Oliver Fritchle and his electric car. On his 2,150 mile trip in 1908. Roads were very rough in those days. Oliver is the first known electric car endurance driver. Thank you Lanny Hartman for the photo and info!
In 1915, Erwin “Cannon Ball” Baker drove a Stutz Bearcat from Los Angeles to New York City in 11 Days. Throughout his life, Baker’s made numerous crossings from New York to Los Angeles. HIs most famous was in 1933 when he drove from New York to LA in a 53.5 hours – a record that stood for 40 years until a writer for Car & Driver named Brock Yates, assembled a team that drove a van from New York City to Redondo Beach in 40 hours, 51 minutes. This spawned an event known as the Cannonball-Baker Sea-to-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash – a race that ran from New York to LA four times throughout the 70s, and popularized in the Burt Reynolds movie – the Cannonball Run.
Between the movie and press coverage, Yate’s stirred the imagination of an entire generation of drivers. It wasn’t so much the “racing” or “competition”, but rather the idea of driving across the diverse landscape of the U.S.A between two iconic and culturally-distinct American cities on each coast. This is the essence of the “Great American Road Trip” in it’s most extreme form.
The TransContinental Drivers Association is an organization that aims to celebrate those who long trips.
Preserve, validate and promote the history of transcontinental driving.
Celebrate the long, cross-country driver and his/her journey.
Nurture and support the interstate driving community