Edsel Ford’s 1915 Cross-Country Road Trip Revisited
One hundred years ago, getting from sea to shining sea was far more difficult than it is today, but it’s estimated that some 25,000 cars made the trek for the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition world’s fair in San Francisco, CA. Among these cars was a 1915 Ford Model T driven by 21-year-old Edsel Ford, and to commemorate this spectacular automotive accomplishment, the Historical Vehicle Association (HVA) recently set off on the Road Trip Century Celebration by recreating Edsel’s journey from Ford’s world headquarters in Dearborn, MI to San Francisco.
The trip kicked off on July 17 and will follow Edsel’s route as closely as possible, traveling as many as 264 miles in one day with a 2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Convertible tagging along with the Model T as a support vehicle. The route cuts through Michigan, Indiana, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona before stopping a week in the Monterey, CA area for the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Putting a cap on the long-distance road trip, HVA will wrap it up on August 19 at the original site of the 1915 world’s fair.
To see if the epic road trip is passing through a city near you, be sure to check out the website for a full schedule of all the planned stops. For everyone else, the group will be posting pictures of its journey on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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Why it matters
Road trips are a celebrated American tradition, and one of the best-documented examples of an early cross-country trip in a car was made by Edsel Ford in 1915. Today, airplanes can get us across the U.S. in hours while cars can do it in just a few days, but Edsel’s trip 100 years ago shows how our desire to drive long distances helped shape today’s automotive industry and infrastructure.
Source: Historical Vehicle Association