The world automobile experts gave little chance to the US entry, and inferior American technology. If any vehicle had a chance of actually making it to Paris, surely it would be something like the massive German Protos! Weighing over 6,000 pounds, it carried enough spare parts to virtually rebuild itself. With a 4-cylinder 40 HP engine it could achieve speeds of 70 mph. At 16.0’ long and 6.5’ wide it was an impressive machine with a fuel Capacity of 211 gallons in six reservoirs.
Team members were all German Army personnel: Ernst Maas, 33; Hans Knape, 29; and Lt. Hans Koeppen, 33 who was on leave from the German General Staff in Berlin. This was a military operation, which Kaiser Wilhelm (who had eight automobiles himself) was particularly interested in. With his involvement the Protos was built by 600 Berlin workers in just 16 days!
1929 Model A Speedster
Jack Crabtree with his 1929 Model A Speedster is a great part of this event. Jack’s wife Mary is a real trooper, and drives the Speedster as well. A great cook, we hope to get a break from restaurant food with some of her homemade specialties!
Jack sums it up pretty well; Some people like to drive their ole cars down the road 30 miles for breakfast, we want to drive across China for the absolutely best noodles you ever put in your mouth, fresh made in front of you. Now, that’s fresh and better than great and the Chinese folks, the best.
Ole cars, Mom & Pop Restaurants, great people and the absolute best of friends. Now, what else could you ask for?
George Schuster, he is one of my hero’s. I am traveling in an upgraded 29 Model A, with my lovely wife by my side, sleeping in an A/C room, no rain leaks, eating great food. George drove all nite, in the heat/sleet/snow/ whatever Mother Nature threw at him, and ate pretty much whatever he could come up with.
So, 2018 is a walk in the park compared to 1908.
Anybody up to the Challenge? Giddy up, let’s go!