article picture

PPIE 100: Historic Road Trip arrives in San Francisco

In celebration of the Centennial of the Panama Pacific International Exposition and a century of road travel across America, the Historic Vehicle Association (HVA) joined automotive and 1915 World’s Fair enthusiasts at the Palace of Fine Arts on August 19 to welcome the arrival of a historic 1915 Ford Model T, after it traveled more than 3,500 miles, recreating the amazing cross country journey from Detroit to San Francisco that young Edsel Ford took one hundred years ago.

In the summer of 1915, 21-year-old Edsel Ford, the only son of Henry Ford, and six boyhood friends were among the thousands of Americans who took to the road to visit the west and the world’s fair exposition in San Francisco. At the PPIE, the Ford Motor Company had one of the most popular exhibits at the fair – a working Model T assembly line that produced about 18 cars each afternoon and more than 4,000 Model Ts during the course of the World’s Fair. The whereabouts of the original Edsel Ford Model T is not known.

The Panama Pacific International Exposition was widely promoted and provided the impetus for many automobile owners to make adventurous cross country tours using early “national” highway systems from east to west.

(Source: PPIE 100. Visit the website ( for more history of the fair and information about PPIE celebrations going on throughout the Bay Area.)

article picture

Send comments and questions to
Material of San Francisco City Guides. Please give credit to the author and SF City Guides if referenced or reproduced.