam cars. In the 1902 Paris Grand Prix he finished 13th and 17th in the 1903 Grand Prix. Le Blon was hired to race French Hotchkiss and Panhard cars in 1905. In several of his races, Le Blon's wife acted as his mechanician... whom he considered "an excellent one".

For the 1906 American Elimination Trial, the Thomas Motor Company hired two Frenchmen to drive their entries; Gustave Caillois and Hubert Le Blon who drove the #6 Thomas. Since Madame Le Blon remained in France, Le Blon's mechanician was Marius Amiel.

Le Blon finished a strong second and qualified for the American Team.

The Automobile trade journal encourage the American team of Walter Chrisite, Hugh Harding, Frank Lawwell, Joe Tracy and Hubert Le Blon with this cartoon of "Five Souls with a Single Thought".

Le Blon was the first car to start the 1906 Vanderbilt Cup race and can be seen at the beginning of this 1906 race film.

Le Blon encountered this unusual obstacle at the hairpin turn in Old Westbury. The dog made it across the course without being hit! Le Blon's Thomas was still running when the 1906 race was called and finished in 8th place.

Hubert Le Blon gave up auto racing and became an aeronaut, a racing aviator. Unfortunately, on April 2, 1910 the engine of his plane failed during an exhibition flight in San Sebastian, Spain as reported in this New York Times article.

From Grace's Guide


Hubert Le Blon

1910.Hubert Le Blon was a talented racing driver and an aviator in the early years of the 20th Century.

In 1901 he entered the first international road race, the Paris-Berlin Trail, won by Henry Fournier in a Mors 60HP, driving a Serpollet. And in the same car he was 13th in the 1902 Paris-Arras-Paris and participated in the disastrous Paris-Madrid race of 1903 that claimed the lives of seven people, being 17th overall when the race was stopped at Bordeaux.

In 1904 he was 5th in the Circuit des Ardennes held at Bastogne circuit, in a Hotchkiss. Two years later Hubert Le Blon participated in the Grand Prix de l'Automobile Club de France at Le Mans, then he crossed the Atlantic ocean to take part in the the 1906 William K. Vanderbilt Cup race over the Long Island course at the wheel of a Thomas, finishing in 8th place, after being 2nd to Joe Tracy's Locomobile in the Vanderbilt American Elimination.

As an aviator, Le Blon distinguished himself by setting the record for five kilometers at the Cairo in February 1910, covering the distance in 4min 2sec.

He was killed while making an exhibition flight in the Ondarreta Beach, at San Sebastian, Spain, with his Bleriot XI monoplane. Le Blon, who performed his flights from 27 March to 02 April 1910, was circling the Royal Palace of Miramar when his engine broke down and the plane dived to sea from a 150 feet altitude. The Bleriot XI monoplane