Jump to content
American Road Magazine
Celebrating our two-lane highways of yesteryear…And the joys of driving them today!
NutmegCT

Coast To Coast 1950S

Recommended Posts

Dave - thanks for the update. I think I'll pass on those RD materials. But now I'm keeping an eye open for 1980s AAA travel guides.

 

As always, I'm probably going into overdrive on the pre-trip flights of fancy. If I were to follow even 10% of my plans, the trip would probably take a couple years.

 

Something I'm finding more perplexing: I want to make this trip in honor of my parents, tracing their original coast to coast dream. But in my reading and research, I'm finding more and more things to see than I possibly have time for on this one trip.

 

So now I'm thinking that after I return, I might sell the 1958, and buy a "less vintage" big ol' car (heavy sedan). Then I'll use it to target some regions in USA and Canada for further investigation on future trips. Maybe a 2000 Mercedes-Benz E320, or some such. Can't imagine doing a lot of traveling in a tiny car, despite the much better mpg. For me at least, something like the Smart is smart for commuting and shopping, but not for heavy-duty highway adventures.

 

Tom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

So now I'm thinking that after I return, I might sell the 1958, and buy a "less vintage" big ol' car (heavy sedan). Then I'll use it to target some regions in USA and Canada for further investigation on future trips. Maybe a 2000 Mercedes-Benz E320, or some such. Can't imagine doing a lot of traveling in a tiny car, despite the much better mpg. For me at least, something like the Smart is smart for commuting and shopping, but not for heavy-duty highway adventures.

 

Tom

 

Tom, at that time you may wish to look towards a MINI as they are not small on the inside, but get better gas mileage and are fun to drive! You can road test our MINI Clubman when you are in Allentown.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dave - thanks for the update. I think I'll pass on those RD materials. But now I'm keeping an eye open for 1980s AAA travel guides.

 

As always, I'm probably going into overdrive on the pre-trip flights of fancy. If I were to follow even 10% of my plans, the trip would probably take a couple years.

 

Something I'm finding more perplexing: I want to make this trip in honor of my parents, tracing their original coast to coast dream. But in my reading and research, I'm finding more and more things to see than I possibly have time for on this one trip.

 

So now I'm thinking that after I return, I might sell the 1958, and buy a "less vintage" big ol' car (heavy sedan). Then I'll use it to target some regions in USA and Canada for further investigation on future trips. Maybe a 2000 Mercedes-Benz E320, or some such. Can't imagine doing a lot of traveling in a tiny car, despite the much better mpg. For me at least, something like the Smart is smart for commuting and shopping, but not for heavy-duty highway adventures.

 

Tom

 

Tom,

 

It is good to hear that you are excited about your cross country road travel prospects. Over the years I have done a lot of road trips, but it wasn't until a couple of years ago, and because of this forum, that I took a transcontinental road trip. It is described here under the Hypotenuse Trail. I did another cross country last year on "my" National Parks Highway. My only regret is that I waited so long.

 

When I took the Hypotenuse Trail trip, the news was all doom and gloom. If you watched TV you would be certain the country was about to implode. But when I followed the two lane roads of this country from Florida to the Puget Sound, there was no disaster in the making. To the contrary, we were happy, busy, friendly, working hard, and mowing our lawns. The same on my trip last year across the northern states on the old National Parks Highway..

 

What you want to see isn't in the guide books, and it won't appear on any map. It exists in the people, and along the roadsides, and on the sidewalks. It's the folks in a drug store in Kansas, a gas station in the Dakotas, and a soda fountain in Nebraska. You will see it in a cornfield in Minnesota, a winding road through the woods in Arkansas, and a snow capped peak in Wyoming. And what you see and learn will make you a better man....at least it did me.

 

I have one caution. Stay off the d*** interstates as much as possible. They are great for getting from place to place, but that is not your objective. On the Hypotenuse Trail trip I stayed on two lane roads all the way, except for a short section I couldn't avoid on the interstate in Wyoming. The immediate feeling on the interstate was one of distance. I was immediately disconnected from the countryside and the people.

 

If you want to appreciate America, meet our people, and feel the experience, do it the American Road way.......in a Mercedes, Mini Cooper, Miata, Ford F-150, or Subaru Forester.

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
But in my reading and research, I'm finding more and more things to see than I possibly have time for on this one trip.

 

I had that same revelation as I was researching for my Route 66 trip in early 2009. I became so overwhelmed with what all I was being told I "should" see that I finally sat down, made a list of all that had been suggested, crossed off things that I knew for sure really didn't interest me, then formulated an itinerary from what was left. As I did that, I had a good idea of what I could and could not see given the timeframe, so I eliminated things further, to ensure that my 2 weeks was WELL used. And, those 2 weeks in September 2009 were the best road tripping 2 weeks.

 

 

 

On the Hypotenuse Trail trip I stayed on two lane roads all the way, except for a short section I couldn't avoid on the interstate in Wyoming. The immediate feeling on the interstate was one of distance. I was immediately disconnected from the countryside and the people.

 

I know what you mean, Dave. I felt that way on my way back home, after my September 2009 Route 66 trip. Funny thing is ... prior to that trip ... I never felt disconnected on the interstates. Why? Because every single road trip prior to that 2009 journey, my goal was to meet people I knew from various groups/message boards, including family members and friends. So, I didn't mind the jaunt on the interstates, because the quicker I arrived at each town, the more time I had to spend with the people I planned to meet. Even so, I took my time and stopped when I needed, etc., and still met a number of people along the way. Plus, in most cases, I was driving only 5-6 hours a day, giving me ample time.

 

I'm eager to see how my 2011 trip will go, based on those experiences. This year, my trip has to be on the interstates, given my relatively short time (just over 2 weeks) to go from some car shows in Pennsylvania to some spots along Route 66 (including stops in IL, MO, KS, OK and TX) to Washington and Oregon. I have some 2-lane jaunts planned, but not as many as I'd like. If only I had more than 2 weeks of vacation, I'd be set. Some have suggested I wait to do that type of trip until retirement ... except that is some 30 years down the road, and we are NEVER guaranteed "tomorrow"....

 

 

 

Cort | 37.m.IL.pigValve.pacemaker | 5 Monte Carlos + 1 Caprice Classic | * meet_05.21.11_FrnkGrv.IL *

MCs.CC + CHD.models.HO.legos.RadioShows + RoadTrips.us66 = http://www.chevyasylum.com/cort

"Time asks no questions" __ Des'ree __ 'You Gotta Be'

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At last, an update. I had to sell my wonderful 1958 Mercedes to pay for the unexpected expenses of 2011. (Cancer, eye surgery, two floods ... hey, don't want to get bored!)

 

Spent a few months in the dumps but finally snapped out of it and decided that ... as long as my body is a wreck, I might as well get a "rolling wreck" old Mercedes, and make the trip after all. Make sure it's mechanically sound, but ignore the cosmetic problems.

 

One ad said "Looks bad, needs help, but still runs." Just like me.

 

So here's my "new" 1960 Mercedes-Benz 190b. Four cylinder, 90hp, 4 speed, lots of dents and scratches.

 

Click on the images for a close up.

 

post-18059-0-37204800-1352677002_thumb.jpg

 

post-18059-0-85035900-1352677432_thumb.jpg

 

post-18059-0-65449400-1352677489_thumb.jpg

 

California or Bust!

Edited by NutmegCT

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tom,

 

Welcome back!!! It has been over a year and we are all a little worse for wear, but hanging in there!

 

That is an amazingly original machine....or at least it sure looks that way from here. I really love the interior, and the simple wheel treatment.

 

That photo of the engine brought back my days as a gas jocky while I was in college in the early 60's. I have forgotten what spark plugs look like....mine are buried under acres of ducts and control hardware. Imagine just reaching in with a socket wrench and removing a plug!

 

What are your revised plans? When are you launching the grand adventure?

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your car, sir, is what we like to call a "survivor," and in some ways that's better than one well restored. It bears the marks of its use. It makes it more authentic.

 

Please keep us updated on your progress toward hitting the road. And when you pass through Ohio and Indiana, I strongly recommend the National Road, better known today as US 40. There are several great old alignments, too, some of them brick and concrete laid almost 100 years ago, if you're into that sort of thing.

 

-Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Looks bad, needs help, but still runs." I believe quite a few of us resemble that remark.

 

Your "rolling wreck" looks mighty good to me. Nice to see you back on the forum with travel talk flowing.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×