Belt up and enjoy this 365-day ride as you cruise past the most momentous motoring events in history. Packed with fascinating facts about races, motorists and the history of the mighty engine, this is a must-visit web site for any car enthusiast.
The 'Wingfoot Express', a Packard Model E 5-ton truck sponsored by the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, established the first interstate trucking route with regular nonstop runs from the Akron tire factory in Ohio to the company's tire fabric mill in Connecticut, US. The truck had the first sleeper cab in the trucking industry, so that the two-man crew could alternate driving chores. Most novel about Goodyear's truck were the big pneumatic tires it rolled on. Solid rubber tires were standard equipment for short truck hauls. The trucks of the day motored along at 8 to 10 miles per hour, and the solid tires gave a bone-jarring ride. Cargo was limited to less-than-fragile items. The company was convinced that air-filled tires could carry heavier loads faster and offer a smoother ride.That inaugural journey was filled with adventure. The truck, accompanied by a movie man and publicist in two support cars, was barely to Akron outskirts when it got stuck in the mud. The agonizing odyssey included muddy ditches, collapsed bridges, flat tires and two engine failures. Finally, 21 days overdue, the exhausted men arrived in Killingly, Connecticut.To their surprise, they were greeted by a rousing brass band and hundreds of fabric mill workers. One driver said, "It took 28 days and 28 tires." But lessons were learned. Tire engineers promptly gave the truck tires a stronger bead and heavier sidewalls. Future trips used seven Wingfoot Express trucks, and the 740-mile trip was pared down to 80 hours within a year. The pneumatic truck tires became so reliable that in 1918, the trucks carried Boy Scouts on a 3,000-mile excursion along the East Coast without a single flat.
Wingfoot Express - 1917