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 Road Trip USA

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Erik Boattail



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Date d'inscription : 29/04/2007

MessageSujet: Road Trip USA   Mer 17 Déc - 11:09:07

I just came back from a Road Trip through the USA.

Me and my friend Rob were asked by a friend of ours to drive a 1966 Buick Riviera from NY to Austin, Texas.

In Austin we rented a 2009 Chevrolet Trailblazer for a trip to California and back.

Here's my report I typed on V8Buick.com.

I will not translate what I typed, just look at the photos and enjoy !!

Traduction:

Je suis juste revenu d'un Road Trip par les USA.

Moi et mon ami Rob ont été invités par un ami à nous à conduire un Buick Riviera 1966 par NY à Austin, le Texas.

À Austin nous avons loué un 2009 de Chevrolet Trailblazer pour un voyage à la Californie et au dos.

Voici mon rapport que j'ai dactylographié sur V8Buick.com.
Je ne traduirai pas ce que j'ai dactylographié, juste regarderai les photos et apprécierai ! !!
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Erik Boattail



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MessageSujet: Re: Road Trip USA   Mer 17 Déc - 11:10:49

On Friday November 28 I kissed the dog goodbye and tapped my wife on her shoulder, left home around 6 AM to drive to a nearby train station, to catch a train to Schiphol (Amsterdam) Airport.

I arrived at the airport at 7 AM, and had to wait for 5 minutes for Rob to arrive from the South.
After his arrival we checked in at Delta Airlines and we even made it through then security check at customs...

The plane left at 9.15 AM, and after an 8,5 hours flight we arrived at JFK NY airport at 11.45 AM.

For some reason I went through US Customs with flying colours, but Rob was sent back in a very angry way by this US Customs ''gentleman'' to work on his Visa form because he forgot to fill in his passport number (some of those foreigners are really stupid....)

Anyway, we had to reach Middletown, NY by train, so the big puzzle began.
We expected that JFK had a train station where we could board a train heading Northbound, but no......

After a confusing ride in an airport shuttle, we figured out we had to take the subway to Penn Station. So we went for a ride in the NY subway, along the journey a group of kids decided that they had to earn some money by performing a break dance act, supported by human beatbox sounds, right in front of our seats.

Very interesting, but we didn't handed them a single Euro when they tried to collect some money after their performance. Not because they wouldn't be able to figure out what kind of Monopoly money they just earned, but more because nobody in the entire train really cared about giving them some money.

At Penn Station we bought a ticket to Middletown, and were told that we first had to go to this station with a difficult name, to catch the direct train to Middletown.

At this above mentioned station with the difficult name we were told that we had to wait for a little over 2 hours before the next train left for Middletown.

So we sat down on a bench in the station hall, and I was fascinated by the structure of this hall.
Here are three photos I took, maybe somebody will recognise the station and post the (difficult) name ?







At 4.15 PM we left the station in a very slow train to Middletown.
Now you might wonder why we wanted to visit this Middletown place, but we had a very good reason to go upstate NY:

Boardmember austingta (Frank) bought a 1966 Riviera GS through eBay, and asked us to drive this car from NY to Austin, Texas where he lives.
That's an offer we couldn't refuse, what are our chances to ever again travel the USA from North to South in a classic Buick ?

So we said YES!!! and that's why we were in this train to Middletown to meet the seller of the Riviera at the local trainstation.

We set our first steps into Middletown at 6 PM, and Paul the seller, picked us up in his Ford Something to transport us to his house to pick up the Riviera.

After a good cool Coke and a piece of delicious home baked apple pie we drove off in the Riviera:



First we went back to Middletown to do some shopping at the local Wal Mart, and we were on our way to the PA state border.

Very soon we discovered that the heather in the car didn't work all that well, and that the vent doors for the cool outside air (AC delete car) were wide open with both cables jammed......

So we drove that night in our sleeping bags, all the way to Colombus Ohio....
In the morning (when we had enough light) we figured out what was wrong with the heather and even mangaged to close the vent door.
And we could have a good look at the car:







From Columbus, Ohio we continued our trip towards Indianapolis, but somewhere before Greenville, IL we were forced to stop our travels because the Riviera developed some serious trouble with the brakes.

More about this in a next post.

PS: Until now (Saint Charles, Missouri) we've enjoyed every mile of this trip, and we even met a few board members
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Erik Boattail



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MessageSujet: Re: Road Trip USA   Mer 17 Déc - 11:12:22

We spend the Sunday in Greenfield, Indiana, trying to sort out the trouble with the brakes.
To make a long story short: We left for Illinois on Monday



Next stop was at Country Classic Cars in Staunton.
This place is unbelievable, just check the photos:

















































I have over 400 photos from this place, so check my website when we are back home in the Netherlands.
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MessageSujet: Re: Road Trip USA   Mer 17 Déc - 11:13:42

Next port of call was John (Staged70) place in St. Louis, Rob bought a pair of chrome 455 valve covers from him, so we decided this was a good time to pick them up.

Here's John walking to his amazing garage in the back of his garden.
For some reason he thinks that Wild Bill (Topcat) should run for president of the USA:



Here's John's garage with his Suncoupe project:







We were also very impressed with John's huge stack of NOS parts !!!

Thanks for showing us around at your place John, and good luck with mama dog and the 2 new born puppies.

Next on the list was a visit to Adam (Smartin).

Here's his 1958 Limited project:









Here's Adam looking at ''our'' trusty Riviera:







And we were VERY impressed with his beautiful Centurion !!!!!!







Nice meeting you Adam, and thanks for showing us your Limited project.

So far my report on last Monday, more will follow....
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MessageSujet: Re: Road Trip USA   Mer 17 Déc - 11:14:25

Here are a few ''teaser photos'' from our visit at Wheatbelt Buick:







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MessageSujet: Re: Road Trip USA   Mer 17 Déc - 11:15:31

Yesterday (Tuesday Dec. 2nd) we visited Fast Lane Classic Cars Inc. in St. Charles, MO.

Amazing place with loads and loads of classic American cars.
We met this friendly man from Ohio there, travelling to Florida together with his (also) very friendly dog.
When we returned to the Riviera, he walked up to us, saying:
''From all the cars in this place, this is the one I really would like to buy....''

The story was that he always loved the 66 Rivieras, and even made some test drives when they were new in the showrooms for that model year.
But since he only was 16 by that time, he couldn't afford to buy one.

Here are a few of the 200+ photos I took there:





































After our visit to Fast Lane, we headed for Joplin, MO, where we stayed for the night.
As you already read in my previous post:
Wednesday was Wheatbelt Buick day !!!
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MessageSujet: Re: Road Trip USA   Mer 17 Déc - 11:17:09

This post (Thursday Dec 4th) is coming to you from the great state of Texas, so yes:
The Riviera is finally in it's new home-state !!!

A few miles before we entered Texas on I-35, the odometer showed 08565 Miles, and we left NY state last Friday with a reading of 06565 Miles.

So that's 2000 Miles with only a little problem in the braking departement.
Not bad for a 42 year old car !!!

We're in Gainsville, TX now, just across the state border with Oklahoma.
Tomorrow we will take it easy, cruising via Dallas to Austin, spend our last night together with the Riviera in the Austin area, and hand the car over to Frank on Saturday morning.

Saturday afternoon we will have a picnic with the members of the Austin Buick , I'm really looking forward to meet them and their cars !

Like I typed before, last Wednesday we visited Wheatbelt Buick in Carrier, Oklahoma.
The owner Ken is a great guy, he told us it was okay if we wanted to have a look around, and take as many photos as we could handle.

Later on he looked us up in the yard and he and Rob had a good Buick chat, while I was busy taking photos of all those Buicks.
When Rob mentioned he needed a window motor for the clamshell tailgate on his 1972 Estate Wagon, Ken told him to follow him to his shop and gave Rob such a motor for free !!!

Here is a wee little selection of my photos from Wheatbelt Buick:

Click thumbnails





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MessageSujet: Re: Road Trip USA   Mer 17 Déc - 11:17:49

Click thumbnails







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MessageSujet: Re: Road Trip USA   Mer 17 Déc - 11:18:36

Here's my report from Thursday December 4th:

In Oklahoma City we saw this classic Chebby/Furd parts place when we drove past it on the Interstate.
It looked okay to us, so we decided to have a look there:

Click thumbnails









We also found this Buick dealer in the same area, we went in for a cup of coffee and all the new Buick brochures we could find in that building, of course we had to take a few photos with the Riviera in front of the showroom:



Later that afternoon we crossed the state border to Texas and stayed overnight in Gainsville, TX.
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MessageSujet: Re: Road Trip USA   Mer 17 Déc - 11:21:42

On Friday December 5th we visited this big scrapyard along the I-35, somewhere between Gainsville and Dallas.
Here are a two ''teaser photos'':







And later that day we stopped at this amazing place at I-35, just before Waco
It's called ''Style Station'' and it's owned by this lovely lady from Canada:





More about this tomorrow, goodnight from Waco, Texas !!
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MessageSujet: Re: Road Trip USA   Mer 17 Déc - 11:23:38

Here's my report from Friday December 5th:

We left Gainsville, TX and headed for Denton, TX where this huge scrap yard is located, called CTC Auto Ranch.

This place is so big that I was worried about the question if my memory cards could handle such a large number of cars...

Here are a few photos from that day:

Click thumbnails








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MessageSujet: Re: Road Trip USA   Mer 17 Déc - 11:25:18

Click thumbnails






After spending many hours at the CTC Auto Ranch, we discovered that we left the Riviera's lights on, maybe we were a wee bit over-excited when we saw al the cars in the yard when we arrived there.

So all the power from the battery was gone, but we got help from a CTC mechanic in his ''Jeep yard-vehicle'':

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MessageSujet: Re: Road Trip USA   Mer 17 Déc - 11:27:59

This post is typed in a little town in the San Diego, CA area.

Last Saturday we arrived in Austin to hand the Riviera over to Frank, and to attend the picnic he organised in this park in the Austin area.

More about that in a later post, but here are two photos from last Saturday:

We had to drive the Riviera through a river to reach the picnic place:



Here's Frank, the happy new owner of the Riviera, being very busy with his BBQ:



Thanks for the great meal, Frank !!!!
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MessageSujet: Re: Road Trip USA   Mer 17 Déc - 11:29:59

As promised in an earlier post, here are a few photos from the ''Styling Station'', a wonderful little shop with an amazing history, out on I-35, a few miles before Waco, TX.

Click thumbnails








The owner of the store, this lovely lady from Canada named Rebecca, was very interested in our Road Trip story and also in the Riviera.
She told me that her first car was a 1969 Wildcat.

Here she is, posing together with the Riviera:



You should visit this place if you ever come down the I-35, it's located between exit #347 and #349, if you drive to the South you can't miss it on your right hand side.

Later tonight I will post a report about last Saturday and Sunday.
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MessageSujet: Re: Road Trip USA   Mer 17 Déc - 11:31:16

Photos from last Saturday, Austin area Buick Club picnic:

Click thumbnails










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MessageSujet: Re: Road Trip USA   Mer 17 Déc - 11:33:29

Down-town Austin:

Click thumbnails



Our new 1966 Buick Riviera:



And of course we had to go to San Antonio to visit the Alamo:






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MessageSujet: Re: Road Trip USA   Mer 17 Déc - 11:35:12

This post is coming to you from Las Vegas, Nevada:

After our visit to the Alamo, we decided to travel down the I-10 to reach Phoenix, Arizona on Monday morning.

At a truckstop we met this truckdriver from the Netherlands, who is now living in Texas since 1981.
Great guy named Paul, after all those years he still had his Amsterdam accent.


Paul was really feeling sorry that he couldn't show us his Peterbilt, for his current trip he was using a rental Peterbilt with small sleeper cab:

Click thumbnails



After a few miles we reached Phoenix, Arizona in the early morning.
So it was TA Performance time for us !

Here are a few photos of the TA Performance manufacturing facility:









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MessageSujet: Re: Road Trip USA   Mer 17 Déc - 11:35:55

After our TA Performance visit, we went to another part of Phoenix, to visit Speedway Automotive.

The guy in the office told us that there wasn't a lot of all the Buick stuff left, they decided to quit the Buick parts business and only concentrate on the Reatta.....


Click thumbnails








Next port of call was Southern California:



Today (well, that's already yesterday when I'm typing this) we visited Rancho Riviera in Riverside, CA.

More about that later !!!
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MessageSujet: Re: Road Trip USA   Mer 17 Déc - 11:38:32

Yesterday (Wednesday) we rented a Mustang convertible to visit the Hoover dam.
Like a true Ford, this one was leaking oil.

Here's the Mustang:



And here you can see that it's leaking like a true Ford product:

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MessageSujet: Re: Road Trip USA   Mer 17 Déc - 11:39:34

Last Tuesday (December 9th) we left our motel in the greater San Diego area to travel up the West coast to Dana Point, to catch a ferry to Catalina Island.
Since we both are not really the average tourist types, we decided that just a quick view at the island from the Californian coast was more than enough information for the both of us.

Been there, seen it, please do keep the lousy t-shirt.....

So it was time to visit Larry and Linda Daisey at Rancho Riviera in Riverside, CA.

After a warm welcome by Linda, Larry showed up after 10 minutes to guide us around the place.
Here are a few photos, remember that Larry is packing up to move to Arizona, so from the 50 or so Rivieras in his lot, there were only a few left:

Click thumbnails









Larry, and of course Linda, if you are reading this:
A big thank you for having us, and we really enjoyed the tour around the premises !!
See you again next summer for a few So-Cal car shows.


Tuesday night we travelled to Las Vegas, visited the Strip and the Hoover Dam on Wednesday.
I won't post any photos of these tourist traps on the board, but we visited a classic car dealer at Tropicana Blvd. with a few very interesting cars.
More about that later this week.

I'm signing off now from Van Horn, TX.
Tomorrow we will visit another board member....
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MessageSujet: Re: Road Trip USA   Mer 17 Déc - 11:40:30

Here are a few photos of last Wednesday in Las Vegas and at the Hoover Dam.
At this classic car dealer on Tropicana Blvd. you can rent every car in their lot if their selling prices are a wee bit too steep for your wallet:

Click thumbnails











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MessageSujet: Re: Road Trip USA   Mer 17 Déc - 11:41:46

After all the Las Vegas entertainment we drove to Wickenburg, AZ where we stayed in this very strange motel.
The person at the front desk looked like she was the president of the Psycho fanclub, and I reckoned that her hairdo was an award winning design at the 1954 Wickenburg Fair.....

Luckily we survived the night at the motel and the next morning (Thursday december 11th) we arrived in Phoenix.
(for the second time)

This time we wanted to visit GM Obsolete.
We were welcomed by Jerry Hammer, the owner of the place, and he told us that it was alright for us to look around the scrap yard as long as we liked.

There still are a lot of Buicks in the yard, but there's also a good collection of interesting Cadillacs and Oldsmobiles:

Click thumbnails





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MessageSujet: Re: Road Trip USA   Mer 17 Déc - 11:42:38

Click thumbnails






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MessageSujet: Re: Road Trip USA   Mer 17 Déc - 11:43:34

After our GM Obsolete visit we drove back to Texas and stayed overnight in a motel in Van Horn.
The next day (Friday December 12th) we drove to Buffalo Gap to visit board member jamyers and his family.

Along the trip we came across Santa and a few old cars:

Click thumbnails






Here are a few photos of our visit of James, Linda and their children Bruce and Rachel.
James took us for a spin in the 2NABOT, and she spins for sure !

That evening we had a wonderful meal at this local restaurant, but both Rob and I were not sure what to think of the funny name of that place:
Deutschlander......







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MessageSujet: Re: Road Trip USA   Mer 17 Déc - 11:44:21

Last Saturday (December 13th) we returned to Austin, TX for the flight home.
For Friday night we stayed in a hotel in Brownwood, TX, so it was just a short drive back to Austin.

First we went for some final shopping at the local Academy sports store (like we didn't bought enough t-shirts along the journey....) and after all that it was time to visit Frank again.

In the evening we went out for great steaks at a local restaurant, and after that Frank took us to a genuine Austin honky-tonk café.

Rob and I forgot about the name of the place, but we like to refer to it as "Bob's Country Bunker"...

Great place with people in cowboy hats playing dominos, and there was a live band performing, complete with steel guitar and the works.
Not really the place where the average Euro-tourist would end up for a night out, so for us it sure was great to see this all happening:

Click thumbnails





During the 5746 miles / 9245 km we travelled during this road trip, we never saw a Boattail in the wild.
So you can imagine the surprise when a 1972 Boattail showed up in the parking lot of "Bob's Country Bunker", in the last few hours of our vacation on American soil:







Our flight back home was scheduled for Sunday December 15th, 7.00 AM.
So this meant that we could check in at the airport at 5.00 AM.

We left "BCB" around midnight, discovered that we still had a half tank of petrol left, and for no specified reason we ended up in Johnston City, TX.

There we had this crazy conversation with a petrol station attendant who was driving a US$ 75.00 1984 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight.

We arrived at the airport around 4.30 AM, left the Trailblazer (not a bad car after all) at the rental company, checked in for our flight and found out that some of our bags where only a few pounds off the maximum weight limit.

Rob even took home a cast iron 1972 Riviera grille, a gift from James who had it laying around in his garage for a couple of years.

After a crazy day travelling from Austin to Atlanta, from Atlanta to Boston and from Boston to New York JFK, we boarded the plane to Amsterdam around 5.30 PM.

We arrived in Amsterdam on Monday December 16th, 7.30 AM local time.

Rob and I kissed and said goodbye, and I finally arrived back home around 9.30 AM.

So if any of you lot have a car that needs to be driven across the USA somewhere in the future: chime in and let us know !!!




We drove 2119 miles / 3409 km in the Riviera.
109 miles / 175 km in the rental Mustang convertible in Las Vegas.
And 3518 miles / 5660 km in the Trailblazer.

So that's a total of 5746 miles / 9245 km in 16 days !!!
(minus 1.5 day in Greenfield because of the trouble with the brakes)

Petrol for the Riviera:

We pumped 191.01 US gallons / 723 litres
(but the tank wasn't empty when we delivered the car in Austin)

Petrol for the Trailblazer:

177.51 US gallons / 671.87 litres
(we had to pay for a full tank when we collected the car in Austin, so we made sure that it was running on fumes when we delivered it back to the rental company)

Petrol for the Mustang in Las Vegas:

6.10 US gallons/ 23.08 litres

So that's 374.62 US gallon / 1417.93 litres for the whole trip

The first petrol stop in Fair Oaks, NY was also the most "expensive" one with a price of US$ 2.66 for 1 US gallon.
(We drove 9 miles on the petrol that was still left in the tank by the former owner)

Cheapest one was the last petrol stop at Coleman,TX: US$ 1.43 for 1 US gallon.
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MessageSujet: Re: Road Trip USA   Aujourd'hui à 23:35:43

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