Looking through the NYT online archives, which now allow viewing of articles back to 1851 with a Times Select account, I came across a Jan 18, 1906 feature on an auto-show at Madison Square Garden, in which I found three fascinating nuggets. Each one gets its own post.
After all, why even bother bringing an automobile without a native to drive it for you?
BUYS AUTO FOR JAPAN
Good Touring Roads There, Says Mr. Thompson-Society at the Shows
An automobile that will be taken to Japan for touring purposes was purchased yesterday at the Madison Square Garden show by J.W. Thompson, who has just returned to New York after a residence of three years in the Mikado’s empire. Mr. Thompson’s purchase was a 30-35 horse power locomobile. He was the first man to introduce the motor car into Japan, his first car having been used there in 1900. Mr. Thompson said last night that the roads of Japan were excellent for automobiling, but owing to the heavy import duty few motor cars have been brought into the country. His greatest difficulty was in teaching the native the mechanical construction of the car so as to make them capable chauffeurs and repairers.