- Associated Press - Friday, July 17, 2015

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) - Drivers from the Historic Vehicle Association are re-creating a cross-country road trip taken 100 years ago by the son of auto pioneer Henry Ford with a drive starting Friday.

The trip begins at the Ford estate in Dearborn, where Edsel Ford and six friends set off on their trip before taking up the responsibilities of adulthood, the Detroit Free Press and MLive.com reported. Edsel Ford, then 21, would go on to help lead Ford Motor Co.

“It was one last taste of freedom before life and family obligations took over,” Matt Anderson, curator of transportation at the Henry Ford museum in Dearborn, told the Free Press.

“They slept out in tents they secured to the cars. They carried pistols and rifles because of wild animals and criminals along the route. It shows there was a romanticism to the road trip even then,” Anderson said. “It wasn’t about the destination as much as the journey and the company.”

The original trip included a Model T as well as a Cadillac and a Stutz, a pair of luxury models. They covered more than 4,000 miles. Edsel Ford died in 1943 at age 49.

“It was quite a trip. They were all buddies and they had a ball,” said 93-year-old Horace James Caulkins III, whose father, Horace Caulkins Jr., made the trip.

“Ford dealers along the way introduced them to interesting local people,” Caulkins III said.

This year’s trip includes a 1915 Motel T with a top speed of 35 mph. Casey Maxon and Mark Gessler are embarking on the monthlong journey.

“Should be exciting,” Maxon, a historian for the Historical Vehicle Association, told MLive.com. The purpose is to commemorate “the importance of the automobile in our culture, how it shaped our roadways, how it shaped our nation, how in 1915 it all kind of kicked off,” he said.




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