Today we tend to take for granted the convenience of our road system.
We zip along interstates and four-lane highways at speeds carrying us 50-70 miles in about one hour. In 1913, a distance of 100 miles took nearly six to eight hours. Now our roads are generally well-marked, with signs denoting the distance between towns and the turns that take us in the right direction. In 1913, these signs were rare. Plus, although you may gripe about the pot holes forming every year in the street in front of your house, we have nicely paved byways that save on the car’s wear and tear. In 1913, motorists traveled a lot on gravel and dirt, which turned to mud during a rain storm.
In 1913, the inconvenience of our road system was obvious.
But, an intrepid group of Indiana auto makers saw what could be. They envisioned a national system of good roads that could tie the country from coast to coast. They only had to convince the rest of the country.
So, they embarked on a month-long trek from Indianapolis to Los Angeles to promote the Good Roads Movement as well as show that these Indiana-made cars had the stamina to make the trip. They traveled on some decent roads, some completed the night before they arrived, and some that presented some perilous twists.
Hoosier Tour examines how the 1913 Indiana Automobile Manufacturers’ Association Indiana-Pacific Tour helped generate interest for building roads, like the proposed Ocean-to-Ocean Rock Highway later to be known as the Lincoln Highway. At the time, the IAMA Tour was one of the longest continental tours attempted in the United States.
The book examines some of the day-to-day activities and travails as this band of auto pioneers headed west.
Peruse our three reviews at Hoosier Tour: A 1913 Indiana to Pacific Journey
We invite you to learn more about us at cruise-in.com.
Hoosier Tour is one in a series of material by Publishing Resources designed for the auto aficionado. We started our journey with the publication of Cruise IN: A guide to Indiana’s automotive past and present. This publication led to other books and articles relating to car culture, including Indiana Cars: A History of the Automobile in Indiana.