Wouldn't it be great to get into your 1966 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser station wagon, load up the tank with 18&andcent;-per-gallon gas from your local Cities Service, Richfield, Enco, Flying A or Humble station, and drive from coast to coast on one of America's most scenic and history-laden highways? Well, Michael Wallis (author of the classic Route 66) and Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Michael S. Williamson have conspired to allow us to return to yesteryear and motor along The Lincoln Highway.
The Lincoln Highway was America's first transcontinental highway, conceived in 1912 and completed in time for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco. Indianapolis Motor Speedway founder Carl Fisher was the chief architect, proponent and fundraiser for the project, though he was later joined by Packard Motor Car Company president Henry Joy. Early on, the authors make it clear that this is a road for travelers, not tourists, so if you are comforted by the modernity of the Interstate roadbed and the endless parade of Wendy McStuckey's Taco King food courts and Quality Comfort Motel 8 Inns, the Lincoln Highway is not your preferred route. If, however, you hanker to start the morning with a frosty mug of Minute Man Root Beer and then wander through the Studebaker National Museum and Archives in nearby South Bend, Indiana, this is an outstanding summer vacation guide for you and your family.
Jam-packed with gorgeous photos and illustrations from along the route, The Lincoln Highway will no doubt confer the sort of cachet to this (inter-)stately thoroughfare that Route 66 has for so long enjoyed. If only Nat King Cole were around to sing Spend your day/On the Lincoln Highway.