Plans call for us to begin at the Dynamat Headquarters in Hamilton, Ohio, with planned stops at Brookville Roadster in Brookville, Ohio, and then on to St. Louis, Missouri; Afton, Oklahoma; Amarillo, Texas; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Winslow, Arizona; and the Grand Canyon. The odyssey will conclude with the drive into Las Vegas in time for the move-in onto the showroom floor. Remember, they'll be "as is," each hot rod bearing road-worn and weathered "badges of courage" from the 2,000-mile road trip. It should be noted that this drive will occur in late October, not exactly springtime on the Delta, but rather the beginnings of winter with plenty of cold air, rain, some snow, and, in general, bone-chilling weather.
With one exception, all are Deuces honoring the marque's 75th anniversary. The non-Deuce comes from the garage of POSIES. He will be steering his latest effort in the form of a unique '47 Chevy Fleetliner massaged to resemble a late-'30s Euro-style racer. Another closed-cockpit ride is the first Brookville-Ford Deuce coupe driven by Ray and Kenny Gollahon (they're the father-and-son team who, along with their talented staff, are Brookville Roadster). The duo is driving the Brookville '32 coupe sprayed with clear so the incredible metalwork can be seen--along with some mud and grime! The last coupe belongs to Scott Whitaker, who has finished an improbable dream car. Last year at SEMA, Scott introduced half a '32 to showcase his Dynamat family of products. This year, the Brookville Dynaliner has come full circle as a complete lakes-style ride. So, stay tuned, as SRM will bring lots of photos and information on these cars, which should prove both interesting and entertaining.
There has always been and always will be great road trips, so let's take a look at the legacy. Arguably the two most famous road trips are of movie fame--with one making its silver screen premiere in "Animal House" and the other in "The Blues Brothers." But those were make-believe; we live in reality--or close to it!
Last month, SRM freelancer Don Prieto brought us a mile-by-mile account of the Great Race. This historical and annual occurrence featured two hot rodders whose names and patriarch status have guided and ensured rodding will grow well into this century, and they are Jerry Kugel of Kugel's Komponents and Frank Currie of Currie Enterprises. It was Jerry's first attempt, and from the enthusiasm in his voice, it will not be his last; and Frank, who has competed for many, many years, won the race and is always a welcomed and top-flight competitor. But there are other older cross-country road trips. A few months back, I featured the efforts of Dr. Horatio Jackson, who in 1903 drove from San Francisco in his Winton touring car to become the first person to cross the United States in a horseless carriage. Can you image attempting something of this magnitude today knowing there were only 150 miles of paved roads in the entire country? There were "no stinking gas stations," and certainly no road maps, Map Quest, or GPS systems. The car hadn't proven its worth, and many thought of it the same way our grandfathers may have thought of television or some of us think about e-mails and the Internet today. Jackson's trip would prove them wrong, and, I daresay, cause generations to think differently about future inventions.
Lest the ladies of street rodding feel left out, the first women to attempt and successfully complete a transcontinental automobile effort occurred in 1909 when 22-year-old Alice Ramsey and three other female friends cranked up their Maxwell in New York City and, 59 days later, drove into San Francisco.
It was in 1919 when the government realized something had to be done about building a modern highway system, recognizing that the automobile was more than a craze--it was part of the American lifestyle. A military convoy of 81 vehicles traveled the Lincoln Highway from Washington, D.C., to San Francisco; the highway was nothing more than a penciled line on a map. It was the First Transcontinental Motor Train and it showed how difficult traveling across the country could be. The trucks became mired in mud, had sundry misfortunes, and were thoroughly flogged on the roads of the day. In reality, they were forging trails where none were.
The road trip (or Road Tour) is part of street rodding lore and our legacy would be shallow without it. Fortunately for all of us, the adventure truly lies on the road ahead. Keep you eyes on SRM in the months ahead as we bring you more tales from the road.