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View Full Version : Was Prepping For, Then Embarked On, Now Completed 5126 Mile Trip To California



JoeHall
05-28-2014, 10:04 AM
My two sons and I are scheduled to leave in 10 days, but for the past week, have been trying to decide which of the three Hawks to take. Recently decided on the red & white 62GT, which was a tough call with the black & white 63GT; the 56J was ruled out for several reasons, mainly comfort related.

Now that the GT has been selected, it just needs a little prep: grease the rear wheel bearings (its been 33,000 miles); replace the gas gauge sending unit (been in the round-2-it file too long anyway); check & top up all fluids; tire pressure, and install electric door locks (nice but not necessary).

"Insurance items" to put in the trunk: water pump; distributor cap & rotor; tire pump; fan belt, and probably some other things I'll think of later.

55 56 PREZ 4D
05-28-2014, 10:40 AM
A A A, a cell phone and a credit card.

JoeHall
05-28-2014, 11:24 AM
A A A, a cell phone and a credit card.
Good point about AAA; have been getting their junk mail for years but never joined. This might be a good time to join though.

Also: GPS, Atlas, latest TW and SDC Roster.

Commander Eddie
05-28-2014, 12:00 PM
Joe, I'll be heading to California myself on June 14th. I'm going down to Santa Maria to visit my 90 year old dad and my brother, Dan. You did not say where in California (Cantafordya) you are headed. Might we pass each other on the road?
I'll be driving my '61 Champ.

skyway
05-28-2014, 12:20 PM
A good used axle shaft with the bearing already in place, and a new timing gear are never bad things to have on a long trip. Of course, I was spoiled by having all that storage space under the rear seat of my Wagonaire.

Commander Eddie
05-28-2014, 12:32 PM
Good point about AAA; have been getting their junk mail for years but never joined. This might be a good time to join though.

Also: GPS, Atlas, latest TW and SDC Roster.

You can get a better deal on road insurance from AARP. They use Allstate and I have used them a number of times. Good towing coverage too. For all of our cars it only costs a little over $80 per year.

Xcalibur
05-28-2014, 03:08 PM
TWO fan belts, just in case (guess how I know), and be SURE to check length BEFORE leaving... and, a new fuel-pump. Don't forget tools, sealer, and gaskets of all relevant spares. AND, have a FUN trip.

(...and, with enough credit, forget AAA AND the cell-phone... do it like we used to!!! Hehehehe!!!)

JoeHall
05-28-2014, 03:29 PM
Joe, I'll be heading to California myself on June 14th. I'm going down to Santa Maria to visit my 90 year old dad and my brother, Dan. You did not say where in California (Cantafordya) you are headed. Might we pass each other on the road?
I'll be driving my '61 Champ.
We plan to take I-65 south to Nashville and I-40; I-40 all the way to Needles area (with a bypass to Grand Canyon). Once we get to Needles, both the 62GT and I are back in our old stompin grounds. From there, we'll pick up Route 66 to Amboy, then a smaller desert road for about 50 miles up over the mountains to Route 62 and 29 Palms, Marine Base; Route 62 to I-10 near Palm Springs, then I-10 on into Reseda, CA.

Coming home, we plan to take I-15 north to Salt Lake City and I-80; I-80 to Cheyenne and I-25; I-25 south to Denver and I-70; I-70 to St Louis and I-64, then I-64 to home.

It doesn't sound like our routes or time frames will line up, but it sure would be nice if they did :)

Skyway and Excalibur, I agree on axle, timing gear and extra belts.

Jefscoupe
05-28-2014, 03:50 PM
Oh, you'll be coming through Memphis. If I see a red and white GT Hawk, I'll wave.:!:

JoeHall
05-28-2014, 04:09 PM
Oh, you'll be coming through Memphis. If I see a red and white GT Hawk, I'll wave.:!:
We plan to stop overnight somewhere between Little Rock and Ft Smith. Somewhere between Tucumcari and Albuquerque the second night. After that, we'll slow down a little, as far as long driving days. On the road like that, I usually only raise the hood about every 1000 miles. But each stop, I bend over and glance under the car for leaks, and at the back bumper for misting.

If you see us around Memphis, be sure to wave :)

Commander Eddie
05-29-2014, 11:24 AM
We plan to take I-65 south to Nashville and I-40; I-40 all the way to Needles area (with a bypass to Grand Canyon). Once we get to Needles, both the 62GT and I are back in our old stompin grounds. From there, we'll pick up Route 66 to Amboy, then a smaller desert road for about 50 miles up over the mountains to Route 62 and 29 Palms, Marine Base; Route 62 to I-10 near Palm Springs, then I-10 on into Reseda, CA.

Coming home, we plan to take I-15 north to Salt Lake City and I-80; I-80 to Cheyenne and I-25; I-25 south to Denver and I-70; I-70 to St Louis and I-64, then I-64 to home.

It doesn't sound like our routes or time frames will line up, but it sure would be nice if they did :)

Skyway and Excalibur, I agree on axle, timing gear and extra belts.

Reseda? Wow! We lived there from about 1960 to 1970. I went to Northridge Junior High and the to Cleveland HS. We lived on Jamieson St.
I'm sorry I won't be going that far south on my trip. I would have loved to touch base with you.

RadioRoy
05-29-2014, 01:22 PM
Spare fuel pump.

JoeHall
05-29-2014, 03:27 PM
Spare fuel pump.
Roy,
I agree on spare fuel pump. This car has HFI, and I installed an in-tank pump. But the kit came with an in-line pump, which will go along as a spare. I could plumb it in, in a pinch.

JoeHall
06-06-2014, 11:37 PM
Well we are on the first leg of the trip to Cali. Pulled out of our driveway in KY at 12:30 PM today, and now sitting in a motel in Ft Smith, AR, 638 miles down the road. Tomorrow, hope to be in Tucumcari or Albuquerque, then we can slow down and smell the roses a little, but still need to stay on schedule. Need to be in Vegas Monday eve to pickup the wife and daughter, who are flying in there. Then on Tuesday, we plan to drive to LA, via 29 Palms and lots of desert roads.

The GT got a little over 21 MPG at first fill-up,and 20.5 at the second (lots of road construction on I-40 in AR). The cruise control keeps road speed at a steady 72-73 MPH. The GPS stays on, and using it for all calculations.

My two wing-men (sons) are in charge of taking pix, and we'll post some soon, but right now they are both tuckered out :)

dean pearson
06-07-2014, 12:22 AM
Geez,... With All That You Could Simplify Things A Whole Lot By Just Towing One Of The Other Cars Behind you. (Haha)

Sounds Like A Lot Of Fun!

Dean.

studeclunker
06-07-2014, 03:14 AM
Wow, good MPG!:D What engine/tranny combo does your Hawk have?:woot:
Radcliff, Ky... How do you like Kentucky, having come from the People's Republic of California? I and some friends have been considering going together and moving to the Lexington area (we have carriage horses).

clonelark
06-07-2014, 03:34 AM
A good rain is headed your way at around 5:00 am and more about an hour later that's not so much. Should be smooth sailing on to Ca.

JoeHall
06-07-2014, 07:48 AM
Wow, good MPG!:D What engine/tranny combo does your Hawk have?:woot:
Radcliff, Ky... How do you like Kentucky, having come from the People's Republic of California? I and some friends have been considering going together and moving to the Lexington area (we have carriage horses).
Stude 289, with T85 tranny; with the 3.54 rear end, final drive ratio in OD is 2.55. It ticks over at 2300-2400 RPM at 72-73 MPH.

Also running an early 1990s GM EFI, produced as a kit by a guy named Bill Hamilton, out in Washington. Bill is into International Harvester Scouts, and has prided himself on setting up EFI kits for orphan cars for 10+ years. He is a retired Navy electronics wizard, and calls his kit "Hamilton Fuel Injection" (HFI). I have had his HFI on this car now for around 25,000 miles IIRC, and it has always performed flawlessly. You can find him on the internet.

I am eager to see how the car does in the desert this time around. We lived there, off and on 1986-2000, for about six years total. Since 2000, have installed the HFI, and a radiator equivalent to a five-row.

Kentucky is nice, and you may do well with the carriage horses, but you'd also have competition there, as you know. I lived in California, off and on 1970-2000, for 12-13 years total, while in the USMC. Its nice to visit now days, esp. with family there, but would not wanna live there again.

Looked at the outside and under the car this morning. No puddles beneath, and no mist on the rear bumper, so no need to raise the hood. I did notice the left headlight has a b-b size hole in it, probably from a road-pebble. That's a first, but better the headlight than the windshield.

Clonelark thanks for the weather report. We hit hard rain, but only 20-30 minutes, coming into Arkansas yesterday.

Pat Dilling
06-07-2014, 09:37 AM
Wow, What a great trip! If you are not dead set on Cheyenne, consider dropping back down to I-70 to Denver. Highway 6 cuts a diagonal SE route from SLC to pick up I-70. We just drove that and the scenery is pretty amazing, swing into Moab, UT and take a few hours to go through Arches National park. If you like Mother Nature's sculptures, it's a must see. I-70 takes you through the Glennwood Canyon and the Eisenhower tunnel, elevation 11,100 feet. A good test for your HFI. A great route if you like Geology. Having driven I-80 across Wyoming many times, it is pretty boring to me and has more traffic than I-70.

Travel safe and enjoy!

PS, how are those seats working out?

warrlaw1
06-07-2014, 10:26 AM
Good luck, Joe. Hope the road warriors back off some distance and treat you with respect. Cheers.

JoeHall
06-07-2014, 09:18 PM
Well we covered another 725 miles today, and rolled into Albuquerque. Tomorrow will only go as far as Grand Canyon. Once back on I-40, will find a motel. Should be 450 miles tops.

Pat, the seats are GREAT! Dunno how I ever lived without them. Before, always brought two lumbar support pads (wedge and roll) and used them often. Brought them for this trip too, but have not used either of them. The lumbar support in these seats is spot on. Now, just gotta re-cover them, without spending an arm and leg. I plan to buy a set for the wife's GT, but will make sure they are leather, and in excellent condition first. Thanks again for the tip.

Got caught in nickel size hail today near Tucumcari. Most folks pulled over. I snuggled the GT up about 6" away from a stopped big rig, on the down wind side, and that helped some. At a rest stop 50 miles later, a couple of brand 'x' cars had mild damage, but I could find nothing on the GT. Was mostly worried about breaking the windshield.

The car is running like a sewing machine, and getting 20-21 MPG. I raised the hood this morning, finger-flipped the belts, and eyeballed everything, but did not check the oil level. Will do that tomorrow morning. Replaced the broken headlight, but other than that, have not turned a single bolt or screw (knock on wood). It has a 195 thermostat, but has not yet hit 180. The real fun is gonna begin in the desert though. I am looking forward to that, and believe the car is too :)

The wing-men are in the pool, but I'm gonna have to insist they perform their assigned duties and download some pix, so I can post them here ;)

nels
06-07-2014, 09:56 PM
Man you must have faith in your 289. I'd be checking oil at every fill up.

JoeHall
06-07-2014, 10:50 PM
Man you must have faith in your 289. I'd be checking oil at every fill up.
This motor is still getting around 5000 miles per quart, since a rebuild about 25,000 miles ago. I always monitor though, by bending over and looking under the car, and looking at the back bumper. A bad leak will puddle under the car, and a minor one will mist the back bumper. If nothing in either of those places, no need to check it.

I think I'm gonna try to take some pix of folks taking pix of the GT. Catch them off guard, and then we both smile, I hope :)

Commander Eddie
06-07-2014, 11:21 PM
Joe,
I'll be leaving in the Champ next Saturday morning. I just read your comment about checking for oil leaks. I just had a new pan gasket and rear main seal put on my 259 and there does not seem to be any leaking at all. That being said, I will keep my eyes peeled as the engine will get a workout traveling at highway speed for hours at a time. I've been monitoring the weather in California and it looks like it should be pretty nice up and down the coast down to LA for the next few days. I am hoping it stay that way the following week.
I hope the rest of your trip is pleasant, fun and uneventful. Sorry our paths won't meet but I'll be thinking of you three as I prepare for my own adventure.

Warren Webb
06-07-2014, 11:43 PM
Ed, it looks like it's going to be sunny for at least the next week. We really need rain badly! The past few years have been so dry it's scary. When I first moved to this house we had rains that flooded a portion of the driveway but that hasn't happened in over 3 years. Y'all enjoy your stays but don't be mad if I'm doing a rain dance or washing the car!

Commander Eddie
06-08-2014, 05:11 PM
Warren,
To tell the truth I have no problem with the rain. We get plenty of it here in Oregon and I don't mind at all. When I referred to pleasant weather in California I was talking about the temperature. I am hoping it does not get to hot. On the other hand, if your rain dance works I'll be just as happy with that. My windshield wipers work great. I won't be getting down as far as Perris but I have been in that area years ago. Lovely place to live.

JoeHall
06-08-2014, 11:37 PM
354663546735468354693549335494354963549735498
We made it another 600 miles and into Kingman, AZ today, via Grand canyon. Here are a few pix taken by my wing men: Arkansas line, Grand Canyon, road pebble hole in head-lite, somewhere in NM, hail clouds in NM, "Keep America Beautiful-Drive A Studebaker" bumper sticker, etc. More to follow.

Unbeknownst to me originally, my oldest son videotaped the hail storm, for 1 minute and 16 seconds. It is hilarious, but I dare not post it here, due to several expletives I woulda left out if I'd known I was being taped :)

rusty nut garage
06-09-2014, 12:25 AM
post said wingmen on the side of the road and gets some pics of that hawk in flight!! Love the trip kudos to you and sons!!

Commander Eddie
06-09-2014, 08:47 AM
Joe, I love the shot out the front windshield looking over that long hood. Sweeet! Looks like the three of you are having a blast. You must get a lot attention every time you stop.

JoeHall
06-09-2014, 09:20 AM
Joe, I love the shot out the front windshield looking over that long hood. Sweeet! Looks like the three of you are having a blast. You must get a lot attention every time you stop.
Ed, as you can see we get lots of attention both stopped and on the fly. SO many pic takers I decided to start taking pictures of the picture takers :) 35479354803548135543355443562235675
Note the SI repro, trunk mounted antennae. When fully extended like that, it gets EXCELLENT reception.

JoeHall
06-09-2014, 12:49 PM
A shot of the bottom side this morning, checking for oil puddles, and only a few drops after sitting overnight. I have raised the hood once so far, and that was in Arkansas, but did not check the oil then or yet. I plan to raise the hood for the second time in Las Vegas later today, and then check the oil for the first time. Currently sitting in Kingman, AZ and have traveled about 1,960 miles so far. Once we reach Vegas, will have traveled about 2,050 miles.

I am probably a little neglectful in op-checks on the trip so far (raising hood & checking oil), but my point in the above is, our Studes can be as roadworthy as any other car. 35482

P.S. check out the Don Simmons pipes, nice and shiny still, after at least 30,000 miles. That's why I love them, because they stay that way :)

starliner62
06-09-2014, 02:46 PM
Show off!!!!!
:D

tony58
06-09-2014, 03:27 PM
Joe,
I'm up for adoption for your next trip.LOL
Tony

JoeHall
06-09-2014, 06:12 PM
Some more pix, beginning with a 63GT, around3549935502355033550435505 mile marker 25 on US 93 in Arizona, 25 miles from the Nevada line.

In the dash pic, the speedo and tach are both off (all else, except the clock are accurate); actual RPM is around 2300, and speed is 70 MPH (per the GPS, just out of view). That pic was taken coming up a looong hill, about 40 miles north of Kingman, on US-93 North. AC was blasting inside, and outside temp was around 100 degrees. Yet the engine temp was 180, with a 195 thermostat !

R_David
06-09-2014, 08:48 PM
This thread is like Chicken Soup for the soul. Great way to end my day. Thanks for sharing!

JoeHall
06-10-2014, 08:08 AM
We are done with I-40. Came up to Vegas from Kingman yesterday, about 100 miles on US-93.35545 Today, about 100 miles south on US-95, and will switch over to smaller desert roads beginning around Goff California; overpass I-40 to old Route 66 and west about 50 miles to Amboy, CA, then another 50 miles up and over a mountain range into 29 Palms. Will pick up the interstate again on I-10, just north of Palm Springs, about 50 miles out of 29 Palms.

The GT hit 195 on the temp gauge yesterday coming out of Lake Mead area, and 210 in heavy traffic in Vegas, where I turned the AC off. Today, will probably turn the AC off coming up the mountain out of Amboy, esp. if its past noon local time.

Getting an early start. Its supposed to hit 109 in Laughlin, NV today, and similar temps all the way to 29 Palms, I suspect.3567635677

jackb
06-10-2014, 08:57 AM
....that white roof will help some in the heat too...

62champ
06-10-2014, 09:05 AM
Sounds like things are going well - you guys are enjoying yourselves and making a lot of other travelers happy as well.

What kind of fan/cooling set up is on the GT? I had a standard five blade viscous drive on my Champ - that is until I found a seven bladed fan on a Mopar 318 that was a perfect drop in - pulls lots of air even without a shroud. At least you do not have to drive in those temps on a regular basis...

showbizkid
06-10-2014, 10:11 AM
Keeping my fingers crossed for you on that section of old 66. It's a loooooong stretch of nothing but dirt and some abandoned shacks. Were it me, I'd detour from Needles over to Blythe via the 95; I-10 is at least a bit better-scenicked :) But I-40 can be fun if you like taking pictures of abandoned buildings (which I do, and no joke!).

What a great trip so far. Can't wait to follow your return leg!!

Anne F. Goodman
06-10-2014, 11:48 AM
Thanks for all the updates we love pictures. We have taken that trip in our 1957 Silverhawk. What a great way to get to know what the next generation are thinking.

JoeHall
06-10-2014, 11:35 PM
Sounds like things are going well - you guys are enjoying yourselves and making a lot of other travelers happy as well.

What kind of fan/cooling set up is on the GT? I had a standard five blade viscous drive on my Champ - that is until I found a seven bladed fan on a Mopar 318 that was a perfect drop in - pulls lots of air even without a shroud. At least you do not have to drive in those temps on a regular basis...
I am running a 18.5", 7 blade Corvette with thermal clutch fan, and a modern core, copper radiator, that is equivalent to a five row, if S-P had made them.

Highest temp today was 102, in Amboy. It never topped 99 in 29 Palms. The Stude handled the desert roads in stride, with AC blasting all the way.

Made it to the destination in Los Angeles, for a total of 2537 miles. Woulda been 200-300 miles shorter, but we chose to deviate a little from straightest line. The Stude has used one quart of oil.

JoeHall
06-10-2014, 11:47 PM
We had two Studebaker encounters today, both in the Joshua Tree National Park. First, a guy wanted to take pix of the GT to show his friend. He next began to tell about his friend: an SDC member named Howard B., who lives in North-Ridge, and "works on them all the time..." He asked for my contact info, which I gladly provided. Does anyone know Howard B. in North-Ridge?

Next was a shocker: Coming downhill from the park, met a red, 63 Avanti coming toward me. We stopped and took pix, chatted, kicked tires, and exchanged info. Mr. Kelly B. has been a Stude owner since the 1970s, and was just out exercising his Avanti in the cool elevations of the park. He said he lurks sometime on this NG.

What a small Studebaker world ! Pix to follow soon, when my wing men perform their assigned duties and upload the pix ;)35674

Corvanti
06-11-2014, 12:24 AM
Great info! i received by first citation at 15yrs, 7 months - between Amboy and Essex, before I-40 was completed, by the CHP - driving my "great aunt" in her 6 cylinder '69 Rambler Rebel, back to KY. 68 in a 55 zone. cost me a whole $10 when i got back to so-cal...

ah, memories...;)

Anne F. Goodman
06-11-2014, 12:29 AM
I think he is referring to Howard Brown he is President of the LA Chapter.

brngarage
06-11-2014, 09:33 AM
Yup, my friend told me about meeting you, Joe. If you are in the L.A. area, drop me an email (brngarage@gmail.com). Maybe we can admire each other's Studebakers!

JoeHall
06-14-2014, 09:57 PM
Finally got a chance to post an update: While in LA, we drove almost 100 miles total, followed my son all over in his Toyota Camry; never shifted above 2nd gear OD, and got 11 MPG!
While in LA, met Howard Brown (lives only 5-6 miles from our motel) and looked at his 56J and 53K projects. I just cannot believe what can still be had in California, as far as excellent cars just waiting for someone to save them. I am sure Howard will be tooling around LA in those cars in no time :)

Left LA yesterday around noon to begin the adventure back to KY. Took my son's suggestion for least congested (but not shortest) route and drove around 350 miles to Laughlin and spent the night; this morning, drove 100 miles to Las Vegas airport and dropped the wife and daughter off.35612 Then the boys and I took I-15 north to I-70 and Grand Junction,CO for another 500 miles.

Tomorrow, we plan to drive another 600 miles or so: I-70 to Denver, then I-25 north to Cheyenne and I-80, then drive some in Wyoming and Nebraska, before dropping back down into Kansas and picking up I-70 again.

Someone asked me if it is worth it, to drive 8 days, for only 3-4 days at the destination. Some folks just do not understand, every mile in a Stude is an adventure !

Will post pix as soon as I can get the wing men off their butts :)
Here's a few: 356233562435625356263562735628

Corvanti
06-14-2014, 10:02 PM
what a great "road trip". i hope my '51 will be up to such adventures soon!:)

DieselJim
06-14-2014, 10:05 PM
While going north out of Denver, stop in Nunn Co. and visit Will and Lori Sander, Starlite Studebaker.

brngarage
06-14-2014, 11:40 PM
Great to meet Joe and family and talk Studes for awhile. What a great trip he's having with his kids!

allstudedude
06-15-2014, 03:55 AM
Someone asked me if it is worth it, to drive 8 days, for only 3-4 days at the destination. Some folks just do not understand, every mile in a Stude is an adventure !

Totally agree Joe, the journey is part of the fun especially when you go on the road less traveled as you are when you can. I'm so jealous, stuck here in a Victorian winter. I hope you and your boys have a great return trip.

JoeHall
06-16-2014, 09:06 AM
We pulled into York, Nebraska last night. Lots of road construction and traffic jams around Denver. Not much to see in Wyoming or Nebraska, so just kept rolling for 730 miles yesterday. Local weather forecast is severe storms and possible hail today, so need to get rolling.

We are about 850 miles from home, and hope to be in the St Louis area this eve, and spend the night with an old USMC buddy. Then the final 275 miles home tomorrow.

My old USMC buddy has a 56J, the solid gold one I sold him a few years ago. Its his second 56J, the first was the one he bought in Victorvile, CA back in the late 1980s. It is now in the hands of the lady in WV, who calls it "Pinky".

We have rolled 4300 miles so far, and the GT continues to perform flawlessly. Put the 2nd quart of oil in this morning. So looks like its getting around 2150 per quart, down significantly from the 5000+ for the first 10,000-15,000 miles after the 289 rebuild. Gas mileage is up on the return leg,the last two tanks were around 22.5 MPG. We let the cruise control keep speeds at 72-73 on the interstate, no matter what the legal speeds are. Posted legal speeds have been 75 & 80 since we hit Texas, going west.356833568435685

bezhawk
06-16-2014, 09:24 AM
If you'd like to stop by my shop, It's in St.Louis. I'd be happy to show you around.

studeclunker
06-16-2014, 08:45 PM
We let the cruise control keep speeds at 72-73 on the interstate, no matter what the legal speeds are. Posted legal speeds have been 75 & 80 since we hit Texas, going west.

Cruise Control??? http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-excited001.gif (http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys.php) I would love to know which one you installed and how difficult/complicated it was. Assuming of course, your Hawk is Stude-powered.

JoeHall
06-17-2014, 02:15 PM
If you'd like to stop by my shop, It's in St.Louis. I'd be happy to show you around.
Hi Bez,
Only wish I'd read this yesterday, as we are now long past St Louis, and made it home this morning. It woulda been nice to kick tires, fellowship, and look at your shop. Thanks for the invite though.
Joe

JoeHall
06-17-2014, 02:21 PM
Cruise Control??? http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-excited001.gif (http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys.php) I would love to know which one you installed and how difficult/complicated it was. Assuming of course, your Hawk is Stude-powered.
It is an Audiovox CCS-100, but they stopped making them in the 1980s or 1990s. NOS ones can still be snagged off ebay from time to time, for $150-175. Also, repros are available on ebay from time to time, for about same price (identical to the originals, and maybe made by same company).
It uses a magnet on the driveshaft as a speed sensor, and works very well. Took me about 3-4 hours to install the two I have installed so far. The first one was most difficult, due to installer errors here and there. Take your time and follow the instructions to a 'T' and they work great from the get-go.

JoeHall
06-17-2014, 02:32 PM
We made it home safe & sound today. Since this NG is about Studes, will keep personal stuff down, apologize in advance for redundancy, and focus this synopsis on the GT:

We left KY on 6/6/14 and returned 6/17/14, having driven 5126 miles, in 17 different states. The destination was LA, California to visit my 34 year old son and family who live there.

Gas: 250.2 gallons in 5089 miles; average 20.34 MPG. Fill-ups ranged 100-342 miles; highest MPG tank 22.4, and lowest was 11. (Drop the 11 MPG tank in LA, and the average becomes 20.7 MPG.)
Oil: 2150 per quart (15w50, Mobil 1). Oil pressure: 45-50 underway, and 20 at idle (700-750 RPM).
Average interstate speed 72-73, at 2300-2400 RPM; this tight range was maintained by CC; all speeds & mileage per GPS.
Average engine temp 175-180 (with 195 thermostat); 195 a couple of times on long (slow) upgrades in 100+ outside temps; hit 210 while stuck in traffic in Las Vegas at 107 degrees, but dropped to 195 when the AC was shut off (AC was used 80-90% of the time).
Elevations ranged sea level to 11,600. Temps ranged 55-107. The HFI performed flawlessly at all elevations and temps; no excess cranking hot restarts, vapor lock, rich mixture, etc.. It always fires instantly.

Drove about 100 miles on streets of LA, and never once shifted above 2nd OD; used 1st OD more than ever before; great jackrabbit starts, to avoid being cut off from light-to-light, in heavy traffic.

Helpful OEM Stude comfort/safety features: PS, AC, OD (though auto woulda been better in heavy traffic). Note: the OEM type AC is only good for rear seat folks’ comfort up to about 100 degrees; a VA “Super cooler” with ducts plumbed to the rear seat area may be in order.

Helpful non-OEM Stude comfort/safety features: Chrysler seats; cruise control (Audiovox CCS-100); HFI; huge 12” disc brakes & Turner dual MC (excellent combo); 7-blade thermal clutch fan (quieter & more efficient); GPS; AM/FM radio (with SI repro trunk mount antennae for excellent reception); electric door locks; MOOG progressive rate front springs (eats up the bumps), and radial tires (a no brainer)

Maintenance: zero/zilch/nada, except to replace a headlight that was (probably) broken by a road-pebble. Raised the hood for visual, on average once per 1000 miles. Furthermore, the car did not return in need of major repairs or service, and could leave again tomorrow on another trip, if needed.

Some have asked, so I will add the car has an all Studebaker drivetrain, though not necessarily stock to this car: 289, T85, and 3.54 TT rear end. It is not a show car in the normal sense, and is more of a 10 footer. HOWEVER, it has been shown to millions on the road, and that's about as close as they usually get anyway. We lost count of picture takers on the road :)

Next year’s plan: do the same trip in the 56J, but must upgrade the AC first.

Pat Dilling
06-17-2014, 05:18 PM
Joe, Congratulations a great trip. What a great way to spend time with those kids and show them some of our great country in Studebaker Style! And thanks also for sharing the trip with us so we could live it vicariously.

plwindish
06-17-2014, 08:32 PM
Nice trip Joe! It sounds like you did a fantastic job of being a Studebaker rolling ambassador the past week and a half! My bucket list includes doing the entire length of Rte 66 the summer of '15 in my 76 Avanti. Its my transportation to Dover on the 27th, so hopefully it will be as uneventful mechanically as your trip was. Great job on keeping us informed about your trip!

JoeHall
06-17-2014, 09:14 PM
Nice trip Joe! It sounds like you did a fantastic job of being a Studebaker rolling ambassador the past week and a half! My bucket list includes doing the entire length of Rte 66 the summer of '15 in my 76 Avanti. Its my transportation to Dover on the 27th, so hopefully it will be as uneventful mechanically as your trip was. Great job on keeping us informed about your trip!
You will never regret, if able to do that trip. 3568135682

JoeHall
06-17-2014, 09:21 PM
Joe, Congratulations a great trip. What a great way to spend time with those kids and show them some of our great country in Studebaker Style! And thanks also for sharing the trip with us so we could live it vicariously.
Thanks Pat,
I have driven cross country about 10 times, most always in a Stude. Hope to be able to so it a few more times. I think this trip provided the kids with lifelong, priceless memories. I took your advice and cut out most of Wyoming, but still wanted to let the kids to see it.

swvalcon
06-18-2014, 05:25 AM
Joe you should time your trip next year and end up here in MN when me have our zone meet next year. Will be July 17-18-2015.

brngarage
06-18-2014, 09:34 AM
Great narrative Joe and a great experience. Again, it was really nice to meet you and the family and talk (and show) Studebakers for a while.

Pat Dilling
06-18-2014, 10:11 AM
Thanks Pat,
I have driven cross country about 10 times, most always in a Stude. Hope to be able to so it a few more times. I think this trip provided the kids with lifelong, priceless memories. I took your advice and cut out most of Wyoming, but still wanted to let the kids to see it.

Glad my suggestion was useful. What did you think of I-70 through the Glenwood Canyon? And how about that tunnel at 11,000 feet? Did you stop by Arches National Park near Moab? This has become one of my favorite drives in recent years.

I an strongly considering coming to the IM in St Louis next year and driving back West on Route 66.

Alan
06-18-2014, 10:53 AM
Joe; Where you are standing, pointing at the 66 land mark on Santa Monica pier. Is 500 yards North from where I lived at 1659 Ocean Front Walk in the 60's and 10 min. from me now. Next time stop and smell the roses, a couple of days is not enough to see everything around L.A.

rusty nut garage
06-18-2014, 12:19 PM
NICE TRIP thanks for sharing!!
this sure beats sitting in a lawn chair at a car show!!!!!!

JoeHall
06-19-2014, 11:30 AM
Plwindsh, I hope you make it to Dover, and to run Rt 66. I am sure your Avanti is chompin at the bit to get started on both :)

Alan, You are certainly right, coulda used at least another week in LA. Woulda loved to have seen your shop and kicked tires awhile also.

Pat, Really enjoyed I-70, all the way to I-15, but unfortunately did not stop in Moab. Soo much beauty from the road too though. We coulda made a snow ball at roadside, just about anywhere above 11,000 feet in Colorado. Very beautiful. Even the car seemed to enjoy it.
I hope you get a chance to come to St. Louis next year, and we both already know you will LOVE the ride home, alone Rt 66 when possible :)

JoeHall
06-22-2014, 07:13 PM
3583035831358323583335830 35834Just a few more pix. The second one is supposed to be the "HOLLYWOOD" sign on the hill, taken from a mall, that was supposed to be one of the better views. We could see it well, but it is barely visible in this pic, just below the tower on the hill. Too much smog I guess.

The "No Services" signs were in Colorado. Definitely need to check the gas when rolling up on one of those signs. It was accurate too.