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10:13 AM Sun, Oct. 21st

Horseless carriage parade makes leisurely trip to town

An entourage of 25 horseless carriages came to town on Saturday.

Members of the southern California's Horseless Carriage Club of America made a stop at the Powerhouse Visitor's Center Saturday after a trip across the Black Mountains from Laughlin's Avi Casino.

Warren Roberts, co-chair of the Orange Empire Regional Club, directed the cars from the Avi through Oatman in his 22-horsepower 1912 Buick Model 35 Touring car.

A couple of the cars broke down on the way, he said.

The trip was the 49th annual Autumn Leaf Tour, hosted by the Horseless Carriage Club of America's Orange Empire and San Diego regional clubs each October.

The cars are transported by trailer from southern California to that weekend's destination point, and car owners spend Friday, Saturday and Sunday driving their cars on short sight-seeing trips.

Les Von Nordheim drove his 20-horsepower 1913 Model T Touring car from the Avi with his wife, daughter and grandson in tow.

Nordheim smiled and said he was happy to give his grandson his first horseless carriage ride.

The Horseless Carriage Club of America has regional groups all across the United States, Roberts said.

The club considers any vehicle built between 1898 and 1916 a "horseless carriage." Roberts explained this is because the cars were actually made by companies that manufactured horse carriages.

A substantial portion of these early cars was made of wood, he said, including the cab and wheel spokes.

A red 1910 Stoddard Dayton was the oldest of the horseless carriages to make the trip Saturday.

After eating lunch at the Powerhouse Visitor's Center and touring the Route 66 Museum, the horseless carriage entourage headed back to Oatman for a gold mine tour before returning to the Avi for the night.