William Shatner, the American Wrench team, a group of American Legion Riders, and a production crew departed from AW headquarters on an 8-day journey from Chicago to Los Angeles on the Main Street of America, Route 66. Our main goals for The Ride were to promote and road test Rivet, the trike we designed with Shatner, and to raise awareness for the American Legion Legacy Scholarship fund, awarded to children of U.S. Military service members killed in the post-9/11 war on terror. The Rivet unveiling attracted news outlets from around the world, as well as hundreds of onlookers, all gathered in the AW parking lot to catch a glimpse of this wild new machine. Over the course of the next 8 days, this team of strangers would grow to be a family, overcoming a variety of unforeseen obstacles, and forming lifelong bonds on their triumphant 2,500 mile journey through the heart of the United States. Recapping the journey after arriving home in Los Angeles, Shatner said “I’ve had a rare experience, beyond anything I’ve ever done.”
In Emporia, KS, we met Kole Perry, a boy whose father was killed during combat in Afghanistan. At lunch, he told us he was excited to see and meet the American Legion Riders and “just wants to go to a good college” when he grows up. Kole instantly became the personification of everything good we had hoped to achieve with The Ride, and a source of inspiration for our entire group. American Legion Rider and U.S. Navy veteran Rodney Herring, in considering the imminent and oppressive 115° heat the team would face the following day, said “After seeing that young man today, who lost his daddy, we can deal with it.” Marine Scott Miller, Deputy Director of Strategic Alliances for the American Legion, added “Kole will be a recipient of the American Legion Legacy Scholarship Fund.”
Along the way, we stopped at American Legion posts at nearly every stop, and made appearances at Whiteman Air Force Base and Kansas City Speedway. The Ride was covered by press around the world, including features by Motor Trend, Yahoo, Fox News, The Telegraph, Chicago Tribune, and many more. Rivet drew crowds everywhere it was on display, and the overall impact of The Ride exceeded the expectations of everyone involved.