Managing Editor Stefan Lombard and I occupy a special position this week as the sole members of the Hagerty magazine editorial team not participating in the Route 66 Retro Road Trip. As least Stefan has a job in all this as the social media link between the road trippers and the rest of the world.
I on the other hand am reduced to the position of redundant worry-wart. The maker of thirty phone calls on Day One as Claire Walters documented. Early on, when the mechanical problems were sticking to the car worse than duct tape on a hot day, I fancied myself as a Gene Kranz (played by the great Ed Harris in the movie), the NASA mission controller who successfully talked the crew of Apollo 13 back to Earth. I successfully diagnosed a stuck thermostat on the Datsun and talked Jonathan through removing it. Yep, just like Gene, minus the cool demeanor, real engineering skill, the trademark flat top and Presidential Medal of Freedom.
From there though, the surprising mechanical skills of AutoWeek Senior Editor Rory Carroll took over. I have the sense that this team (maybe along with some help from our readers and Facebook friends) can handle just about anything two old cars can throw at them. And I’m back to watching and following along with everyone else. It’s a classic road trip adventure and I’ll be back to thinking about Gene and waiting for the team to break radio silence from the road.
Rob Sass is the Publisher of Hagerty magazine.