Day 13: No rally today, but we still had time pressure to get to San Francisco. Ed had an appointment with an air-cooled VW service place to have the oil changed, greasing and adjusting values. Tassi uncover a front-wheel bearing that needs to be replaced. We have not heard anything more so we hope that is everything. This will all be done before we go to the loading dock Wednesday. We have learned that Jerry, with his 2004 Corvette has a leaking main seal which must be replaced before he can load. Jack is replacing his engine and Clay is making changes in his rear axle. Bottom line is we are the only car that will be ready to go tomorrow.
We did take the scenic route from Reno to San Francisco that the rally planned but then realized we could not look at the scenery too long. We had to get to Tassi by 5:00 and traffic into San Fran was as you expect on a work day.
The highlight of the day was the start. The National Auto Museum in Reno where we had our banquet and award ceremony last night, took the 1907 Thomas Flyer out of the museum and it led us on a parade around Reno. Jeff rode as his great-grandfather did in 1908. I don’t think there was a dry eye among the racers when this old engine started up and chugged out of the garage.
We had a big crowd, blue skies and sun for the start of a day, the first time since the race began. We knew that the Flyer would not be out if it was raining. Let me tell you, following that old car under the old and new arches of Reno was an experience none of us will forget. This is the 1929 Hudson ahead of us. Unfortunately, Chris broke down on the way to San Francisco and didn’t make it in.
We are at the Hilton at Fisherman’s Wharf, a great location in town. The evening dinner was only the racers and family, low-keyed but appropriate. We said good-by to all who will not continue to Beijing and “See you in China” to those who we will meet again. Many for the US part will be in Paris for our finish. Tomorrow we pick up Stewball, drive to the loading docks and say good-by for four weeks to our reliable ride.
This ends Leg 1. I will continue to post while we prepare for China and the more exciting part of the road to Paris.