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3600 miles behind the wheel of a 1929 Model A on Route 66

Context is everything, right? For modern traffic, Route 66 is a slow, constricted highway, especially when compared to the interstate highway system. For a 1929 Model A, Route 66 is just the right speed.

 

Just as time and technology ditched the horse for the horseless carriage, those forces eventually bypassed Route 66 for interstate highways. Communities built along the highway withered while the traffic flow was diverted sometimes hundreds of miles away to newly-built freeways. Priorities for infrastructure had changed and no longer supported aging mining towns and farming communities; instead, Eisenhower and his administration sought to funnel the masses and their goods between metropolises with military efficiency.

 

Among the forsaken, recession-plagued byways of America, Route 66 became a martyr. Its meandering pavement is synonymous with the mystique of the open road, drawing those who crave an unpredictable journey and delight in driving for driving's sake. One such scenic traveler is Ryan Tebo, who has been rattling and rumbling across from coast to coast in his 1929 Ford Model A for the past two weeks.

 

Read the full article on Hagerty.com: https://www.hagerty.com/media/people/3600-miles-behind-the-wheel-of-a-1929-model-a-on-route-66/

Replies (25)

Replies (25)

If I paid any attention to the news, I'd never leave my house.  But, I haven't and I've driven cross country several times, coast to coast.  As the writer discovered, it's wonderful out there.

My father probably kicked off my wanderlust in 1965, driving us from Virginia all the way to Disney World.  I still have images of our stops along the way implanted in my memory.  Even took a long trip from South Carolina out to California for Monterey Week and came back the long way, up through South Dakota, because Mom and Dad loved the Badlands and the Black Hills and I wanted to know why.

I haven't stopped traveling and plan to move to Oklahoma when I retire, a main reason being to be able to explore the rest.

I think every American should drive cross country at least once.  You won't regret it or forget it.

Pit Crew

I really liked this story . Would love to take the trip myself.

Pit Crew

Hey I have a '29!  Kudos to this man, good job.

Intermediate Driver

“You watch the news and you think America’s really in a bad spot,” Tebo says. “If I go off what I’ve seen so far, I don’t know where the news is getting their information from.”

Ryan Tebo is correct! The majority of Americans are good, hard working people just trying to do the best for their families. Wouldn't it be nice to see the mainstream media do a story on his journey. I can certainly understand the urge to see the country as I left college many years ago, after a summer job as a tour bus guide got me hooked, and I spent the next twelve years driving tour buses all over the USA and Canada. Do I sometimes regret not finishing school?  Sometimes, but I have gotten to do and see things that most people will never experience, and I had a cute blond one day as a passenger who has now been my wife for 30 years! Thanks Hagerty for picking up on this adventure. I feel the itch for a good road trip!!

 

 

Pit Crew

Great story, really impressed that a  90 plus year old car is able to do this. Just one question, what on earth is strapped to the roof?

Passenger

Cool!

Intermediate Driver

Great story. Brought back memories. My late mother with 2 girlfriends and one of their mothers drove her Model A from Jersey to California and back in I think it was 1934. Can you imagine 4 women doing that in those days? Wow! She had guts. Mom created a Scrap Book about the trip which included photos and memorabilia from many site along the route including Rt. 66. I'm going to dig through the unopened boxes from our last move, find that book and keep it nearby. A few years before her death, I had a party to which I invited many of my car friends. At one point during it, I noticed that many of them had disappeared as had Mom. When I found them all, Mom was regaling them with her cross-country story. Afterward, they all expressed great admiration and understood why I was such a car nut. Her experience came to mind when I found myself on Rt.66 twice in my own life. First, was when stationed at Fort Leonard Wood in the '60's. We often found ourselves on Rt. 66 in Waynesville. Then, 2 years ago I drove my Porsche on Rt. 66 during a rally at the annual Porsche Parade that was held at Lake of the Ozarks. Wow! Was that ever different. Really put Mom's achievement in perspective. My thanks to Ryan for bringing her drive back to me.

Passenger

What a terrific story! I'm such a big fan of Route 66 and I love reading stories and seeing photos of folks traveling it today. We just took a day trip this week to explore the section that runs from Lebanon, Missouri to St Clair, Missouri and the whole time I kept thinking how much more enjoyable it would be to be driving that section in an antique vehicle. Although I have to admit that I wasn't thinking of something as old as Ryan's Model A. Way to go Ryan! What a great trip and great story!

Navigator

Been “Living the dream” through these posts for a couple weeks now. It will be sad to see it end.

New Driver

Loved the photography. The ol' Model A looks so at home in Oatman. Safe motoring, Ryan.

Hagerty Employee

Nice story. I drove our late 1931 RS Coupe from Ithaca NY to Salt Lake City in 1999 when we retired. Nine days with only a slight leak from gas shut-off valve and a thrown fan belt as the only problems. Added water/anti-freeze each day and changed the oil every 500 miles. Finished the restoration, which included a major engine rebuild, only a week before. Did it in August - too hot, on the road at 5:00 am to avoid the heat.  Three hundred miles was a good day's drive.

Passenger

I had a 29 2door like that when I was 16 to 21.  I restored it and drove it all over Texas for the next three years, even drove myself to college 300 miles. It was pretty nice but it was a driver and I drove it, just like Ryan, and got lots of help from locals - and i needed it. This was 1963-1968.

New Driver

Hat's off to Tebo!  Nothing beats a good road trip.  Doing it in a Model A is just way cool.

Intermediate Driver

After reading some of the posts on Facebook I've come to the conclusion that the platform on top is indeed there for a tent.  I've seen it done on other vehicles in the past.  Not a bad idea if you plan on rough camping in snake country? 

It may have been a factor in the lower mileage expressed in his commentary.  On the other hand it may have helped to keep the interior a little cooler, providing some shade for the car roof. ???  My uncle was a rural mail carrier up until the 70's and drove a variety of different vehicles.  One he really liked for some reason was a dark grey '47 Chevy 2dr sedan.  After running it a couple years he'd had the roof painted a high gloss white and commented on how much it cooled down the interior in summer.  I wonder if the tent platform was there for more than one reason??

Great story! 

New Driver

The year was 1961. An ex girlfriend and her family moved to California and for some unknown reason at the time she suggested that we come and see her and she would show us around LA and maybe even drive down to San Diego and even into Mexico. We were 21 and after a short discussion and securing a 1955 Buick four of us left Toronto Canada and decided to do the Route 66 "THING".  I could write a book about that trip but that may have to wait for another time. Needless to say Tebo's trip pretty much sums up our story as well.  DGB.

Pit Crew

Now that we have been sitting for 8 or 9 months looking out the window, I'm wondering again, how long does it take for gasoline to go sour?

Navigator

True adventurists!!! what style! What hemorrhoids!!

I did the 66 in a supercharged Pontiac Bonneville... Less style, comfy rear and A/C!!!!

Intermediate Driver

In an automotive magazine, let's get the engineering facts correct. Higher compression in an engine should improve the efficiency of the motor, more power and better mileage. Higher octane gasoline becomes necessary to keep the engine from 'pinging' or premature ignition, which can cause damage. The higher compression cylinder head is intended to improve efficiency, not to 'enable' higher octane gasoline usage. [It is implied but not clearly explained that the owner bemoaned not having the OEM manually adjustable ignition advance, probably to counter hill-climbing 'pinging' caused by the higher compression head and high engine temperatures. The author waxes eloquent regarding the social aspects of the adventure but somewhat fails to cover the technical aspects of the Model A trip.] 

Pit Crew

Loved reading this adventure! Did the same trip on a motorcycle in 2016 and agree the people you meet add to the majesty of the trip. It's wonderful to step back into another time in our history. But sadly it's fading away so folks get out there and see it now.

Passenger

Great story. Brought back memories. My late mother with 2 girlfriends and one of their mothers drove her Model A from Jersey to California and back in I think it was 1934. Can you imagine 4 women doing that in those days? Wow! She had guts. Mom created a Scrap Book about the trip which included photos and memorabilia from many site along the route including Rt. 66. I'm going to dig through the unopened boxes from our last move, find that book and keep it nearby. A few years before her death, I had a party to which I invited many of my car friends. At one point during it, I noticed that many of them had disappeared as had Mom. When I found them all, Mom was regaling them with her cross-country story. Afterward, they all expressed great admiration and understood why I was such a car nut. Her experience came to mind when I found myself on Rt.66 twice in my own life. First, was when stationed at Fort Leonard Wood in the '60's. We often found ourselves on Rt. 66 in Waynesville. Then, 2 years ago I drove my Porsche on Rt. 66 during a rally at the annual Porsche Parade that was held at Lake of the Ozarks. Wow! Was that ever different. Really put Mom's achievement in perspective. My thanks to Ryan for bringing her drive back to me.

Passenger

Great stuff Ryan... and congrats!  Also, your remarks are right on as well... kinda sad state we are in, huh.

 

I gotta ask though a... as I have been following you a bit but can't find an explanation as to what the hell is on top of that car?  Looks like a garage door on a roof rack...  (We see a lot of that around here when they are replaced.)

 

If and when you are heading home... going east on CA State Hwy 14, love to have you drop by for a soda or whatever.  Reply here!

 

Tony

Intermediate Driver

Driving the 2-lanes ("Blue Highways") between and through America's smaller towns is one of the most enjoyable and educational things one can do. Kudos to this young man for doing it in probably the most tactile and basic way possible.

Intermediate Driver

I meant the west.  And the rest, too.

Pit Crew

Where's the Oatman donkeys? 

Pit Crew

Very cool.  I'm guessing the platform on top was something he added and is for a tent?  

New Driver