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The Frank Hocevar Story

Frank Hocevar Photo

Sharp at noon on October 6, 1948, an Austin A40 Dorset Saloon left the Ambassador's Hotel in Los Angeles, California.
At 12.27 a.m. (eastern time), two and a half days later, the same car drew up at Times Square, New York.

During the intervening 57 hours 27 minutes this stout-hearted little car had covered 3,062 miles at an average of 53.3 m.p.h. on the fastest U.S.A. coast-to-coast run on record.

The driver was an enthusiastic private owner, Mr. Frank Hocevar, 58 years of age and an engineer from Gary, Indiana.

The run was timed by Western Union Telegraph and is a remarkable achievement not only for the car but also for Mr. Hocevar, who drove single-handed throughout, without sleep and not even stopping for food, sustaining himself on his run from a gallon flask of orange juice carried in the car together with six steak sandwiches.

Not the least remarkable aspect of the Austin's achievement is the fact that it averaged 30.6 miles per gallon of fuel on its long cross-country hustle. Mr. Hocevar bought his Austin A40 from Austgen Motor Sales, Hammond, Indiana, in July of 1948, and before taking it East on this Coast-to-Coast dash he had previously covered many thousands of miles in it including an East-to-West tour from New York to San Francisco during which he visited all 48 States of the Union (see 48 States).

That so small a car as the Austin A40 should be capable of so high an average speed for the coast-to-coast run was indeed an eye-opener for the "Big-Car-Minded" Americans and their appreciation of the merits of the Austin was quickly demonstrated, for of all the British cars seeking a foothold in the U.S.A., it is the Austin A40 which they have really taken to their hearts - and homes.

Frank Hocevar and his Austin A40 Dorset

Frank Hocevar beside the Austin A40 Dorset Saloon in which he made his coast-to-coast trip.

Los Angeles to New York Map

Map of Frank Hocevar's record run from Los Angeles to New York (3,062 non-stop miles in 57 hours 27 minutes).
Fastest U.S.A. coast-to-coast run on record (as of October 8, 1948) at an average speed of 53.3 miles per hour.

AUSTIN WORKS designed by Rob Stuart