|A special fleet of cars was developed by Dodge and donated to the expeditions of Roy Chapman Andrews when he ventured into the Gobi Desert (1920-1930.) His expedition was made up of many talented men; geologists, paleontologists, zoologists etc......and always a mechanic whose job it was to keep these precious machines running in the harshest weather conditions.
Andrews had his car designated with an American flag (and there are many photographs of this.) He also designated the lead camel of the expedition’s caravans with an American flag.
With the rise of Communist China and the ousting of all foreigners, Andrews packed up his expedition and left Peking, their home base for the past 10 years, and returned to America. In his time, Andrews was as famous as Lindbergh and other celebrated explorers/adventurers of the era. Eventually he became director of the Museum of Natural History, but he could never adjust to a desk-bound job and retired after a few years. He wrote numerous books about his life, and his masterpiece, “The New Conquest of Central Asia”, describes the 5 expeditions he led into the Gobi. (I recently found one copy, autographed by both Andrews and Walter Granger, on sale for $1,250.00, and yes, I tried to buy it but it sold before I got my bid in and I had to settle for a $350.00 un-autographed copy.) He also wrote books for children and it was his book titled “All About Dinosaurs” that first got me hooked on these ancient creatures. He retired with his second wife to Carmel, California, where he died in 1960; I still remember reading his obituary and I was only 7 at the time. Though his star has faded in the popular eye, he is still an important figure in American history and it is thought that it was this dashing image of a dinosaur hunter, a pheasant feather in his hat-band, armed with pistol and rifle, fighting bandits and digging up fossils, that inspired the movie character Dr. “Indiana” Jones. Recent expeditions have returned to the fossil fields in the Gobi that Andrews and his men discovered and even today they are still revealing pieces from the past which help us understand who we are and where we fit in Earth’s time-line.