Spectators were also at the Banta Inn to welcome the old cars, which came through in small groups, as part of a 65-car caravan on the first leg of a tour from San Francisco to Kearney, Neb.
After starting in San Francisco’s Lincoln Park, and passing through Tracy, the vintage rides — which included a 1915 racing car and more recent 1950s-era autos — stopped at the Banta Inn, 22563 Seventh Street in Banta, for lunch.
Parking areas around the Banta Inn were filled with the old cars while participants munched on ham, turkey and tuna sandwiches under the restaurant’s covered patio.
Several current and former Banta residents were on hand to greet the cars as they arrived for the luncheon stop.
Among the residents were Melinda Moon, and her brother and sister-in-law, Wayne and Cheryl Christensen.
“This is the most exciting thing to happen in Banta in a long time,” Moon said. “We wouldn’t miss it for the world.”
Tracy and Banta were both segments of the Lincoln Highway when it was patched together in 1913 to form the nation’s first transcontinental highway system.
Another caravan, which started Sunday in New York City, will arrive on June 30 in Kearney, the same day as the San Francisco group. It’s about 1,500 miles from San Francisco to Kearney, according to Google Maps.
Darrell and Milene Radford of Templeton, arrived at the Banta Inn in a 1941 tan Lincoln continental sedan.
“We’re going all the way to Kearney,” Darrell Radford said. “This is a historic trip, and we’re in it for the long haul.”
Parked next to the Radfords was Milton Webb’s 1925 Model T Ford, which he brought on a trailer from Elk Grove. He planned to join the caravan as it traveled to Sacramento and Reno.
Nearby was the 1956 Ford sedan of Dixon residents, Ron and Mary Tribbett.
“We’re going all the way,” said Ron Tribbett, who is retired from his position as director of public works in Dixon. “We’ve been on cross-country caravans before, and we know our car won’t have any trouble making it.”
From Banta, the caravan of cars headed toward Stockton, where they took a route that mostly traveled along El Dorado Street, before heading north to Sacramento for the night, and on to Kearney, Neb. by Sunday, June 30.
• Contact Sam Matthews at 830-4234 or firstname.lastname@example.org.