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1915 Ford Model T Completes 3,500-Mile Cross-Country Drive

Impressive roadtrip was executed by Historic Vehicle Association.

We have it pretty good in 2015, with reliable, comfortable cars that can swallow thousands of miles with nary a hiccup, turn around, and do it all over again. The folks at the Historic Vehicle Association thinks a little differently, however, as they recently completed a 3,500-mile cross-country trip not in some cushy Buick or Lexus, but a rickety 1915 Ford Model T.

In the summer of 1915, 21-year-old Edsel Ford loaded up a similar 1915 Model T with supplies and his friends, and hit the road out of Detroit toward San Francisco, in hopes of arriving at the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition World's Fair (PPIE) at the Palace of Fine Arts.

To honor this historic drive, which is considered one of the earliest recorded road trips, and in celebration of the 100-year anniversary of the PPIE, the Historic Vehicle Association (HVA) got behind the wheel of a "refurbished" 1915 Model T, and set off, tracing the original route as closely as possible. Luckily for those participating in the road trip, Edsel documented the trip fastidiously with daily logs and nearly 200 photos.

Over the course of the month-long journey, the HVA navigated gravel and dirt back roads, remaining around 25 and 30 mph. Despite the 100 degree summer temperature, the open cabin of the Ford was reportedly breezy and well-ventilated. The Model T suffered only one issue on the trip, a flat tire in Kansas that was quickly rectified.

Take a look at the video below to see the Model T arrive in San Francisco.