Day 4. When I first bought a Beetle 55 years ago, I never expected I’d be driving one now, or that I would even be alive! Yet here I am driving one around the world or at least to Warsaw. Indiana that is!
There are presently 5 antiques competing. High winds continue and rally speeds today were challenging for all but perhaps the 1951 Chrysler with a hemi V8 with an estimated 300 horsepower. We were on interstates part of the day and speeds were sometimes as high as 70. I pushed Stewball for longer than I like but we made our time with minutes to spare. I filled with gas before we left in the morning so didn’t have to make that stop. I know that some of the antiques didn’t get in on time. I was concerned that the head wind would use up my gas, but even with the weather conditions, we made 26 miles per gallon. Not bad.
Now the disaster. One car out- for at least a day. No, not us, but I am sorry to say it is the 1916 Studebaker. Dennis and Howard deserve a special “spirit of the event” award. They have been driving in these awful conditions, cold, rain, and wind in their open car. Closer to the conditions of 1908 than any of the rest of us. Comfort is relative and we think of them often as we hum along in our comfortable, dry car. First their steering went out. But that was fixable, then the starter shorted out their electrical system. That will take a part which cannot be easily found. The car will spend Monday on the trailer to Indy. The only fortunate part, is all this happened right at the end of the rally day so they were not stranded at the side of the road.
Stewball? We normally have a top speed of about 80 but with the headwind, there were times I was flat-out at 65. We got in on time because I didn’t need the 20 minutes allowed for a fuel stop. But I do have a concern. I have driven this engine 20,000 miles and until yesterday I had never added oil. At the end of the day, it was down one-half quart. Just the temporary effect of the extra stress or am I headed for trouble? Jack Crabtree is planning an engine replacement for his Model A Ford before Asia. Do I need to do the same? Would I have a day when I have the time? Unanswered questions.
More tomorrow from Indy,
P.S. These our the jackets given to us by the Michigan VW club.