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alini

Would you drive across the country in your car?

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Bill Stoneberg    371

Chris I have driven my old cars all over the US.  I took my 64 Riviera from Houston to Seattle and back. Besides breaking a A/C belt, I had no issues. Most of it was on Freeway at 65 to 75. Except coming across Nebraska, we did 350 miles rather quickly at the cost of 7 mpg.

 

I took my 1960 Electra from Austin To Allentown PA this last summer. Except for the A/C not keeping up with the heat the last day, It want great. Again 65 -75 mph.

 

Old cars were and are meant to be driven.  Yours though is too new.  I like to get a couple of thousand miles on a car before taking off.

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KongaMan    123
30 minutes ago, Bill Stoneberg said:

Old cars were and are meant to be driven.

 

No kiddin'.  If you're not going to drive it, why do you have it?

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Tinindian    286
1 hour ago, Bill Stoneberg said:

Old cars were and are meant to be driven

Absolutely true.  I have driven my (daily driver) in and through every state west of the Mississippi, including Alaska, but not Hawaii.  The first time I went from Winnipeg to Texas the car was only 32 years old and had not been overhauled.  Now at 500,000+ miles the engine has been overhauled three times and the differential 4 times and one clutch replacement.  The only breakdown on the road was the day after I had been using the car to pull shrubs out of my back yard and the clutch pressure plate disintegrated.  Not the cars fault.  Operators fault.

If you won't take your car out on a long trip perhaps it shouldn't be driven at all.  If it's unreliable it shouldn't be on the road.  If it's reliable go anywhere with it.  Enjoy your car.  My wife's Sonata is a lovely car (good mileage, comfortable and has AC) but I would rather drive my 1930 Pontiac.

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ronnie27    15

About 5 years ago while driving my 67 big block El Camino down the freeway at about 70 on Hot Rod Power Tour my 3 groove pulley on the crank decided to come from all together to apart. No known reason. In fact my buddy and I were at that very moment discussing how well the trip had been going. Thanks to the help from a couple of other guys on Power Tour and a local hot rodder living on top of the closes hill in the middle of nowhere in Tennessee we were back on the road in less than two hours. You just never know, we had already logged about 500 miles that day catching up with Power Tour. But to answer your question, if I felt the car was in good mechanical condition, I would do it. In fact my 64 Riviera was driven from Idaho to Mississippi, then southwest Louisiana when purchased about 5 years ago.

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JanZverina    11

"If a car will go 15 miles with a stop at 7 1/2 and home again it will go anywhere. All the mechanical functions come up to operating conditions in a drive like that."

 

Bernie, with all due respect I would have to disagree with that. Widely varying regional temperature changes, elevation changes, traffic congestion, etc. are usually part of a cross-country trip of more than 2,800 miles and 5/6 days of steady driving. Unless you have gone through your car with a fine-tooth comb and had just about everything rebuilt -- and rebuilt to a high quality -- chances are something in a 54-year old car (I have a '63) will give out or at least make enough noise, etc. to make you take care of it in the next town if possible. Yes, our best tools these days, in addition to a general knowledge of how 1960-era cars work, is a cell phone and a comprehensive roadside assistance plan, and even those may not work so well in some places. I drive my Riv, and before that, my '60 Electra on weekly 40-60 mile trips, but other than some long grades east of San Diego, there's not much in terms of variable conditions. Still. this thread made me think of the time my parents took us kids cross-country and back in 1966, in my Dad's non-air conditioned Mercedes 190 sedan. In the southwest U.S., he delighted in taking pictures of all the overheated large American cars, saying his Mercedes was superior, even though it was nothing like the ones today in terms of comfort or driving dynamics. I was thrilled to come across these photos years later and see that flattop Buick, which was a mere six years old at the time!            

Summer 1966 Zverina cross-country.jpg

Summer 1966 Zverina cross-country1.jpg

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KongaMan    123

If it takes 5-6 days of steady driving to go 2800 miles, you probably ought to check to see if your parking brake is stuck on. ;)

 

We went cross-country in 1967 in a 61 LeSabre.  The only trouble we had was when the AC went out somewhere near Albuquerque.  I can't think that all those cars were actually overheating; one might posit  that it was more monkey-see, monkey-do than anything else.

Edited by KongaMan (see edit history)
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Bill Stoneberg    371
2 hours ago, KongaMan said:

If it takes 5-6 days of steady driving to go 2800 miles, you probably ought to check to see if your parking brake is stuck on.

 

As I get older I find I can't do the milage I once did.  I find I like to sleep in a hotel, eat and take a shower every night. Not to mention have a beer or two.  

This limits my milage to 500 - 600 miles a day, which in a old car is plenty.  Plus if you travel with a wife or family, you have to stop more often.

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bodayguy    38

While I dream of driving mine from Seattle to Vegas, I just can't imagine that's a good idea AT ALL! You guys are brave!

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KongaMan    123
42 minutes ago, Bill Stoneberg said:

 

As I get older I find I can't do the milage I once did.  I find I like to sleep in a hotel, eat and take a shower every night. Not to mention have a beer or two.  

This limits my milage to 500 - 600 miles a day, which in a old car is plenty.  Plus if you travel with a wife or family, you have to stop more often.

Just last summer I drove a 1989 Jeep loaded with tools and machinery from California to Ohio (~2800 miles) in 2-1/2 days.  Daylight driving only (save an hour in eastern Wyoming), off the freeway from the Wyoming/Nebraska border east, and both nights in a hotel.  Woulda done the beers, too, if I'd had any in the cooler. ;)

 

The wife and family are definitely counterproductive, though.  Leave them at home if you want to accomplish anything.  My Granddad used to say that every extra person adds an hour a day.

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RoadShark    35
On March 15, 2017 at 11:49 PM, arnulfo de l.a. said:

 

You sir are truly hard core !

That's one way of putting it!  You sir - are truly charitable.

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EmTee    560
19 hours ago, 60FlatTop said:

I brought it back and asked her if she hadn't heard of "The Male Mystique".

 

Ha - had to do that once with my '56 40 years ago.  I wasn't aware of the "Male Mystique" thing at the time (maybe because I was living it).  I thought it was simply judicial use of the accelerator pedal and hand brake...  :huh:

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60FlatTop    1,891

It is probably not a bad idea to get a portable GPS and program it to avoid locations containing the words Death, Bad, Rocky, and Summit for starters. And if a friend named Dante offers to be your navigator, politely decline his offer.

 

It is interesting to consider leaving the family behind. A few days alone, quietly surrounded by steel has a peaceful eternal flavor to it.

 

 

On the mystique thing, there was a book for feminist activists published in the 1960's called The Feminine Mystique .It was a kind of credo for my Wife as a hippy college student. I think she still has the symbolic women's fist tee-shirt. I used to tease her about the male mystique. The shock value of the first off hand use was worth it all. It was fun to use it on my Daughter about 40 years later

I remember a panic call when I was at work, that our little red convertible wouldn't start.

19425.jpg.205b3ae615318153baa54c80b42a156f.jpg I told her to go back out and put it in Park. She called 10 minutes later and asked "How did you know that!"

.

 

I still say a car that will drive 15 miles successfully is capable of a long trip. Use the northern route and if you come to a river look for a bridge. Things should be OK.

Bernie

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KongaMan    123
1 hour ago, 60FlatTop said:

It is interesting to consider leaving the family behind. A few days alone, quietly surrounded by steel has a peaceful eternal flavor to it.

 

I'll tell ya, going across all of Nebraska, Iowa, and Indiana on two lane road (30->34->24->224) was very enjoyable.

 

1 hour ago, 60FlatTop said:

I remember a panic call when I was at work, that our little red convertible wouldn't start.

 I told her to go back out and put it in Park. She called 10 minutes later and asked "How did you know that!"

 

Ha!  I had that exact conversation with the wife a couple of years ago when she was stuck with her Acura. :D

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alini    120

I don't have fear of anything breaking.  My problem is the comfort. The car is great for cruising and doing the highway speed.  It's my ears and my back that can't handle it.  The engine noise coming into the cabin just because it's a 65 not for any other reason and the seats while comfortable aren't the best for 8 hours of driving

Edited by alini (see edit history)

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60FlatTop    1,891

I would say a lot of confidence has been gained since post #1. That's pretty good.

 

Re-upholstery is coming up for mine, hopefully this year. I know it should get new foam, but I have been looking over a spare set of seat frames and thinking about converting them to tied coil springs with burlap and cotton batting to make that living room couch feel under original covers.. I am intrigued enough to do one up "in my spare time".

 

One of the real pleasures I get from old cars is the non-overdrive engine feel. They are always right there in a sweet spot. I don't care for overdrive in the 45-50 MPH range. I usually pull it down and bring the revs up if I drive like that long. I do run quiet exhaust on most of the stuff. Hot Rodders with those 2 1/2" pipes and "performance" mufflers gotta pay for that image.

 

On the constant high speed thing, the engines I have seen burn out of those sustained highway trip seem to all belong to college girls with a heavy foot and a sludged up engine with the oil returns blocked. All the oil up in the valve covers is not a good thing.

 

I am pretty lucky for my age and physical condition. I never worked hard or got into athletics so everything that is not bone conforms pretty good to its surroundings. It ain't like I am solid muscle and every ounce pounded on with a hammer. I'm much more adaptable. Like today, the Pope said celebrate St. Paddy's Day and I took my Wife out for lunch at a convenient store about 7 1/2 miles away. We got the two slices of pepperoni Pizza and non-diet Coke for $4.34 each. See, made the 15 mile reliability run and got the grease to help conform to the seats. I'm ready for a road trip!

Bernie

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jframe    44

My 65 went from Branson, Mo to Jonesboro, Ar to meet me, then I drove from there to Muscle Shoals, Alabama. No problems whatsoever,except I had to keep backing off the gas to stay off 80 mph on US routes, lol.

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PWB    195
3 hours ago, 60FlatTop said:

I would say a lot of confidence has been gained since post #1. That's pretty good.

 

Re-upholstery is coming up for mine, hopefully this year. I know it should get new foam, but I have been looking over a spare set of seat frames and thinking about converting them to tied coil springs with burlap and cotton batting to make that living room couch feel under original covers.. I am intrigued enough to do one up "in my spare time".

 

One of the real pleasures I get from old cars is the non-overdrive engine feel. They are always right there in a sweet spot. I don't care for overdrive in the 45-50 MPH range. I usually pull it down and bring the revs up if I drive like that long. I do run quiet exhaust on most of the stuff. Hot Rodders with those 2 1/2" pipes and "performance" mufflers gotta pay for that image.

 

On the constant high speed thing, the engines I have seen burn out of those sustained highway trip seem to all belong to college girls with a heavy foot and a sludged up engine with the oil returns blocked. All the oil up in the valve covers is not a good thing.

 

I am pretty lucky for my age and physical condition. I never worked hard or got into athletics so everything that is not bone conforms pretty good to its surroundings. It ain't like I am solid muscle and every ounce pounded on with a hammer. I'm much more adaptable. Like today, the Pope said celebrate St. Paddy's Day and I took my Wife out for lunch at a convenient store about 7 1/2 miles away. We got the two slices of pepperoni Pizza and non-diet Coke for $4.34 each. See, made the 15 mile reliability run and got the grease to help conform to the seats. I'm ready for a road trip!

Bernie

I can't find a good pizza joint here in Ocala. Was spoiled in NY. Heck, I cant find a good Chinese joint either. Home cookin then.

I would love to see a photo documentary on the seat resto' done to original. Cotton and burlap - mice like it more than pizza!

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Chris, my 1950 has been to Charlotte and enough other places to accumulate 11,000 miles last 7 years.  I was feeling pretty good about that. Today upon arriving at the Swap Meet in Chickasha,  First thing I see is a T model Ford PU with  "canvas" stretched over the bed. Old fellow was taking it down. Started talking, and he mentioned he drove it 12,000 miles. LAST YEAR!!  A 1925!  I did not brag about my lousy 11,000 in seven years.  Ben 

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RoadShark    35

It's even more fun in the winter (actually, I've gotten older and I'm more aware of the risks of cross-country travel in the winter through the Rockies).  This is outside Kearney Nebraska on the way to skiing in Utah and hiking in Big Bend.  Keep tools handy...

 

sc0018648c.jpg

sc0018a1a9.jpg

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RivNut    948

For some reason I can't get the link to post but if you're wondering what a 60's era Buick nailhead will do 'cross country' there's a 17 minute video on YouTube that show the details of running a 60 Buick 10,000 miles in less than 5,000 minutes.  The feat was sponsored by Buick but couldn't be published because of something.  Seven professional drivers, a modified fuel tank, and Firestone NASCAR tires.  For you non-math guys, that's an average speed of over 120 mph for 5,000 minutes, or 83.333 hours, stopping only to change drivers and tires; the engine was never shut off, and between tire changes, refueling was done at speed from another similar Buick.  Both cars were running a 401 with Dynaflow.

 

Type '1960 buick 10000 miles 5000 minutes' into the YouTube search window. It's a little longer than 17 minutes. Well worth watching. You should now have confidence to drive your car anywhere IF you've been doing proper maintenance. 

 

Ed

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)
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RivNut    948

!0,000 miles at a sustained 120 miles per hour.

Ahh Haa, got off my tablet and onto the desk top.  Here's the link that I was talking about.  

 

 

 

As it says in the beginning, it's like driving from Flint to Detroit, then to Los Angeles,on  to Miami, to New York, and back to LA in 3 and 1/2 days.  

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PWB    195
2 hours ago, RivNut said:

!0,000 miles at a sustained 120 miles per hour.

Ahh Haa, got off my tablet and onto the desk top.  Here's the link that I was talking about. 

As it says in the beginning, it's like driving from Flint to Detroit, then to Los Angeles,on  to Miami, to New York, and back to LA in 3 and 1/2 days.  

Phenomenal. 

Thank you Ed

 

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gord14080    13

Wow great piece of history, thanks for sharing. My drive from Cape Breton Nova Scotia to WIlliamsburg last year was a great drive,I didn't like leaving the car at night,I worried about my windshield and truck tires on the road. Driving to Reno is too much ,may see when the meet comes east again,thanks again for sharing that tape!

I may make it to the next east coast event,All the best Gordon Purves,gord14080.

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60FlatTop    1,891

So that's the test they did to learn how to make better cars in the future.

 

Spotted last year on the Edmonds Road on Orleans County still looking for one.

 

003.thumb.JPG.228f5e8252e8259695cf50c3482017dd.JPG

 

 

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