NEWS: Cross-Country Classics

By - June 12, 2011
Epic drives in vintage cars are nothing new, but these days they're more tempting than ever. Spare parts are a mouse click and an overnight shipping fee away. On-the-fly advice can be solicited in seconds with a smart phone. And thanks to social media, the trip itself can make you and your car (almost) famous. Here are four such road-trip celebrities.
959 Renault Dauphine Deluxe Rear View
1961 Chevrolet Corvair 500 Lakewood (freshly purchased)
Ned Coonen
Oakland, California, to Downers Grove, Illinois
September 2008 | 2100 miles

Reason for trip:
"It seemed like a fun idea. Really."
It gets cold in Nevada at night, doesn't it?
"Turns out the heater worked very well. A little smelly, though, as if you were using a lawn tractor to heat your kitchen. Not exhaust gas, just a hot air-cooled engine smell. We were pleased."
Too much information:
"My co-driver and I both thought we might have permanent nerve damage to our asses from the broken front bench seat. It was weeks before all the feeling returned to my nether regions."
How he shared it with the world:
bmwcommunity.com, bmw2002faq.com
1964 Dodge Dart 270 convertible
Dick Franke
Talent, Oregon, to Delaware, Ohio, and back
June 2003
8400 miles

Reason for trip:
"When I retired, I decided one of the many things I wanted to do was take a road trip in an old convertible."
Major mechanical failures?
"Depends on whether you consider having the push-button automatic transmission rebuilt (in South Bend, Indiana) a major failure."
Special preparation:
He called the Car Talk radio show and asked what he should bring for parts. Click and Clack's response: "Another Dodge Dart!" "Maybe two!"
How he shared it with the world:
richardfranke.com, Car Talk
1959 Renault Dauphine Deluxe
Jonathan Burnette
Austin, Texas, to Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, and back
July 2010 | 10,000 miles

Reason for trip:
"I wanted to see Alaska and wanted to go there in an old car. And I wanted to show people that a French car is better than a British car."
He might not tell you:
He's a highly regarded mechanic who specializes in French cars, and his co-drivers included the president of Concours Cars, a Colorado European car repair and restoration shop.
Major mechanical failures?
"I put fuel injection on this car, but the valve seats began to erode from not having any lead and the higher temperatures of fuel injection. I brought along another cylinder head, so I put it on in Alaska."
How he shared it with the world:
facebook.com, bringatrailer.com
1964 Dodge Dart 270 Convertible Rear View
1930 Ford Model A Tudor
Jonathan Klinger
Traverse City, Michigan, to Winnebago, Illinois, and back--twice November 2010 and December 2010 880 miles

Reason for trip:
He's using the Model A as his daily driver for a full calendar year. "This is my way to prove that old cars are in fact reliable and easy to service and repair -- and that you don't have to be a millionaire to enjoy the classic-car hobby."
He might not tell you:
He works for vintage-car insurer Hagerty, which is sponsoring the project -- although Hagerty won't insure the car because it's driven every day.
How he's sharing it with the world:
365daysofa.com
1930 Ford Model A Tudor Front View
(Don't) Do It Yourself
If you don't have the guts to go it alone, you can join an organized road trip for drivers of vintage cars. Here's a list of some of the most popular.
The Pinto Stampede
May 29-June 2, 2011
Denver, Colorado, to Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
Ford Pintos.
pintostampede.com
Hot Rod Power Tour
June 4-11, 2011
Cocoa Beach, Florida, to Detroit, Michigan. All makes and models of cars, trucks, and motorcycles.
hotrod.com/2011/powertour/index.html
Pebble Beach Motoring Classic
August 8-17, 2011
Kirkland, Washington, to Monterey, California. Concours-ready automobiles manufactured prior to 1968.
pebblebeachconcours.net/pages/about-events-driving/index.htm
America's British Reliability Run
Each autumn
Birmingham, Alabama, to the Gulf Coast and back. Anything British.
facebook.com/reliabilityrun
Mountain Mille
October 2-7, 2011
Hot Springs, Virginia, to White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, and back. 1975 or earlier sports, racing, or GT cars; exotic sports cars of any year.
vintagerallies.com
Anti-football run
Every January 1
The scenic route from Sausalito to Petaluma, California, and back. Interesting cars at least twenty-five years old.
californiamille.com
Shasta snow Trip
February 3-5, 2012
Mendocino County to Mount Shasta, California. Pre-1968 Volkswagen Microbuses. (Find our report on the 2011 run on page 84.)
shastasnowtrip.com
Snowball Rally
Each spring
Sacramento, California, to Lake Tahoe and back. Pre-1974 sports and touring cars.
thesnowballrally.com
California MILLE
Each April
1000 miles of lovely roads, departing from San Francisco, California. Cars of the types that competed in various classes of the original Mille Miglia between 1927 and 1957.
californiamille.com
The Bandit Run
May 2012
Texarkana, Texas, to Atlanta, Georgia.
Any car can participate, but the majority are Pontiac Trans Ams, with assorted muscle cars tagging along.
thebanditrun.com
959 Renault Dauphine Deluxe Rear View

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