News From Terre Haute, Indiana

June 20, 2013

Early car enthusiasts to recreate Hoosier Tour 100 years later


News Release

---- — A group of early car enthusiasts set off in 20 Indiana-built cars at 2 p.m. on July 1, 1913, from the Claypool Hotel in downtown Indianapolis. Their destination: San Francisco.

Thirty-four days later, the caravan arrived at the goal. The purpose of the journey, called the Indiana Hoosier Tour, led by Indianapolis Motor Speedway founder Carl Fisher, was to show the need for an all-weather cross-country highway.

The tour was dubbed “The Hoosier Tour” because it started in Indiana and only cars made in Indiana were invited.

At the time, there were very few roads other than dirt paths west of Illinois. The Hoosier Tour was intended to spur interest in the states west of Indiana to pave connecting stretches of road to form a coast-to-coast highway.

The idea was to show that travel was possible by automobile.

On Oct. 31, 1913, a route, which differed from the trailblazing route, was dedicated as the Lincoln Highway. The Lincoln Highway has been largely covered by other roadbeds, but can still be seen in a few places in Northern Indiana.

At 2 p.m. on July 1 this year, 100 years to the minute, a caravan of antique cars, ranging from 1913 to 1947, will leave the Rathskeller Restaurant in Indianapolis to recreate the first leg of the classic adventure. This leg, from Indianapolis to Brazil, will stop at 4 p.m. at the historic Clay County Courthouse in downtown Brazil.

For more information, contact Larry and Carol Pumphrey at 812-593-1325 or carol.pumphrey@gmail.com.