LHA director Jerry Peppers was at the launch on Tuesday of the 100th Anniversary Commemorative ride of Alice Huyler Ramsey’s historic 1909 cross country drive. He writes:
The team got underway at approximately 9:00 am in front of 1930 Broadway (67th Street across from Lincoln Center and about 1-1/4 mile north of the Eastern Terminus in Times Square). Unfortunately a thunderstorm had just passed through and it was still raining.
I did get to talk to Emily Anderson, the driver, and Christie Catanie, the navigator, and they are of course excited about their trip. They are looking forward to being at the LHA annual conference in South Bend next week. Even the gloomy day and the thought of driving an open car (the canvas top was put up but there are no side windows so the vehicle is essentially open), and the reporters and cameras in their faces did not seem to dampen their spirits.
The first photo shows Emily at the wheel (note the right hand drive) and Christie in the passenger seat as the car was pulling away from the curb. The second shows Emily being interviewed with her mother in the foreground (holding flowers).
The 1909 Maxwell is magnificently restored. When they stepped to the front to hand crank it to get it started and the engine sputtered to life, it was amazing even though it ran with so much valve clatter it sounded like some of the diesel trucks going by it on Broadway!
Below is a photo from their trip eastward to NYC. LHA president Bob Dieterich snapped Kathy Franzwa in the restored Maxwell in front of her house in Tooele, Utah. Her late husband Gregory Franzwa ublished the book Alice’s Drive, which reprints her tale of the trip plus he added his modern-day sleuthing of her route.
Alice Ramsey’s story was once well-known: on June 9, 1909, she and three female companions set off from NYC in a new, dark green Maxwell DA. She reached the Pacific 59 days later, becoming the first woman to drive coast-to-coast.
Alice’s Drive: Republishing Veil, Duster, and Tire Iron
by Alice Ramsey, Annotation and “Chasing Alice” by Gregory M. Franzwa
Patrice Press, 265 pp, 161 illustrations, 108 notes, index, softcover
$19.95 plus $4.95 s/h direct from Franzwa’s Patrice Press.