Say hello, to Number 16 !
The rebuilding of the old carriage road into the Pikes Peak Highway started in May of 1914. Snow was still covering the upper sections and the surveying was done by snowshoe and skis. The mountain was not going to make the task easy. Tons of blasting was needed and the altitude made the job of keeping workers challenging . 1915 saw the road completed up to the Glen Cove area. The remainder of the route was completed to the Summit just before the first race in August of 1916. The final road on the top circled the official government altitude marker.
The White Motor Truck Company supplied many trucks for the construction . In May of 1916 the Pikes Peak Auto Highway Company took deliver of their 16th White truck. Number 16 was the new 5-ton Road Builder model. With its broad steel wheels, to help smooth the road, and the ability to combine, hauling, dumping , spreading and rolling material it become the first true “King of the Mountain”. This truck was by far the most photographed construction vehicle of the entire construction period.
Race day even saw number 16 making final touches to the road as buses of race fans were being taken to the summit . No one knows what happened to this massive 5-ton Road Builder truck from the White Truck Company , but thanks to the many folks who took the time to capture it in photographs , it wont be forgotten.
Next time you are at the parking lot at Devils Playground, just take a moment and think about , Number 16, the first true “King of the Mountain”