We've owned our 1965 Corvette for 33 years. I had dreamed of doing this with a vintage Vette for sometime. This was in my "bucket list" to do. We've been blessed with good health and decided in May of 2013 to just hit the road following as much of the Route 66 that was available. My wife had some reservations about comfort and just getting beat up by driving in an old car across the country. I had prepped her pretty good, replacing all the foam and covering the seats with new leathers. I added '67 headrests to this '65 as well as daytime running lights, 4 way flashers and 3 point shoulder harness belts which are attached to the frame...not the body. I had previously added Classic Auto Air and completed the prep for this trip with a set of Michlin Defender radial tires for a, hopefully, trouble free trip.
We left our home May 4th and spent the night at our son's near South Bend, In. We ended up taking all the clothes out of duffel bags and just sorting 1/3 to me and 2/3 to my wife (is there a more fairer way to divide down the middle (LOL). It became a rolling closet that really made it easier to grab that shirt or shorts you needed for the next day.
We picked up Route 66 in Wilmington, Il. We decided early on to see and drive as much of Route 66 as we could. Along the way we took in sights/tours such as Abraham Lincoln's Museum in Springfield, Il, the National Cowboy Museum in Oklahoma City, Ok as well as the monument/memorial in Oklahoma City for the 168 folks who lost their lives in the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. THAT was very sobering.
We also did a side trip to the Grand Canyon...THAT sure makes you feel small. Truly is 1 of the natural wonders on this earth. We gave the Vette a rest there, taking the train out of Williams, Az.
Surprisingly, the actual 2 lane Portland concrete road was in very good shape. We pretty much drove on this road through Illinois, Missouri, Kansas and parts of Oklahoma. As we got out of Oklahoma, we didn't find Route 66 to be consistent. We did miss some of the best of Route 66 in Arizona...we decided at that point to make some time via the Interstate to get us to Santa Monica, Ca.
We drove from Santa Monica to San Francisco, spending 2 days there. That's a neat city...a happening town. At that point we felt it was time to head home, leaving a trip up the coast for another time, Lord willing.
In Dwight, Il we stumbled across this 'stepping into the past' Texaco gas station, including a service attendant. He actually washed my windshield. Ha!
In many towns on the Route, they appeared almost ghost townish'. At one point on this trip, we had a passenger train coming at us on the left, we're in the middle on '66 and the Interstate was on the right...really shows the history of this east/west route. Tracks were first, then the 2 lane Route 66 and finally the Interstate.
A great road trip...one in which if you're not friends to start out with, you certainly ARE when you're finished, LOL.. or in divorce court. Seriously, we had a ball and my wife came away appreciating the fact that the '5 was more comfortable on this long trip then she expected. What kind'a beat her up, wore her down though, was the getting in and out 3 and 4 times a day.
Have to say the 5 speed overdrive unit from Keisler that was installed in December of 2012 really made the trip worthwhile in an old school Corvette.
We've paved the way/cut our teeth on long distance trips with this one. i highly recommend a 'mother road' trip in your 'bucket list'.
It took us 14 days to get to Pier 39, Palisades Park, Santa Monica, California, the official end of Route 66. It took 4 1/2 days to return home, driving from San Francisco via I-80.
A few statistics as a result of our driving vacation/trip.
Total cost based on receipts we managed to hold on to was $4,270.24.
Round Trip miles covered: 5,785
Motel/Bed & Breakfast Accomodations: $2,061.34
Gasoline (mostly 91 Octane): $1,400.92 (Average Price Per Gallon: $4.18...Gallons used: 335.21/Average MPG: 17.26)
Tour Fees/Tolls/Admittance Fees at Museums: $202.86
Oh, our only "trouble" on this whole trip was I used 1 quart of oil!!
We hope more road trips are on the horizon for us. These cars were meant to be driven and enjoyed.
Jim & Mary Karam
In God We Trust!