Modern Mechanix (the blog) has a post from Modern Mechanix (the mag), circa November 1928 - Skyrocketing to Mars, Will man ever reach the Red Planet? I reckon the question is still valid, eh?
The article mostly talks about Robert Condit and his plans to rocket to Venus. Venus? Mars? No matter. A bit a web surfing yielded the Rocket to Venus web site which has an account of the project by one of the participants, Harry Uhler. They built the rocket from angle iron, sail cloth, steel tubes, and 50 gallons of gasoline for fuel. The ship was outfitted with water, oxygen, flashlights and a first-aid kit. The actually fired it, but as you expect it didn't take off. The rocket may not have taken off but it did find its way to Florida from Baltimore. That trip was also fueled by gasoline...in the tank of Condit's pickup truck. LOL.