Trans-US record cracked by Model A

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 FORD MODEL A v. THE AMERICAN DESERT: The 1930 car beat snow, pouring rain and desert heat to cross America in 50 hours - and set a record to help kidney disease sufferers. Image: SUPPLIED ~
SAN FRANCISCO, California - Vintage Adventurer Rod Wade and co-driver Michael Flanders have set a record for driving a pre-war car across the USA, New York to Los Angeles, in 50 hours, 20 minutes and six seconds.

Australians Wade and Flanders began the 4800km journey in their 1930 Ford Model A at Staten Island at 00:01am on Friday November 22 with the aim of reaching Venice Fishing Pier in around 60 hours, giving an estimated arrival time of the morning of Sunday November 24th.

Despite terrible weather - rain storms, extreme winds and even snow through New Mexico, they arrived much sooner than expected, reaching Venice Fishing Pier, Venice Beach, just after 11.15pm on Saturday evening (Nov 23 2013).


The team experienced the worst of the turbulent weather in Amarillo, the place where the Model A suffered a broken crankshaft after 38 hours of driving in an earlier attempt in October 2013.

The freezing rain, fog and snow forced Wade and Flanders to stop every two miles to clear ice off the windscreen – the windscreen of a Model A is not heatable..

On arriving at Venice Fishing Pier Wade said: “I can’t believe we got here in such a good time. It got scary through Amarillo again but we battled on. If it wasn’t for the weather we would have done it on 40-odd hours.

“Maybe next time!”

Next time will in fact see the Vintage Adventurer team take on ‘Ocean to Ocean Australia’ driving diagonally across the country from Queensland to Freemantle – and back – in June 2014.

The reason for setting the US record was to raise awareness and money to support kidney disease suffers around the world. With kidney disease affecting Wade’s wife and daughter, he has raised thousands of dollars for kidney charities and the Wade family has just commissioned the first ‘Kidney Kamper’ to get the ball rolling.


Wade  added: “The money we raise will allow us to outfit RV’s and camper vans with dialysis machines so people requiring dialysis can have a little personal freedom to travel and enjoy life instead of needing to be constantly within reach of a machine at their home, clinic, or hospital.”

The driving pair were accompanied by the team’s support vehicle – a retired 1988 Plymouth police car that made the journey with them. The support crew was made up of engine builder Ora Landis of Schwalms, Ricardo Da Cruz as lead mechanic/photographer, both from the USA, Arron Hage from Australia’s Network 7 and UK media manager Andrea Seed.

For more information on and images from the trans-America trip and about the upcoming Ocean-to-Ocean Challenge go to the Vintage Adventurer website.