Ramsey graduated from Vassar College in 1907. On June 9, 1909, the 22-year-old housewife and mother from Hackensack, New Jersey began a 3,800 mile journey from Hell's Gate in Manhattan, New York to San Francisco, California in a green Maxwell 30. On her fifty-nine day trek she was accompanied by two older sisters-in-law and another female friend, none of whom could drive a car. They arrived amid great fanfare on August 10.
In later years, she lived in Covina, California, where in 1961 she wrote and published the story of her journey, Veil, Duster, and Tire Iron. Between 1909 and 1975, Ramsey drove across the country more than 30 times. On October 17, 2000, she became the first woman inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame.