Mt Pleasant News

Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 22, 2018

Plans finalized for sixth Red Flag Horseless Carriage Tour

Sep 27, 2017
Photo by: MPN file photo Some pretty interesting antique cars will be driving around Henry County this weekend as the Red Flag Horseless Carriage Tour will kick off in New London. Above, Iowa State Trooper Alex Dinkla drove every officer’s dream, a 1935 Ford Standard.

By Brooks Taylor, Mt. Pleasant News


Every September, a little bit of England appears in Henry County.

That’s because the last weekend of September is the Red Flag Horseless Carriage Tour in Henry and surrounding counties.

This year marks the sixth annual tour with events beginning Thursday, Sept. 28, and concluding Saturday, Sept. 30, with the trip from New London to Brighton.

Tour organizer Jeff Krug of Mt. Pleasant, who founded the tour and remains president of the board of directors, said he is pleased with all aspects of the tour except one — local participation. “We are still looking for local cars,” Krug said. “I can’t understand why we can’t get local participation.” There still is time for local entrants, though, as registration will be accepted until the tour begins. To register or for more information, visit the tour’s website at, or the tour’s Facebook page.

Thus far, 22 vehicles are entered which Krug terms “about average.” One of the entries is a vehicle owned by Ken and Lavonne Ganz of Wisconsin, the only entrants who have participated in all of the tours, Krug noted.

As aforementioned, the tour is rooted in England. In November 1896, British motoring changed with the passage of the “Locomotives on the Highway Act” which raised the speed limit for light locomotives from 4 miles-per-hour to 14 miles-per-hour. It also abolished the requirement to have the vehicle preceded by a man on foot with a red flag.

In celebration of the act being passed, the Emancipation Run was established. The celebration became an annual event and still running today as vehicles travel from London to Brighton, England, and is known as the London to Brighton Run. The ceremony is symbolized by the burning of the red flag as the tour’s start.

Henry County’s event is for any one- or two-cylinder steam or electric antique vehicles, including motorcycles up to 1915. A second group of vehicles includes any vehicle with more than two cylinders up to and including 1927 and any steam or electric vehicle or motorcycle through 1927.

“We have a good mix of newcomers and returnees.” Krug said as he scanned the entry list. Most of the non-Iowa entries are from the surrounding states of Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin and Nebraska, he added.

The AmeriHost Inn will serve as headquarters of the tour with cars leaving the motel at 9 a.m. on Thursday and Friday mornings.

First-day activities on Thursday include visiting the Harvestville Farms in Donnellson. On the return to Mt. Pleasant will be a stop at the Mt. Hamil Tab. Thursday evening will be movie night at the Main Street Cinema with “The World’s Fastest Indian” being shown at 7 p.m. The movie is open to the public. Cars will be on display across from the theater, beginning at around 5:30 p.m.

Friday begins with a tour of the ConTi Tech plant in Mt. Pleasant. The tour will then proceed to Midwest Old Threshers to visit the museums. “There is an option to be done by the Mt. Pleasant High School Homecoming parade,” Krug said, “and I think several of the cars are going to be in the parade.”

Events conclude Friday at the Airport Winery and Vineyard, rural Mt. Pleasant.

The big day of the tour is Saturday with the journey from New London to Brighton. Ceremonies begin at 9 a.m. at the New London City Park. Krug said the cars will arrive at Brighton at about 11:30 a.m.-noon. Lunch will be served at Lake Darling before the concluding return trip to Mt. Pleasant.

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