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Hagerty Employee

Livin' the Dream: Tales from the Big Road Trip

Last week, I wrote about preparing for The Big Road Trip -3000-ish miles from suburban Boston to MidAmerica 02Fest in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

I hope the people that would dismiss this article from the outset because of BMW didn't.

Run with a pack that runs at your speed applies to ATV, snowmobile or anything so that you all enjoy it.

I can't say it better than how Rob concluded the article, making connections --feeling connected is what gives this hobby life.
Pit Crew

Rob, it was great meeting you in person in Eureka Springs. And lo and behold, my little ratty s-box of a 2002 (at least outwardly) is here on the Hagerty website. Twice. I am photobombing the lovely cabriolet and am also the car behind the red car on the right in your group shot. That's a pretty good way to start a Monday.
Intermediate Driver

Sage words of advice from Rob in this article. Enjoy driving them while you (and your body) can, with all the manual features, smells, and inconveniences. If you just wait until the ideal day when all planets align for an epic road trip, you might have aged out. Life is short.
Pit Crew

Just one suggestion Rob. Reference your discomfort on the last day of the trip. Use Aleve for the aches and pains associated with driving long distances in older cars (or even brand new cars!) by ...ahem...more elderly drivers. Don't leave home without it!

Great story. Arkansas has some lovely roads. On the way back to Texas I cut through some fun roads instead of going through Oklahoma and had a blast.
Intermediate Driver

Love the story Rob, here's an adventure from 56 years ago.

It’s late summer 1966, my buddy (Bill) and I both 20 years old, have just ended 3 days at Indianapolis Raceway Park and the US Nationals. We arrived Friday in my tan/tan 63 Corvette Coupe (they didn’t call them split window yet) and after the Nationals we planned a driving trip to California on Route 66 out of St. Louis.

Tuesday morning we head out on State Route 40 to St. Louis, joining Route 66 sometime in the afternoon. (Now we imagined ourselves Buz and Tod from the TV series ‘Route 66’)
Later that afternoon we keep trading highway places with a white 63 Chev Super Sport 327 4 speed and as we learn later the fellow’s name is Gerry Porter and stay at the same motel that evening. Porter is headed home to Tulsa and then on to Viet Nam.

Wednesday morning we wake up to the factory rumble of new 66 Chevelle SS396. The driver is Porter’s long time friend. We all say goodbye and Bill and I head out on Route 66.
I had removed the wheel discs at home and the black wheels on the tan 63 Vette looked sinister (for the day) and more than once we were followed by the local constabulary through some small towns. We made it to Albuquerque that night.

Thursday we head out again but this time we find small sections of the newly constructed Interstate. Of course we have to try this new super highway but the Vette’s 4:11 gears had that little small block revving pretty high but that didn’t seem to bother us.
Interstate 44 was not complete and eventually we had to get back on 66 which made the 327 happier. Thursday we stayed in Barstow, Calif and noticed a large contingency of muscle cars running around the streets. My 63 was equipped with 2 four barrels (aftermarket) and I had disconnected one for highway cruising. My buddy says to connect up the other 4 bbl and let’s go cruising. Wasn’t long before someone noticed our Ontario (Canada) license plate and
challenged us to a run. An unsuspecting Nova got sent back to the hamburger stand.
We went back to the hamburger stand and talked to a lot of gearheads that thought we were crazy driving all the way to California from Canada.

Friday we arrive in LA and what else head to the beach after securing a room at Don’s Motel on PCH. Cruising around LA was a dream for the two of us Canucks and visiting several local beaches had us looking for Annette and Moon Dog.....YIKES!
We cruised Sunset Strip numerous times and PCH north for about 20 miles.

Saturday we drove over to Riverside where I bought a set of Keystone ET mags (dark center) and left the 4 original 63 Vette wheels at the tire shop cause we had no room to bring them home. The new wheels bulged out somewhat and we had to spend about and hour filing the inside of the fenders to achieve proper clearance. That night we went to Lions Dragstrip and saw many of the local racers and some big names of the day.
Sunday we headed to Pomona but there was no racing, so we took a good tour of the grounds but were disappointed nothing was going on.

Monday we headed out early on 66 and the next few days were uneventful until around OKC we started having oil pressure problems. Stops for gas produced a no oil pressure issue on start up. Diagnosis later would reveal low oil and what oil was there was foaming up. After sitting for about 10 mins the oil pressure would reappear on start up. We arrived home in Toronto Friday evening with an adventure of a lifetime ticked off the bucket list.

Happy motoring – Bernie and Bill still cruising (aka Buz and Tod)
Intermediate Driver

Rob, will you be at the Vintage this weekend? It’s exactly 900 miles one way. Should be a piece of cake. Hope to see you and Louie there!
Intermediate Driver

When I saw the MidAmerica 02Fest was to be in Hot Springs I was ecstatic. Although I don't own one I love the 2002's and I wouldn't have to leave the state to attend! Unfortunately this was the same weekend as the Alabama 250 Grand Prix at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama (my birth state). I spotted one burgundy 2002 on I-40 on my way to Bama, obviously enroute to the Fest. Ah well, one can't be in two places at one time. Maybe next year.
Intermediate Driver

I can't edit, coulda sworn I typed Eureka but my bad.
Advanced Driver

Groucho never owned a 2002 - might have changed his mind, yes? Great read, Rob!
Intermediate Driver

I am not a BMW person. I am a muscle car guy ( 1960 - present ) with a few other automotive tastes thrown in. That being said I really enjoy Siegel's column. Always an enjoyable read and more often than not learn something in the process. I am a 71 year old ASE master tech (retired ) that has worked in numerous shops and taught High school Auto Shop, built race cars ( mostly Drag ) and restored many ( not concourse just nice drivers ). I think it would be a mistake to dismiss Siegel's column as the ramblings of just a European car fan. There is something there for every car guy.
Intermediate Driver

Thanks Rob, a fun adventure and enjoyed the ride along. We share a lot of common practices when " touring " our favorite treks. Less is more ( keeping anything more than 4 cars together is work & takes away from the purpose ) like you two is preferred, Left lane for passing, Right lane if not. No zig-zag. AND no harm moving over ( CA I-5 ) when that Honda CRV doing triple digits ( not kidding ) needs the lane. Leave as early as possible ( zero dark thirty is perfect ). Always appreciate you tales of the road, Never Stop Driving.
Advanced Driver

Ok, good read ... HOWEVER, I'm dying to know how THIS works:

"tighter valve seals sometimes put more pressure on the old rings, piston grooves, and cylinder walls .."
Oh, PLEASE elucidate .. thx

congrats!! This makes me realize I need to get my Barracuda cooling system shaken down for Texas summers. Just not up to snuff.
Advanced Driver

Great article Rob!

My longest driving day ever, in time spent and likely in miles, was probably the 800 miles at 50mph, Iowa to Pennsylvania, on my way from Stanford to Boston, in my 9 year old '62 Falcon, that had hit 100k in Lovelock, Nevada, and had the kind of power where you floor it and it feels like another person started pushing. I think I stopped about three times that day, for gas, food, and bathroom each time.

A bit later that summer, I was driving in France, and I was amazed at how--because of the traffic and the French driving--it took three hours for the back of my shirt to soak through--something that didn't even begin to happen crossing the country in 1971, when the US population was probably less than 2/3 what it is now.