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Driving a 49 Year Old Car Across Country

09/30/2020 6:18 AM

Yes, you read that correctly. My better half and I are planning another cross country drive in a 49 year old car. We're starting in New Jersey, right outside of New York City. This time we're driving a 1971 Alfa Romeo Spider. No SPICA mechanical fuel injection - this one has dual Weber carbs! High elevation isn't a good idea with carbs, so we're planning to take the southern route.

Start date is set for October 7th and the trip is planned for 12 days. The route is as follows.

Start in New Jersey near Newark Airport. Drive to a pizza place in New Jersey, east of the 95. Have dinner, then head back to the 95 and stop for the night in Valley Forge. The next morning, visit Valley Forge and touch the cannons - see Washington's camp and roam the hills. Then head down to Philadelphia and re-visit Independence Hall, Betsy Ross' house, etc. Have a Philly Cheese Steak sandwich! Then head out of town and to Alexandria, VA.

The next morning, head into town to re-visit the Smithsonian (Natural History) and maybe see the National Archives (if open), Jefferson Memorial, Arlington Cemetary, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Vietnam Vet Memorial. Sleep in Alexandria one more night and head out to Manassas and walk the Bull Run Battlefield. Then comes the long drive to Knoxville, TN (7 hours).

The next morning, we're heading to Nashville to see the Grand Ole Opry, Music City and Lane Motor Museum. Of course, we have to have some of that awesome Nashville BBQ!! Then head out to Jackson, TN where we'll spend the night. Next morning, we're off to Memphis to see Graceland and Beale Street. We'll have some white BBQ, then off to Hot Springs Arkansas.

The next morning, we'll visit the Buckstaff Bathhouse for a natural hot spring spa experience! Then off to Dallas, TX where we'll spend a nice evening on the town.

The next morning, it's the 6th Floor Museum followed by the Bush Center (if open) and the Museum of Illusion. Drive to Abeline, TX and spend the night - this is a huge state! Next day Albuquerque where we'll visit the old indian burial site, head west to see the Petroglyph National Monument and wind up in Gallup, NM (I stayed in Gallup back in 1987 when I drove across country with my college pal).

Drive to the Petrified Forest (I've never stopped there), then to Kingman, AZ and see Area 66.

After that, it's about a 5 hour drive home!

We may also take a detour and spend a day or two in Phoenix. I took a lot of business trips to Phoenix back in the early 90's and I really like the town. I'd like to hike the three mountains while I'm down there, Camelback, Squaw Peak and South Mountain. We'll see if we have time.

Everyone here, please throw in your recommendations! And also places we should avoid!

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#1

Re: Driving a 49 Year Old Car Across Country

09/30/2020 10:09 AM

Good luck.

I don't see much chance of running into any dangerous bears; let's just hope the car holds up OK.

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#5
In reply to #1

Re: Driving a 49 Year Old Car Across Country

09/30/2020 7:24 PM

Thanks Randall!

We are going through the forest west of DC. There are mountains and I believe bears there, but I don't plan on any mountain hikes!

I hope the car holds up too. I'll add some pictures of it.

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#2

Re: Driving a 49 Year Old Car Across Country

09/30/2020 1:05 PM

The Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville is also a nice attraction. Plan on at least half a day to wander through and check out the exhibits if you are into it, but a couple of hours will do if you don't linger.

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#6
In reply to #2

Re: Driving a 49 Year Old Car Across Country

09/30/2020 7:25 PM

Thanks for the tip. I just added it to our list.

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#3

Re: Driving a 49 Year Old Car Across Country

09/30/2020 1:46 PM

good luck,...

I had a ‘53 Chevrolet Belair 2 door sedan, I drove quite a bit,... I always believe if your going to own a ‘vintage’ car, it should be used and enjoyed, and not to be looked at and never used.

You ask for recommendations, well, with you and your wife traveling, I suggest bringing (2) skateboards along with you, so you wouldn't be stranded.

But heres my recommendation

1.) Be a AAA member and bring your card along, if you have major car trouble, towing is free in a 200 mile radius.

2.) a toolbox with some standard tools is a must. I can’t say about parts. Just keep in mind you may have to improvise because parts aren’t readily available.

3.) your going road touring, Good or bad, I always look at it as an adventure and nothing’s really bad when you look at it.

happy touring....

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#7
In reply to #3

Re: Driving a 49 Year Old Car Across Country

09/30/2020 7:31 PM

Thanks Phoenix!

I have towing from State Farm Car Insurance, so we're okay. I delivered a Lexus RX350 the other day and due to state laws, we had to have it towed off the property. My client was on hold for over an hour with AAA. Not good!

Toolbox - check and double check. Just basic tools like a hammer and some saws. Just kidding! A pair of needle nose vice grips, pliers, crescent wrench, phillips and slotted screw driver, paper clips, metal clothes hanger, duct tape and gloves. The car has a jack that works and a tire iron/lug wrench. Spare fuses wouldn't be a bad idea. And we're going to pick up a gallon of motor oil when we get there, along with coolant and distilled water. A hammer is too tempting when stuck on the side of the road!

We're looking forward to it. I'm expecting some sort of break down, so it'll be an adventure.

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#11
In reply to #7

Re: Driving a 49 Year Old Car Across Country

09/30/2020 7:54 PM

Nylons... don’t forget your nylons... not in case your fan belt blows... its because When you wear it, it makes you feel pretty.

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#16
In reply to #11

Re: Driving a 49 Year Old Car Across Country

10/01/2020 2:04 AM

ummmm. okay

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#27
In reply to #16

Re: Driving a 49 Year Old Car Across Country

10/02/2020 11:33 AM

Lol,... When you get back,... if you could, share your trip experience here, it’ll be appreciated.

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#36
In reply to #27

Re: Driving a 49 Year Old Car Across Country

10/02/2020 5:11 PM

I'll post on the site often. With pictures too!

Less than a week to go!

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#19
In reply to #11

Re: Driving a 49 Year Old Car Across Country

10/01/2020 2:55 AM

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#28
In reply to #19

Re: Driving a 49 Year Old Car Across Country

10/02/2020 11:35 AM

Here a tip I found out in my younger day,... you really don’t know your friends antics,... until you went on a vacation with them.

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#4

Re: Driving a 49 Year Old Car Across Country

09/30/2020 3:53 PM

I would avoid the River Styx and any free rides from the ferryman, Charon...

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#8
In reply to #4

Re: Driving a 49 Year Old Car Across Country

09/30/2020 7:33 PM

Oh no! I was worried about the green skin lady who offers apples or wants me to clean/check her oven!

You made me laugh! Thanks!

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#9

Re: Driving a 49 Year Old Car Across Country

09/30/2020 7:48 PM