Joan Cuneo racing trophies offered in Seattle

A collection of trophies won by female racing driver Joan Newton Cuneo during the early 1900s is to cross the block at MBA Auction in Seattle.

Cuneo (1876-1934) began her career in racing after she acquired a steam powered Locomobile in 1902.

Joan Cuneo trophy
Joan Cuneo was one of America's first female racing drivers

By 1905 she was ready to compete and was grudgingly allowed on the AAA's Glidden Tour - after she informed them that the rules did not specifically bar women from entry.

During that race she crashed but continued on, impressing the crowd. A strong career followed.

However, her greatest moment came in 1908 when she competed in the Mardi Gras Races in New Orleans.

As no other women turned up she convinced officials to let her enter the male races, where she beat many of the top racers of the day.

Almost immediately afterwards (and perhaps not coincidentally) the AAA announced a ban on women's racing.

Cuneo continued to compete in non-AAA affiliated events, but her career was largely at an end.

The highlight of the sale is a silver trophy awarded for a perfect score on the 1908 Glidden tour, which carries an opening bid of $20,000.

The other trophies originate from meets across the US.

The auction house's Grant Zahajko comments: "Her granddaughter figures somebody must have melted down the sterling silver trophies because there are a bunch of trophies in pictures that no one can account for.

"What we have now are a few fabulous silver-plated trophies."

A rare T206 Joe Doyle error card is also offered in the sale.

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