Monday 18th November 1940
The Richardson Pan-American Highway Expedition began as a white 1941 Plymouth P11 Deluxe four-door sedan, with special equipment including 18-inch “high-clearance” wheels driven by Sullivan Richardson, Arnold Whitaker and Kenneth C Van Hee departed Detroit on the first automobile trip from North America to Punta Arenas, Magallanes, Chile at the southern tip of South America. In scope and magnitude the epic adventure surpassed those pioneer automobilists that first crossed the United States at the turn of the century. The Richardson Expedition crossed not only the US but encompassed the area spanning two continents-crossing trackless wilderness, endless mud, un-chartered territory and obstacles of every sort that Mother Nature could throw against them. The distance of more than 15,000 miles that was covered in eight months; the car survived the trip down and back, but was sadly scrapped long ago. The only piece of this P11 that remains is the passenger rear door, which is on display at a bar in Miami, Arizona.