HomeHome  PortalPortal  GalleryGallery  SearchSearch  RegisterRegister  Log in  

Share
 

 My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019

Go down 
AuthorMessage
oldsbattlecruiser



Posts : 9
Join date : 2019-02-24
Location : Wackyfornia

My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019 Empty
PostSubject: My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019   My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019 Icon_minitimeWed Jan 01, 2020 5:33 am

All,

Hello from San Francisco, Wackyfornia.  My name is Warren.  I've been mostly lurking for the last few months.  As the 2019 has now closed, I thought it was a good time to share a little.  I'm not new to wagons as I still have my family's original 1965 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser, bought new in 12/1964 as well as owned 2 different '94 Roadmaster Wagons and a '68 Buick Sport Wagon 400 over the years.  I was the founder of the GM Skywagon Club in 1999.  When I was young, my Dad wished that he had the time to load the family in the Olds and drive cross country.  In 2019, I fulfilled what he had wanted to do, in a different Oldsmobile wagon.

The quest started in July 2018 when the call went out by a few Vista Cruiser owners to "Go to Hell" (Hell, Michigan in June 2019).  I had done the fly and drive a rental car to meet the others before, but never in my own wagon.  There was no way for me to get the Vista (BattleCruiser) back on the road in that amount of time, so my quest began to find an Oldsmobile to do the trip.  I got lucky in Feb 2019, when I found my "Holy Grail" of B-Bodies:  a Bahama Blue Metallic 1992 Olds Custom Cruiser with 350 - christened "The BattleCruiser II".  The car had been off the road for a while, but looked like a good candidate overall.  The body was clean and the mileage was relatively low, so I bought it.  Little did I realize the work that would be needed to get the car ready for the trip.  Tires (expected), shocks all around, window guides, one window motor, cruise control module, and cruise switch, aside from the normal wear and tear maint stuff.  Worst of all was I had underestimated the work on the cooling system - the previous elderly owner had been filling the cooling system with straight water for many years.   The engine and cooling system were full of rust.  After 8 cooling system flushings including with Oxalic Acid, the color went from black with particles to milk chocolate.  Along the way, I loosened the rust in the heater core causing it to leak, so I had to bypass it.  Worst of all, the thermostat housing bolt hole in the intake was rusted out.  Thankfully, a Heli Coil at least gave the new bolt something to grab onto.  I had not had time to work on the car in April due to my daughter's wedding and May was now a crunch.  It as now early June and it was time to leave.  So neutralized the system with Soda Wash, filled with coolant, loaded the car the night before, and left early the next morning.

Essentially, I left for Hell in an untested car with fresh brown coolant in the radiator.  I was driving east solo, so at least any breakdowns were not going to leave the family stranded roadside.  The first test was climbing the Sierras towards Reno.  The temp gauge did not rise significantly and I did not see any leaks in the system.  The BattleCruiser II was doing well.  While passing, the Bonneville Salt Flats looked surreal with fog made of salt from the 40 mph winds.  I made it to Salt Lake City the first day.  The next morning, the under hood check looked good.  So I continued east and made it to just west of Lincoln, NE on Day 2.  On Day 3, I made a near fatal travel mistake.  I got hungry and stopped at a restaurant called "King Kong".  Screamin' food.  You guys in Nebraska got something special there!  After the 3 hour food coma, I was on my way to just inside the Illinois state line.  Day 4 started at 4 am to get past Chicago traffic and I made it to Elkhart, ID a day ahead of schedule to meet up with a friend arriving on Amtrak.  The Olds was doing fine and averaging 20 - 21 mpg at 75 - 80.

With a day to kill, I went to the RV/MH (Manufactured Home) Hall of Fame.  Pretty cool place for those that enjoy road travel.  After my friend arrived, it was time for car museum binge visits.  We visited the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Museum, the National Car Museum, the Gilmore Auto Museum, took the Highway to Hell to meet up with other VC owners, then the R.E. Olds Transporation Museum, and entered my car in the Oldsmobile Homecoming Show in Lansing - my car received the Long Distance Award.  After the Show, we visited the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, picked up our "Get Out of Hell" cards at Screams Ice Cream Shop, and went to the Studebaker Museum in South Bend.  If you like car museums, visiting the Midwest is a must!

After my friend took the train home, I continued on to Chicago to meet up with my family flying in to O'Hare, spent a few days there visiting family, and found the Route 66 Beginning sign.  We were supposed to drive home on Hwy 80 with a stop in Yellowstone, but there were flooding rains hitting Iowa.  A new route was needed.  I received wifey's okay to aim for Route 66.  We left Chicago, got lunch at Del Rhea's Chicken Basket, and continued on to see the Gemini Giant, Funk's Grove for Maple Syrup, Henry's Rabbit Ranch (VWs), the 66 Drive In Theater, and a very costly stop off the route at the Precious Moments Chapel (wife and daughter went shopping and decided to use up the available space in the Olds).  We continued onward seeing other places like the Blue Whale in Catoosa, OK, The Round Barn, Cadillac Ranch, etc.  The highlight stop west of Texas was at a corner in Winslow, Arizona.

"I was standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona, such a fine site to see,
It's a girl, my Lord, sitting in a Longroof Olds, waiting impatiently for me..."

Aw well.  Time to continue west.  Our dash for the coast was interrupted by a dead Alternator in the Arizona desert.  I had tried to prepare for this scenario.  I had a spare new AC Delco alternator, breaker bar, sockets, but no torx sockets.  Darn USPS delivered my torx order to the wrong address before I left.  I was forced to take a tow to a shop in Kingman and accept their new China made Alternator because it was closing time on Friday, they would not work with my alternator, and Monday was their next day open.  Thus, their alternator went in and it was resume our quest for the Cali coast.  We made it to Santa Monica midnight and had to wait for the next day to visit Santa Monica Pier where the End Route 66 sign stands.  The next day, we celebrated our completion of Route 66 with corn dogs and lemonade at the Hot Dog on a Stick stand.  By the time we drove to home, the Cruiser had traveled a little over 6200 miles with just the loss of the alternator.  Pretty darn good for an untested car!

The next planned trip was missed - a Southern Utah/Arizona 6-National Parks tour.  While I had been able to call my 95-year old Father almost everyday of my cross country trip in June and he enjoyed hearing about what I was seeing along the road, his time had run out by late Summer.  It was just his time to go.  An original Skywagon Owner rounded the next curve.

After more cooling system flushes, replacing the heater core, and weld repairing a cracked AC line, my wife and I took the Cruiser on a December trip to SoCal (passed by Walley World - "Sorry folks, Park was closed").  After SoCal, I put my wife on a plane home and headed to Death Valley.  It was to both have some time to reflect on all that had happened during 2019 as well as to make my return to the Park when it was not 115-degrees out.  I have to say DV is much more enjoyable than when the winds aren't blowing hotter than your hair dryer.  I drove the Olds to the Devil's Golf Course and to Badwater, the lowest elevation land in the world.  I especially had to Go to Hell again - Hell's Gate, where the view is spectacular.

Taking these trips in 2019 were important for me since physical issues are eroding my ability to drive.  The Battle Cruiser II has proven to me that a Skywagon Longroof, with a little care, can go anywhere you point it.  The softer ride and sofa comfortable seats helped me tremendously to drive much further than I ordinarily am able.  While I'm not sure if/where I'll be able to point the BattleCruiser II in 2020, I can at least say that it's been "To Hell and Back, Twice" and done Route 66.

In addition to these trips, I am also thankful that my Cruiser did not let me down when I needed it most.  In the middle of the flushes and changing components of the cooling system, I had to press the car into "emergency" transportation service driving my daughter to her wedding.  The Olds did not let me down.  However, the next day, a hose popped and I lost all my coolant.   Shocked

Thanks for letting me share.  Where has your Longroof taken you recently?  


Warren

P.S.  Keep the Glass to the Sky!  And Save the Whales!


My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019 20190614
My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019 20190615
My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019 20191211
Back to top Go down
Andebe

Andebe

Posts : 3252
Join date : 2013-02-20
Age : 50
Location : Marion,NC

My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019 Empty
PostSubject: Re: My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019   My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019 Icon_minitimeWed Jan 01, 2020 3:47 pm

One of the best introductions I have read on here. I enjoyed reading and dreaming of planning my own big trip. Very Happy
Back to top Go down
dmg4

dmg4

Posts : 933
Join date : 2014-08-13
Age : 65
Location : Geneva, New York

My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019 Empty
PostSubject: Re: My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019   My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019 Icon_minitimeThu Jan 02, 2020 5:18 am

Fantastic story! Well done indeed. You should write a reprise with more pictures under the "Longroof of the Month" tab (dormant for far too long.....Andy).
Back to top Go down
Eds rmw



Posts : 77
Join date : 2016-06-29
Location : Piedmont sc

My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019 Empty
PostSubject: Re: My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019   My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019 Icon_minitimeThu Jan 02, 2020 4:58 pm

Great story !
Back to top Go down
jayoldschool

jayoldschool

Posts : 2586
Join date : 2009-06-14

My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019 Empty
PostSubject: Re: My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019   My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019 Icon_minitimeThu Jan 02, 2020 6:15 pm

You are going to fit in here just fine... welcome!
Back to top Go down
frederickflintstone

frederickflintstone

Posts : 364
Join date : 2014-07-01
Location : Mid-Michigan

My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019 Empty
PostSubject: Re: My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019   My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019 Icon_minitimeMon Jan 06, 2020 12:17 pm

Welcome to the group. my many attempts to flush the coolant eventually killed my waterpump.
Back to top Go down
Serendipity96

Serendipity96

Posts : 49
Join date : 2017-12-18
Location : Clearwater, FL

My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019 Empty
PostSubject: Re: My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019   My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019 Icon_minitimeMon Jan 06, 2020 1:19 pm

great read! after reading the bit about the salt-fog storm it made me wonder if that's also a great place for a car to rust out if it spends it's life there?
Back to top Go down
https://www.youtube.com/followyourbliss101
goldwolfnhn



Posts : 98
Join date : 2019-07-11
Location : De Pere, Wisconsin

My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019 Empty
PostSubject: Re: My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019   My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019 Icon_minitimeMon Jan 06, 2020 5:50 pm

taken car of and regular carwashes can keep vehicles in good condition, I live in Wisconsin and my grandparents have a 2001 Honda odyssey mini van with no rust at all
Back to top Go down
Sprocket

Sprocket

Posts : 5654
Join date : 2008-11-04
Location : Palm Beach County

My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019 Empty
PostSubject: Re: My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019   My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019 Icon_minitimeMon Jan 06, 2020 7:08 pm

Great read and awesome adventure! Welcome. Your color combo has been my fave of all (14) of the 90s B-body wagons I've owned (the one I had is in the cover pic above when it was under custodianship of Brokecello. It's in the UK now).

Anyway, the craziest wagon story I have is also an Olds. 91 repainted a brighter red in monotone. Bought it, sat in my driveway for 6 months with a leaky axle seal. Got a hair up my butt on 4th of JUly and fixed the seal, and took it around town for oh, 20 miles. Loaded my two kids and headed for WF NY (from FL), via Niagara Falls. 3300 miles in 8 days in a car I had driven 30 miles total since purchase. Ran like a champ (car had about 140K on it), and only issue was getting stuck in traffic (accident) and running out of gas (gauge read wrong like they all do).
Back to top Go down
Nick in PA



Posts : 75
Join date : 2010-12-14
Location : PA

My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019 Empty
PostSubject: Re: My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019   My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019 Icon_minitimeTue Jan 07, 2020 6:32 pm

Hello Warren!
Great read. Great trip!
I still have my duplicate to your wagon sitting in storage her in PA. I have had that wagon as far west as Wyoming.
I had its predecessor, my maroon CC from Canada to Florida on a variety of trips.

Im currently rolling in a 92 Blue Caprice Wagon. I take it out every weekend to hike with the dog. This one was pristine when I bought it for my kid as his first car 4 years ago. So nice that we had it in a car show here in PA the week we took it home ( the McLaren got the trophy). We bought it from the original owner, an 80 year old woman who could no longer drive.
It didn't take long before my teenage son started banging into things. A mailbox post, a pickup truck, a deer and who knows what else. No more shows for this old girl. The front passenger door didn't open anymore after one impact but a few minutes with a cutting wheel solved that. My son since moved on to a more fuel efficient car so I bought it off him. My wife asked "Why you keeping it?" and I said its a backup car for the kids. Since then both kids in college needed it when their 2010ish cars were in the shops. One time for a whole month. She starts every time, even when the newer ones didn't. She doesn't care if its 10 degrees or a 110. She doesn't care if its raining or snowing. Starts every time. They are really reliable cars.
Glad to see your post!
Nick in PA
Back to top Go down
Serendipity96

Serendipity96

Posts : 49
Join date : 2017-12-18
Location : Clearwater, FL

My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019 Empty
PostSubject: Re: My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019   My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019 Icon_minitimeTue Jan 07, 2020 6:36 pm

funny story Nick - i think of that ad for i think insurance? and the parents are giving their son their beat up gold buick roadmaster wagon - and it's not seen at cool AT ALL.... but when i see these - or more often the blah sedan version for sale by me really cheap - like under 2000 or even under 1000 in some cases cheap, I have to remind myself that i have no place to put them if i were overly tempted to save them.
That's sort of how i feel about these now when i see them for sale... You want to rescue them like a cute old dog or cat that nobody else seems to want at the pound.
Back to top Go down
https://www.youtube.com/followyourbliss101
Nick in PA



Posts : 75
Join date : 2010-12-14
Location : PA

My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019 Empty
PostSubject: Re: My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019   My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019 Icon_minitimeTue Jan 07, 2020 7:20 pm

That is true. Like old dogs. There is never a cheap one around when you need it though. Been looking for a cheap matching donor to replace the beat up front end and teenage modified doors.
As long as there are Apocalypse and Zombie movies our wagons will have a purpose. For some reason they always seem to show up in those type movies. Maybe because they start?
Back to top Go down
Sprocket

Sprocket

Posts : 5654
Join date : 2008-11-04
Location : Palm Beach County

My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019 Empty
PostSubject: Re: My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019   My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019 Icon_minitimeTue Jan 07, 2020 7:59 pm

Nick in PA wrote:
That is true. Like old dogs.  There is never a cheap one around when you need it though. Been looking for a cheap matching donor to replace the beat up front end and teenage modified doors.
As long as there are Apocalypse and Zombie movies our wagons will have a purpose. For some reason they always seem to show up in those type movies. Maybe because they start?

Nick, come to WF FL in March and I'll sell you doors off my wrecked car, I need it all gone. Seriously PM me.. Even if you cant make it, I can send the doors north as there are a few New Englanders coming and you could meet them enroute.
Back to top Go down
Nick in PA



Posts : 75
Join date : 2010-12-14
Location : PA

My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019 Empty
PostSubject: Re: My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019   My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019 Icon_minitimeTue Jan 07, 2020 8:42 pm

Thanks Pal, I wish I could take the time. Unfortunately the work thing gets in the way of my personal life. I can get the doors, I was just holding out for the right color combination ( blue top with gray bottom) plus I need 3 doors, a hood, grill, and bumper cover to make it shine. I can piece it together from the local yards but I figured I would get an old Northeast rust bucket that matched. The fenders and doors seem to survive but the frames and rear quarters do not so these cars are constantly meeting their end here in PA. The Government inspection process checks the rust so many get put to pasture.
I thought about Johnny Cashing it with multiple colors. I haven't given up on that yet. If I found the same donor I could strip her down and have what I need to keep the other 3 wagons. All have blue interior. Im a wagon addict. Wish I had more time to feed the craving.
Back to top Go down
oldsbattlecruiser



Posts : 9
Join date : 2019-02-24
Location : Wackyfornia

My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019 Empty
PostSubject: Re: My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019   My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019 Icon_minitimeWed Jan 08, 2020 1:21 am

All,  

Thank-you for letting me share my story and giving it a positive reception.  Nick in PA was the only wagon community person who knew I had purchased the BattleCruiser II prior to the trip.  His cross country drive in his OCC years ago was the inspiration that kept me on track with getting my car ready for to go to Hell in that last month before leaving.

When I have an inspired moment, I will write more tales from the ghosts of Longroofs past.

Nick - Any chance you can meet me halfway this year?  Or possibly meet me in Yellowstone? Maybe Glacier? Very Happy  I picked up a front clip for our wagons, courtesy of AZ Don. Was thinking partially about you and your rust probs when I drove to pick them up & I'm hoping "very" much I'll never need these parts in the future.  They are the right colors but are a little sun baked for going straight onto either your OCC or Caprice.  I haven't tried yet to see whether the paint can be buffed out.

Warren
Back to top Go down
Big Wagon Guy

Big Wagon Guy

Posts : 349
Join date : 2010-02-15
Location : Wasaga Beach Ontario

My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019 Empty
PostSubject: Re: My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019   My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019 Icon_minitimeThu Jan 09, 2020 5:37 pm

Excellent write up and intro...welcome to the Forum! Love the OCC and your history with and passion for Longroofs.
Back to top Go down
Nick in PA



Posts : 75
Join date : 2010-12-14
Location : PA

My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019 Empty
PostSubject: Re: My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019   My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019 Icon_minitimeThu Jan 09, 2020 7:19 pm

Warren!
Thanks for the honorable mention. My wife said "Awwww". We both had great times in the Custom Cruisers. That was one of the best roadtrips of my life. The last roadtrip I ever took without GPS. They were available but we didnt use one.
That is very kind of you to offer and to meet half way! That would be another epic trip. East meets West. If it ever happens we should probably but a golden spike in the road like the railroads did back in the day.
Wish I could do it but that darn work thing gets in the way. The Caprice isn't that important to me anyway. I use it as a beater to hike with the dog.
Thanks again, I really appreciate it.
Back to top Go down
oldsbattlecruiser



Posts : 9
Join date : 2019-02-24
Location : Wackyfornia

My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019 Empty
PostSubject: Re: My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019   My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019 Icon_minitimeMon Jan 13, 2020 1:05 am

Nick,

This trip was nothing but electronics for me.  GPS and streaming music/podcasts off my phone, texting and phone calls while driving via using Alexa via my Echo Drive, asking for town or geographic info to learn about where I was, etc.  In fact, our buddy in Pennsylvania almost refused to get in the car because of his conspiracy theories about Alexa listening in.  Really, like Alexa could learn anything useful from us!  Laughing

Warren
Back to top Go down
oldsbattlecruiser



Posts : 9
Join date : 2019-02-24
Location : Wackyfornia

My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019 Empty
PostSubject: Re: My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019   My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019 Icon_minitimeMon Jan 13, 2020 1:34 am

Hell to the East.
Hell to the West.  
I don't know which Hell I liked best!

(Hell, Michigan/Hell's Gate, Death Valley, California)

My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019 20190616
My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019 20191212
My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019 20190617
My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019 20190618
Back to top Go down
Sprocket

Sprocket

Posts : 5654
Join date : 2008-11-04
Location : Palm Beach County

My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019 Empty
PostSubject: Re: My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019   My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019 Icon_minitimeMon Jan 13, 2020 8:54 pm

oldsbattlecruiser wrote:
Hell to the East.
Hell to the West.  
I don't know which Hell I liked best!


I read this in song as it's VERY close to the lyrics of probably my favorite Fleshtones song

She can twist to the east
Twist to the west
Twist with the boy that she loves the best

I actually had to go double check the lyrics lol



Criminally underrated band.  22 albums and been playing live since 1976!
Back to top Go down
oldsbattlecruiser



Posts : 9
Join date : 2019-02-24
Location : Wackyfornia

My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019 Empty
PostSubject: Re: My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019   My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019 Icon_minitimeWed Jan 15, 2020 3:10 am

Fleshtones!  Wow.  That's a band I haven't heard the name of in a long time.

Last night, I had been thinking more along the line of Blues singer Clarence Carter...

I stroke it to the east and
I stroke it to the west
I stroke it to the woman that I love best...


Back to top Go down
Sponsored content




My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019 Empty
PostSubject: Re: My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019   My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019 Icon_minitime

Back to top Go down
 
My Intro - Longroof adventures in 2019
Back to top 
Page 1 of 1

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
GM Longroof Forum :: The Welcome Wagon :: Introductions...-
Jump to: