On this day in auto history - August 19th

Thu 19th Aug 2021

It was on this day in 1930 that madcap driver James B. Hargis and his mechanic Charles Creighton completed the first leg of one of the most astonishing endurance driving records of all time.

In what was dubbed the “Seeing American Backward” tour, the Missouri-based duo arrived in Los Angeles, having driven a Ford Model A roadster all the way from New York in reverse!

What made the record all the more remarkable is that the epic 3340 journey - much of it made across unpaved dirt roads - was made without turning the engine off a single time.

The Model A used by the pair was specially modified to include extra-wide rear-view mirrors, whilst the forward gears were removed from the vehicle’s transmission. The car was also fitted with a specially constructed seat to enable each driver to get some rest whilst the other was at the wheel.

Following 48 hours of much-needed rest and refreshment in a Los Angeles motel, Hargis and Creighton duly went on to complete the reverse leg of the journey in the same manner. In all the trip took 42 days.