Monday, December 30, 2013

Heroic Road Trips Taken During the 1920s and 1930s

Hi Folks-- recently I picked up some interesting books dealing with heroic road trips undertaken during the 1920s and 1930s. These stories proved to be not only fascinating travel descriptions but also involved struggles between humans and rather primitive auto machinery.  Their courage is humbling to those of us who won't leave home on a road tip with our restored cars without Haggerty or AAA towing insurance!

1. H.H. McWilliams. The Diabolical: An Account of the Adventures of Five People Who Set Out in a Converted Ford Lorry to Make a Journey from Palestine to England Across Asia Minor and the Balkans. London: Duckworth, 1934. This book presents one crazy story to say the least. Take a modified Ford truck named the "Diabolical" start in the middle east, and drive to Europe. Excellent detail of roads, auto services, people and cultures (the ugliest people live in Bulgaria!), issues with customs and borders, etc.

2.George S. Counts. A Ford Crosses Soviet Russia. Boston: Stratford, 1930.

3.Guy de Larigaudie, trans. by Andree J. Rie. Flivver to Cambodia: Two Boy Scouts Across Asia. New York: Putnam's Sons, 1939. Actually two crazy young Frenchmen who are Scouts (although they seem a bit old for this) and their drive to Saigon. Viva La France!

4. Joseph Henry Jackson. Mexican Interlude. New York: Macmillan, 1936. Husband and wife try out the new Pan-American Highway. This socially pretentious pair tour by auto a Mexico that beyond Monterrey  has not been driven by many at the time. A sugar coated trip description with some value as to details associated with Mexican culture of the day. Everything is rosy, it seems, in a land that was far from that.

5.H. Birch Richardson. High Street, Africa. Edinburgh and London, 1936.

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