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A Grand Adventure

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In 1911, four men set off from Denver, Colorado, to attempt a feat never accomplished before — drive a truck across the continental United States. The truck was built by the Saurer Motor Truck Company, which was soon to become part of Mack Trucks. The men nicknamed their truck the Pioneer Freighter.

The trip started in Denver — rather than New York or Los Angeles — because Saurer was uncertain if such a journey could be completed. Fearing bad publicity if it failed, the company stole away at roughly the halfway point of the journey. In effect, the four men who set off one hundred years ago were attempting something that seemed absurd and implausible, not just to casual observers, but to their employers as well.

The trip was made against the backdrop of a country about to change forever. These were the early days of motoring in the United States, an era of larger-than-life characters like Cannonball Baker, Carl Fisher, Teddy Roosevelt, and Jack Mack.

The Saurer-Mack transcontinental truck run of 1911 was perfect for the times. A crazy, never-should-have-worked road trip that is told here for the first time.

Ron Corbett’s latest book, A Grand Adventure: America’s First Transcontinental Truck Run (978-1-897508-90-9, 192 pages) is published by General Store Publishing House, Renfrew, Ontario, and retails for $19.95.

Check out General Store Publishing House on Facebook and Twitter @GeneralStorePH!

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