San Francisco
49-mile Scenic Drive

by Tom Dowling

EV1 Club
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The San Francisco 49-Mile Drive event idea came up in the fall of 1998. I'm not sure exactly where it got started. Somebody sent some e-mail that mentioned something about 49 miles. That somehow got me thinking about the San Francisco 49-Mile Drive.

My brothers (Terry, fellow EV1 owner, and Mike, EV1 holdout) grew up in San Francisco. I remember doing parts of the 49-mile drive many years ago. I tried to do the whole thing once, but I missed a turn somewhere and never did complete it. I had always wanted to do the whole route, and I thought it would be great fun to do it in the EV1, especially with a bunch of other EV1 owners.

Following is a description of the route from the San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau Guide. The EV1 version was modified as described later.

[The drive] "circuits Civic Center, Japantown, Union Square, Chinatown, Nob Hill, North Beach and Telegraph hill. It skirts Fisherman's Wharf and winds past the Marina and the Palace of Fine Arts. The route passes the southern approach of the Golden Gate Bridge, winds through the Presidio, and doubles back through Golden Gate Park. After vaulting Twin Peaks it dips down to Mission Dolores and back to the bayfront for a drive by the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, Ferry Building and financial district.

[Left] Ferry Building Plaza, Bay Bridge, near the start of the EV1 version of the 49-mile Scenic Drive.
Photo by Dan Dowling


"The drive was initiated for the benefit of visitors to San Francisco's 1939-1940 Golden Gate International Exposition and originally terminated at the fairgrounds on Treasure Island. It was opened in February 1939 and President Franklin D. Roosevelt was one of the first motorists to sample it."

[Right] Lineup at Marina Green.
Photo by Neil Ludman

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