Brian C

Route 1

My brother and I went on a road trip two summers in a row (1998-1999) to drive the length

of route 1 (ten or so days each trip if I recall). The first trip was in my brother's 1970

Cadillac DeVille. We drove from Washington DC to Key West. I remember getting sunburn on

the tops of my legs and knees from driving all day with the top down. The DeVille is a

boat, and does not get great mileage, but it really was an extremely comfortable ride. My

brother is an excellent mechanic, and although the body could use a bit of work, it made it

there and back with no problems. No one has the luxury of time anymore, but given the time

and opportunity, I would take the old roads everywhere I go...flying takes all the fun out

of it.

As for the second road trip, it was back roads to Canada, then to Maine and route 1 back

home to Washington DC in my 1972 Javelin AMX. It's a 401 4-speed Go-Pack car, with manual

steering and NO AC. Cooling is 4 60 AC (4 windows down 60 mph). That wasn't a problem for

us, and thankfully the Javelin got the northern of the two trips. I looked through the

photos and realized that we didn't take too many "selfies" so all you get is me fixing a

squeaking pedal in the parking lot of an auto parts store in Pennsylvania. I do have a lot

of over-the-dash photos of the interesting things we saw on the way. I especially remember

the trip up western PA, we had the road mostly to ourselves, and the roads and countryside

were incredible. We stopped at a gas station / quick mart store and someone in a Jeep

asked us to hang out awhile while they called their friends. We know that PA is full of

AMC aficionados, and we hung out in the parking lot and talked cars for awhile before

hitting the road again. It was a great serendipitous moment, and part of the a bunch of

serendipitous moments that made up both trips. For the most part we did not book motels

ahead, and instead stopped when we felt that it would be a great place to stay. We had the

maps at hand (no smartphones then) and figured destinations and times, and never got shut

out, although a couple times we went a little further down the road than we had expected.

We traveled 2369 miles on route 1 (plus the miles on the to/return routes) in our classic

cars, met great people, taking the old route through small town and big town America alike.

My brother stopped by today, and we worked on cars together (the daily drivers though), as

we often do on weekends. Today the Javelin and Cadillac sit next to each other in my

garage, waiting for the day that we figure out a way to make work and family obligations

forget about us for another two weeks. Old route 40 awaits.

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