Road Trip Century Celebration

This Friday, members of the HVA staff will begin a cross-country trek that will see them following in the footsteps of Edsel Ford 100 years after he and a group of friends traveled from Detroit to the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco.

The Birth Of The Great American Road Trip

Model T Profile

In 1915, motor travel, especially cross-country motor travel, was all the rage. The Great Northern Railway had adopted the slogan “See America First!” in 1906, and other railroads, resort operators, national-park advocates, and guidebook writers soon joined the campaign to lure well-to-do tourists to the western United States. Hotels, gas stations, and roadside restaurants popped up practically overnight, clamoring to serve these westbound adventurers, and magazines-many of them heavily dependent on car-related advertising-tirelessly hailed the joys of modern motoring.

Model T Engine

2015 marks the 100th anniversary of the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition (PPIE) – the world’s fair in San Francisco, California to commemorate the opening of the Panama Canal.  Amazingly, about 25,000 cars traveled cross-country on a developing, but still primitive road system to visit the Exposition. These travelers included Emily Post from New York City on an assignment for Collier’s Weekly, and Henry Joy, President of the Packard Motor Company.  Another person who traveled to San Francisco, leaving from Detroit, Michigan was twenty-one year old Edsel Ford, driving a 1915 Ford Model T. Now in 2015, The Historic Vehicle Association will follow Edsel Ford’s well-documented journey to celebrate the Road Trip Century.

Hitting The Road

Model T Driving

During the trip, we will share our experiences with media, Model T Clubs and other classic car organizations along the route – planning events at many of the stop-over locations and historic sites that were visited by Edsel Ford in 1915.

The Road Trip Century Celebration will be shared from the perspective of traveling in two vehicles 100 years apart:

  • 1915 Ford Model T Touring similar to Edsel Ford’s transcontinental car
  • 2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Convertible

Below you’ll find the dates and locations for the Road Trip Century Celebration. You can follow our progress on our FacebookInstagram and Twitter pages, as well as keep tabs on our daily blog at And if you see us out on the road, be sure to use the hashtags #drivehistory and #RoadTripCentury.

Model T Cornfield

7/17 Dearborn, MI to Auburn, IN   147 miles
7/18 Auburn, IN to Indianapolis, IN   151 miles
7/19 Indianapolis, IN to St. Louis, MO   264 miles
7/20 St. Louis, MO to Jefferson City, MO   127 miles
7/21 Jefferson City, MO to Kansas City, MO   143 miles
7/22 Kansas City, MO to McPherson, KS   235 miles
7/23 McPherson, KS   0 miles
7/24 McPherson, KS to Dodge City, KS   160 miles
7/25 Dodge City, KS to La Junta, CO   210 miles
7/26 La Junta, CO to Colorado Springs, CO   109 miles
7/27 Colorado Springs, CO
7/28 Colorado Springs, CO to Trinidad, CO   168 miles
7/29 Trinidad, CO to Las Vegas, NM   194 miles
7/30 Las Vegas, NM to Santa Fe, NM   137 miles
7/31 Santa Fe, NM to Albuquerque, NM
8/1 Albuquerque, NM to Chambers, AZ   199 miles
8/2 Chambers, AZ to Flagstaff, AZ   137 miles
8/3 Flagstaff, AZ to Grand Canyon, AZ   79 miles
8/4 Grand Canyon, AZ to Kingman, AZ   156 miles
8/5 Kingman, AZ to Barstow, CA   163 miles
8/6 Barstow, CA to Los Angeles, CA   190 miles
8/7 Los Angeles, CA
8/8 Los Angeles, CA to Pismo Beach, CA  210 miles
8/9 Pismo Beach to Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA   144 miles
8/10 Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA
8/11 Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA
8/12 Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA
8/13 Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA
8/14 The Quail
8/15 Monterey Motorsports Reunion
8/16 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance
8/17 Stanford University
8/18 San Francisco, CA/PPIE
8/19 San Francisco, CA/PPIE

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