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 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA

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81X11

81X11

Posts : 9876
Join date : 2010-06-23
Age : 45
Location : Round Rock Texas

Custom Cruiser - 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA Empty
PostSubject: 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA   Custom Cruiser - 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA Icon_minitimeThu Sep 06, 2012 3:20 am

Ok Gang, this'll be a long one.

Sadly the pics are not great. I had cell phone issues and lost a lot of pics sadly, but still have quite a few for you all, and some that are pretty wild weather-wise.

Day 1's driving started at dusk, and Day 2.....Dad and I met Hurricane Issac personally. Day 3 was spent with family and Day 4 was a lot of BRIGHT and HOT driving. Have been playing catch-up today, but wanted to get this down for anyone that likes a good novel. A big THANKS to all those that checked in with my via cell on the drive. I appreciate the interest and concern, and to Greg in Memphis, I really wish we could have gotten together! Next time for sure!

That said, here's the trip in my usual long-winded form.

DAY 1 - Saturday

Saturday morning went about as planned. Got up, Dad came over, and Misty and the kiddos drove us to the Austin airport. This was the first time I'd had to go through the full body scanner at security...and we had to get travel-size bottles of everything before the trip. Stupid rules..thank you terrorists....I love shaving with disposable razors.... Rolling Eyes

Plane left on time...and I smiled through what George Carlin called the "Safety Lecture". I remembered how much I hate flying. I'm too big for the seats..and we were at the very back of the plane, so had engines droning the 2hrs and 40mins of the flight to Charlotte. Fun.. but it gets better. We started desending in Charlotte on time. So far the ride had been smooth, thankfully, and Isaac's remnants were to the north of the trip all the way.

We had a great view of downtown Charlotte from the plane, but just to the north of town the sky was BLACK, and we could actually see rain falling from the clouds to the north. The plane began to drop, and all of the sudden we were covered in a downpour. The plane bounched and I grabbed the chair arms. We got lower and we were just over the runway, and all the sudden the pilot gunned the engines and we roared upward and took off again......??

As the plane went up, it shook, lurched, and the passengers gasped. Nothing over the PA system. We came out of the rain and felt the plane turning. Finally the pilot came on and said there was nothing to worry about, but there had been crosswinds over the runway and they'd had to abort the landing at the last minute, and now instead of landing from the south, we'd be landing from the north, as soon as we had clearance. Ok then.

After circling about 10-mins, we landed, in poring rain. We rolled past our gate, the runways covered in pretty deep water, and parked in line behind 9 other planes waiting for a gate. I watched airport trucks running around making impressive spashes. The pilot came on again, and said he was sorry but due to the lightning in the area the ramp was closed, and we'd have to wait until the airport re-opened to de-plane. Swell. We were supposed to have just oven an hour layover between flights, and ended up sitting on the tarmac for 30-mins. We were finally cleared to deplane, but there was not an open jetway, so they folded down the stairs and we walked across a wet runway..nice. By the time we got in the terminal it was 4:10, and our next flight was supposed to leave at 4:22. Ha! BUT due to the weather it was delayed until 4:30...then 4:45...then 4:50. Still not bad, I was prepared to be there a while, but the weather moved out quickly.

The next flight was a short one from Charlotte to Fayetteville. We were put on a Dash-300, my first ride in a small propeller-engined plane. I was prepared to hate it, but actually liked it. The flight was not full and I ended up with two seats to myself. Could spread out, and other than all the rattling at idle waiting to take off, it was a smooth and short flight.

We landed in Fayetteville only a bit late. I called Mr. Walker, the seller, and he said he was at the baggage claim. We'd carried on our bags, and walked down to meet our ride. I can't say enough good things about Mr. and Mrs. Walker. He greeted us with a handshake and a big smile and led us out to where his wife was parked right outside, and we tossed our bags into the trunk of her spotless Buick LeSabre and Dad and I climbed into the back seat....a nice SOFT ROOMY seat in the air conditioning. Lord I like cars better than planes! The ground was wet but the rains had moved on as we pulled out of the airport. Fayetteville was really pretty. Green grass and big trees, and the air smelled clean and fresh.

Mr Walker let us know he'd driven the Custom Cruiser to his mother-in-law's house, and his wife had followed in the LeSabre, so instead of a 45-min ride, we'd only have a 20-min trip to see my new car. They were both just as nice as they could be. We talked about our kids, theirs nearly grown, and about travel. Joe, Mr. Walker, said other than visiting his in-laws in Missouri once, he'd never really been out of North or South Carolina. He said he was amazed when someone from Texas called about the car, and that he flat would not have the nerve to buy a car so far away, and site-unseen, and then drive it back home. I could tell he was nervous about me seeing the car, but after the pics and speaking to him many times, I pretty much thought I knew what to expect.

The seller was funny. He said it must have been meant to be, because he'd never been to Texas, but someone had given him the keychain he used for the wagon. Check this out, ha!
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We talked about gas prices, and they told us NOT to buy gas in North Carolina. Said NC had some of the highest gas taxes in the country, and that we should get gas in South Carolina, that there was a Love's right over the border and gas would be 50-cents less there. Ok then!

We pulled up to his in-laws house, and he said "there she is, did I tell you how nice it was?".
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The inside was equally nice, even having the factory snap-in floor mats, with only a little wear on the driver's side mat near the heel pad, which was covered with a clear plastic mat. Beyond that, the headlight button markings have a little wear on them, and the top of the steering wheel is a little sun-worn, and the air bag pad is warped on top, like all Olds bag wheels of this vintage are. I'm nit-picking here, the inside is NICE. No fading, and the leather is flat perfect.
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Joe was very up-front on the exterior. It has one tiny door ding, and some wear on the gate paint where the bottom of the license plate rubbed, but other than that, the white paint is nearly perfect. The previous owner kept the car in a carport, and the only real issue is the rear bumper. The car stuck out of the carport and got the rear afternoon sun, and the rear bumper is all faded out. I'll be painting it really soon!
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The only other cosmetic issues to note are that there is some bad scratches on the upper part of the tailgate plastic trim and some on the side panels in the cargo area. Someone drug a load over them...sad! Broke the chrome lock knob on the tailgate too. All easy fixes though, just have to hit the salvage yard!
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I was pleased to see that the car did in fact have the vista-shades, and that the headliner was perfect. Sadly the cargo cover is long gone, but again, I'll find one!
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An oddity, the driver's side exterior mirror has a Heated Mirror sticker on it, that looks like something that the factory would have peeled off after installing before delivery. Weird!
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My next concern was getting under the car and looking at the bottom. I know these cars rust, badly, and I'd yet to see pics of the underside. I noticed this sticker first before looking under the car:
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On getting under the car I was relieved at what I saw. The car is NOT Texas clean, but it was also clearly not a rust-belt car. Columbia South Carolina, where the car has spend most of it's last 20-years, is about 15 miles from the Atlantic ocean. What I saw under the car is light surface rust on the frame, exhaust, and bolts, from living around humid salt air all it's life. It's not eat-off-it clean, but it's solid as a rock, just surface rust here and there on bare metal. The gas tank straps and spare tire well are fine, other than the well needing a re-paint soon, which I'll do this winter. The rest looks fine too, no leaks, no big issues.
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I'll post underhood pics shortly, the ones I took were too dark, but it's fine under there, with the exception of needing a bath, and some rust on the battery tray and on the radiator support in front of the battery...it had a blown battery in the past for sure. I'll fix all that when I do my 4-note horn conversion (he-he).

I started the car up and it ran so quiet you could barely hear it idle. All the gauges read fine, and Joe, the seller, had just changed the oil, had all the belts and hoses checked, and put on new wipers for us. Nice! I'm a little shocked to tell ya'll this, but I didn't even test-drive it. It seemed fine, and for the most part it was. We signed papers, money changed hands, I taped the temp tag in the rear window and we shook hands and they wished us well.

We moved our bags to the rear of the Cruiser, and the air compressor clicked on for a sec then shut off. Ride leveling works! Ha!

Dad and I climbed in and we pulled out, with 65,500.9 miles on the odometer. A/C blowing ice cubes, engine mumbling quietly, we floated down the street toward the highway. I was smiling ear-to-ear...this sucker was NICE!! We headed for the highway. It was about 8pm NC time, but to us on Texas time, it was only 7pm, and we decided to put some miles in. Dad busied himself plugging in the power splitter to run both the Garmin GPS and to power our cell phone, and I clicked on the radio, and the power antenna jumped to attention from the front fender....

Problem 1...no front speakers. Joe had said the rear speakers sometimes crackeled, and I was prepared for that, but he'd said nothing about the front speakers not working at all. I was not mad, but I called him. On the phone he said "you know I was always curious where those front speakers were....." Ok then. The previous owner had all the window sliders replaced at a GM dealer, and my guess is they did not plug the speakers back in. We drove across the country with only hollow-sounding rear speakers. Just glad the car is so quiet so we could hear them. The tape player worked fine, and I'd dug out all my old high-school and college tapes, which mostly still worked. cheers
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We got on the highway headed for South Carolina. I was somewhat surprised at how totally different the Olds version of these cars feels from the Buick version. I mean we all know it's the same basic car, but the dash is lower, the Olds seats feel totally different, the wheel is skinnier, and door panels are so different. In the '96 Roady, the arm rest is higher on the panel and not as wide, but you also have a wide panel at window level to rest your elbow on. Not so in the Olds, the arm rests are wide and lower and the door panels curve to meet the windows. I think it looks neater and makes the interior seem wider, but not sure it's more comfy...I found I was resting my arm on my leg more than the door arm rest during the trip.

Also, since I'm on a comparison tangent, I really REALLY missed the center arm rest storage compartment, but will say the Olds has a MUCH better and larger glove box than the Roady had. Also, as a passenger, I really miss the headliner grab handles the Roady had. Anyone know if those can be added??? I'm going to try, I miss those!

Back to the trip. We crossed into South Carolina after only 15-mins on the road and pulled into the Love's station there. Gas was $3.41, which turned out to be the lowest price on the trip. Filled up the car and I noticed something new, the windshield is all de-laminated under the wiper arms. It's not really noticable and can't be seen at all from inside the car, but a bummer. The glass is a Sungate unit, and has not cracks or scratches, but is delaminating all along the bottom. Oh well.

Oh and right next to the Love's was a repair shop/junk yard and I spotted the first of only two Longroofs on the entire trip, a sad white Woody Roady that looked to be a parts car. Too dark for a pic.

We got back on the highway and drove all the way across South Carolina that night. Cruise control worked fine, car running like a watch. The Check Engine light would come on for 5-10 mins and then go off. No warning, and no sign of a problem. The seller had made me aware of this when I fist spoke to him so I was expecting it. Will sort that out. One thing that did surprise me a bit is how fast the engine runs at 75mph...nearly 2500rpm. My Roady ran below 2K rpm on the highway. I guess it's the 3.23 towing rear axle this car has. Also note the stain on the dash near the trip reset button. Weird.
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My only other observation that first night was how softly sprung the car is. I don't think there is anything wrong with the shocks, I just think the car is VERY soft. Bumps and road heaves make the car waddle a bit, and I can see KYB's in it's near future. That said, it drives SMOOTH as it can be.

I put on a Best of James Taylor cassette and we listened to "In My Mind I'm Going to Carolina" driving across South Carolina in the dark. Ha, nice.

We found a Red Roof Inn in Augusta Georgia at 11pm and I got a parking spot right below our room. I woke up twice during the night to look out the window at the car...I didn't pull the fuel pump fuse and was totally paranoid someone was going to steal my new prize.

DAY 2

We woke up to a gorgeous sunny day, and looked at the weather channel in the hotel room. The original plan was to go through Atlanta, then up to Nashville to visit my Dad's cousin, and then through Memphis and on to Jonesboro Arkansas to stay with my Dad's sister. A LONG drive from Augusta Georgia, and they weathermen were saying there could be big storms in Tennessee from Hurricane Isaac. We decided to play it by ear.

We filled up and did the mileage. 21.5mpg. I'd hoped for better, but figured we'd keep checking. We got on the road at 9am Georgia...so 8am Texas time, which we'd hit mid-day

My Dad loves Diners, Drive-In's and Dives, and had planned our trip to include some places from the show. The first place on the list was a place called The Varsity Drive-In in downtown Atlanta. Leaving at 9am, we'd be in Atlanta by noon. It was already 88-degrees at 9am and sticky-humid, but not a cloud in the sky.

Georgia's roads are not as smooth as the roads in the Carolinas, and this morning we discovered PROBLEM 2. Whenever we hit a large bump, the cruise control would shut off. Quickly hitting Resume would kick it right back in, but through the rest of the trip, especially in Mississippi and Arkansas where the roads generally stink, we got to hit Resume A LOT. Will have to sort that issue out quickly.

We got to Atlanta at noon as planned. They radio was predicting afternoon storms, but it was a clear and hot 94 degrees when we got into downtown. My Dad went through AT&T corporate training in Atlanta in the 80's, and really likes the town. I'd never been there, so we drove around a bit and he pointed some things out. It is a neat place and I'd like to spend some time there someday.

The Varsity Drive In is listed as the world's largest drive-in...and I believe it. It's located right downtown, just outside the Georgia Tech campus. It's said that on a game day they can service 600+ cars and over 30,000 customers! Amazing. They have a traditional car-hop area and a 2-level parking garage. At lunch on that Saturday the place was PACKED. They have about 20 registers and no joke, there were people 6-deep at each one, and that does not include the car-hop service outside. WILD.
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They're famous for thier hot dogs and their orange sodas and orange shakes. We parked on the upper-level of the rear parking garage and went inside. The lines move fast, the place is LOUD, and filled with college kids, business people, families, and older folks too. Quite a mix of foks.
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I got the #1, which is two chili dogs, onion rings, and a large orange shake. Dad got the same thing but with slaw on the dogs too...yucko..ha. I will say the dogs were nothing special but the orange shake was outstanding, and it was fun to people-watch. Neat place!
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We got back on the road about 1pm, but took a detour just north of Atlanta for gas, and our mileage dropped to 19.5...hmm. I decided when I got home I'd do the fuel filter, and that maybe whatever was tripping the Check Engine light now and then was messing with the mpg. There was an Autozone across the street and I changed the air filter, which was not too dirty, and the pcv valve, which looked original, in hopes of bettering the mpg.

Georgia is full of trees, so pretty!
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We headed north toward Chatanooga Tennessee, and Dad decided to call his cousin in Nashville. He'd planned to surprise him, and had not called yet. Well it turns out the cousin had gone to the river for the holiday weekend... We pulled out the road atlas and decided if we turned west there in Georgia and went across northern Alabama and Mississippi, we'd cut off over 120 miles of travel and hopefully miss the storms the weathermen were talking about for that afternoon in Tennessee.

The only problem with this plan was between Atlanta and Chatanooga there is no real Interstate to go west on. After studying the atlas a bit Dad, the navigator, had outlined four different country roads that would get us to the interstate in Alabama. We turned off the highway and headed into the country on a 2-lane.

This was both a stressful and VERY fun part of the trip. The stressful part is we were right on the edge of a state forest, and there was NOTHING out there, so I began to watch the gas gauge real close, and fun in that it was GORGEOUS out there! Big trees, green valleys, great twisting and turning empty 2-lane roads leading up and up into the mountains. REALLY pretty!
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The further north we went, the steeper the road got. We went up one grade that was switchbacks that lasted for no-kidding 2-miles, and this was the one time the temp gauge on the car rose a bit, off the 180 it had been on the entire trip to 220 at the top of the mountain. Happily the car cooled right down as soon as we crested the peak and began coasting down the other side. I WISH I had pics from the top, but the trees blocked the view at the peak.

After about two hours of back roads, we finally hit the interstate, just this side of the Alabama line. I was bushed from all the dips, curves, hills, and turns, and asked Dad if he would drive. He's yet to take a turn on the trip. The sun was out, and a wide and empty 4-lane was in front of us, on the map all the way from there to Memphis, about 4 hours away. We put on sunglasses and Dad pulled onto the highway.
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We crossed into Alabama, and there were old cars everywhere. This is a car-hunters dream, with clapped-out cars in laws all along the highway. I spotted two 80's Monte Carlo SS's at different houses, Mustangs, Camaros, Chevelles, Novas, even a 60's 442. If you're looking for a project car and are not scared to knock on a door, head for Alabama folks!

Now we're coming to the scary part of the trip...and I was really glad Dad was driving. Just to the east of Huntsville my phone suddenly beeped loudly. I opened it up, and it said EXTREME ALERT, Tornado Warning in this area until 4:45 pm. Take Shelter Now.

Ok then. This was now the view to the west....
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We ejected the Tom Petty tape and got the Huntsville news right away. There were MANY storm bands to the west and north, with some large hail, and there were tonados reported on the ground just to the north of Huntsville and more formations to the west moving east. Basically it was everywhere, and it was all leftovers from the hurricane.

Dad grew up in Arkansas, and lived through many tornados. We hardly ever get weather like this in Central Texas, where I live, so I was pretty worried. Dad said there was nothing to worry about, because there was nothing we could do, and we plugged on.

NASA has a large facility in Huntsville, and there is a Space Camp there, and they have Saturn 5 rockets and even one of the Space Shuttles. The news has a weather camera on top of one of the Saturn 5 Rockets, and they call it the Rocket Cam, and they were reporting seeing "BIG WEATHER" to the north from the cam. We passed this as we drove into Huntsville, and had hopes that all the weather would stay to the north.
Here's us coming up on the rockets....look in the distance:
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It would have been fun to check out the rockets and such, but we were a lot more concerned about the weather looking to the north.
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We plugged on, and no kidding the weatherman on the radio had at this point been talking nonestop for 45-mins. The latest word was a big storm cell was forming just to the east of Decatur....right where we were headed. You cross a big bridge to get to Decatur, and this is looking to the west and north as we crossed it. To the north the sky was flat scary:
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We got just through Decatur and all the sudden the sky opened up and the wind started to howl. You don't realize how slow the fast speed of the wipers are on a B-body until you drive head-on into a huge thunderstorm. We were heading directly into it, and other cars are turning around and heading the other way.
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An then the rain came down so hard the wipers were useless..we slowed to a crawl
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About this time my phone squacked again. I flipped it open to SEVERE ALERT, TORNADO REPORTED IN THIS AREA, TAKE SHELTER NOW, FLASH FLOOD ALERT.
About this time I was mildly freaking out...and I just started taking pics. Leaves and stuff is flying across the road, and I look out m y passenger side window and take this pic. This is as close to a tornado as I ever hope to be....
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Dad hits it, the wipers are useless, and the few cars on the road in front of us are crawling. We both feel guilty about throwing more water over the cars we're passing, but we want OUT OF THIS. I will say the Olds never once slips or slides, and by this point the water on the road is deep. No leaks either...but at this point we're to shaken up to care about any of that.
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Now jump ahead 10-mins, and we're on a dry road. Amazing, it did NOTHING here:
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But the fun is far from over. We cross into Mississippi and get the Memphis station, and they are talking about more big weather....which we're heading right into. It makes for a pretty sky I guess...
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But the further we go, the darker it looks:
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And then here comes the rain again
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We go through three or more bands of storms, they just keep coming. Thankfully nothing like just west of Decatur, but still, big rain. We finally come into clear skies for about an hour, but then as we get almost to Memphis, this is the sky we see....this is FULL of lightning and fills up half the sky in front of us:
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We'd originally planned to meet up with Greg (Olds Weighty-Eight) in Memphis, but had spoken earlier in the day and decided we'd be in town too late. We actually make good time with our "shortcut" and got there by 8pm, but with all the stress from the weather and the fact that it's raining, we drive on.

We pass through Collierville and drive into Memphis, and the rain lets up. It's funny, we still had a full day of driving to go, but we both said we felt like we were home. All our family is from Northeast Arkansas and we've spent so much time in Memphis it feels like home. And since it's a days drive from Austin, and we've done it so many times, it really felt like we'd made it now.

All the sudden, we're hungry, and Dad says he knows "Just the place", so despite the fact we're only about an hour from my Aunts...and a shower and a bed....we pull off in downtown Memphis and head to Front Street. Dad has seen a place called Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken on Diners, Drive-In's and Dives, and finds it with the GPS. We drive south on Front Street and it does not feel like the best area....but Dad see's a yellow sign on an old building and says "We're Here!".
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Now this place does not look like somewhere I would normally go...but there is a spot right on the street out front, so we park.
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We go in and no joke, Sunday night at 8:30pm just after a thunderstorm, and the place is PACKED. The room is small and old and the guy taking names is wearing a security guard outfit...no joke. He tells us 20-mins and takes my name. In the next 20-mins he keeps walking over and saying "it's almost time Mike" like he's known me for years. Finally a table opens up and he yells across the room "Hey Mike, Plant Your Tail in Dees Chairs!". hahaha.

Jim (Flasharoo) called me just as we sat down. Again thanks to everyone for checking on us. Wagon folks truely are the best folks.

I gotta say that was in fact THE BEST fried chicken I've ever has. Not greasy, very spicy, and served with slaw, beans, and bread. I declined the fried pickles but wished for some later. The pie also looked outstanding but we restrained ourselves. I LOVE Memphis, I really do.
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With full stomachs we headed out for the final hours's drive over the Mississippi River and into Arkansas. On the way out of town I drive past Beale Street, and a cop gives the Cruiser a thumbs-up, very cool. Cell phone pics suck, but you get the idea:
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We drive on to Jonesboro Arkansas. In the field between Memphis and Jonesboro I remember one of my least favorite things about our home state...the bugs. It sounds like rain or pebbles hitting the glass, but it's all manner of night insects....and this is after a storm, not even the worst time to drive out there. We get to Jonesboro and crash.

DAY 3

I got up early to beat the heat and headed to the car wash in Jonesboro. The plan was to meet all the family for lunch, and I wanted the Cruiser clean before everyone sees it. They already think I'm weird, driving 1500+ miles for a 20-year-old station wagon.

I come out and inspect the night-befores insect kill on my grill:
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And after a wash take some nice shots of the Cruiser under the sweet-smelling pine trees at my aunt's home. This car more than earned a bath after the day before's adventures. I'm sure never in it's life did it climb mountains and then run through thunderstorms while dodging tornados. It looks none the worse for it. Great car!
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We have a nice lunch with the relatives and then do some shopping. Really nice day with the family. It's always nice to catch up, and my Uncle John really likes my wagon, while my cousin Hannah I think has the same "why?" feeling my wife has about these cars. Ha.

I know for sure I'm in Arkansas when I spot this thing in a parking lot. Yee-Haw
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That afternoon I sneak off and look around town a bit. I drive by the 1920's house my Dad grew up in...it's looking BAD now sadly, and then by the ranch-style house my Mom lived in. Her Dad, my late grandfather, was a dentist, and had a nice home, and it's still nice today.

I drive downtown and spot a cool old Coke sign on a building. Could not resist:
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DAY 4
The next morning we're up early and headed for Texas. It's a bright sunny day, with no bad weather forcasted, BUT there are head advisories for Dallas...and I'm sure wishing the Cruiser had tinted windows.

We pass Goobertown, Weiner, Cash, Bald Knob, and Possum Grape.....yes those are all REAL town names in Arkansas... Laughing
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The road is straight as an arrow through the farmlands from Newport to Little Rock and over the White River:
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My Dad was a lineman for Southwestern Bell during his summers at college, and he also drove a truck for a shipping company as a kid, and he has a story from seemingly every little town from Jonesboro to Little Rock. I enjoy hearing him talk and picturing him as a teenager working out here. Arkansas is and will always be Dad's REAL home:
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As we get through Little Rock and head toward Texarkana, we get into the pine hills of western Arkansas. This is the turn-off point for many of our motorcycle trips through the mountains past Hot Springs and up past Russellville. I wish we could turn off, western Arkansas is gorgeous, but we want to get home to Texas.
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We cross into Texarkana at lunchtime, and while we're still a good 5 hours from Austin, it feels good to be back in the Lone Star State. The Cruiser is running like a watch, but it's HOT here!
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Texarkana to Dallas is BORING BORING BORING 3-hour drive. The pine trees of Arkansas are gone and replaced by scrub trees and endless East Texas ranches. The one positive is the huge sky out here. We're talking Wide Open Spaces. You finally get to Denison and then crest the hill and drive over the big lake at Rockwall, just east of Dallas, and it really feels like home at last. Gorgeous blue water and big blue skys. Gotta Love Texas!
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We manage to make Dallas by 4:00, JUST beating the rush-hour traffic thankfully. We cross Dallas and are on I-35 headed south to Austin by 4:40. Wide Open Spaces...but it's hotter now, ouch!
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We stop just south of Dallas for a drink and park in some shade. Car is doing SUPER!
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As we pull away it's now 106....hot stuff!
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We get to Waco at 6pm and stop at the famous Collin Street Bakery to get Mom and Misty some cookies for letting us go on this stupid quest... Ha
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Texas flag in the background. Welcome to Big Tex my new Cruiser!
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About this time we're ready for dinner too, and despite the fact we're only about and hour-and-a-half from home, we spot a sign that's too good to pass up. Chuy's Tex-Mex. We're gone almost a week without a Chuy's fix...and it's GOOD to be HOME.
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After a good dinner of Elvis Green Chili Fried Chicken with Creamy Jalapeno Ranch, we climb back in the Cruiser tired but full and make it home at dusk. 1598 miles. Whew!
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Unpacked and parked in it's new home under the shade trees
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Well I hope you enjoyed taking a road trip with me. Was quite an adventure, but the car performed great and I'm looking forward to making it mine over the winter.

Oh and just because you know I love pics, I cleaned the car all up today and already nabbed a few Austin pics. I'll finish with these.
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The white-over-blue Oldsmobiles getting to know each other...both just got bathed:
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Fun Stuff! Good to be HOME!

-Mike


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BigBlackBeaSSt

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PostSubject: Re: 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA   Custom Cruiser - 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA Icon_minitimeThu Sep 06, 2012 7:40 am

Great write up. Glad to see you made it without a hitch. Love the Olds, looks at home at your place.
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jayoldschool

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PostSubject: Re: 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA   Custom Cruiser - 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA Icon_minitimeThu Sep 06, 2012 9:20 am

Congrats! Nice pics.

RainX!

BTW, the stain on the cluster by the trip button will be from someone spraying cleaner or ArmorAll on the dash.

RPM seems a bit high to me, too. Did you test the converter lockup?
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PostSubject: Re: 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA   Custom Cruiser - 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA Icon_minitimeThu Sep 06, 2012 10:15 am

jayoldschool wrote:
Congrats! Nice pics.

RainX!

BTW, the stain on the cluster by the trip button will be from someone spraying cleaner or ArmorAll on the dash.

RPM seems a bit high to me, too. Did you test the converter lockup?

Tell me how and I'll do it. It shifts fine, thankfully.
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PostSubject: Re: 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA   Custom Cruiser - 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA Icon_minitimeThu Sep 06, 2012 10:30 am

I will say the mileage was a big letdown. Did the math and only averaged 17.9mpg for the trip. Glad I had planned a safety-net for gas funds, because I used it. The highest I got was in Arkansas at 25mpg, but the rest of the trip it dipped under 20 in most cases. Now we were dodging weather, going over mountains, and pushing the car at near 80mph with the a/c on full blast and in some HOT weather too....but my LT1 Roady did a lot better with gas on trips.

Will do the fuel filter and have the car scanned about the Check Engine light coming on and off. Hopefully something there is causing the low mpg. I really had hoped for better.

The car had a BIG full tune-up in 2008....I have the records, and while that was a few years back, it had only been driven 4000 miles since then....

Oh and I forgot the other issue I discovered while on the trip. When we first got the car it had some sticky stuff on it in certain areas....think it was tree sap. Well the left rear door window will not open. I've cleaned the car a bunch now and it comes down about a 1/4 inch and stops or jams...I think it may have sap in the channel. It's not coming down at an angle, so it's not the sliders. The seller never mentioned this problem...but I have a feeling he ran the a/c mostly and never used the windows much...all but the driver's side POPPED open the first time I tried them, and now after using a few times work fine. As mentioned the original owner replaced the driver's door power window motor and had all the plastic sliders replaced in the doors. Have the receipt for that work. We'll see.

-Mike
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PostSubject: Re: 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA   Custom Cruiser - 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA Icon_minitimeThu Sep 06, 2012 10:37 am

Nice trip Mike. I really enjoyed the pics and commentary.

I have a 3.23 open and cruising at 75 Ms. Roadie is just at or slightly over 2k RPM, and I think that's high. I was expecting like 1800. I would definitely check to see if lock-up is working correctly. Could be related to the cruise control issue if it's the pedal switch. just a thought. Course the cruise kicking off could be due to dirty contacts in the switch lever, But I would think other things would not work correctly too. Like resume or accel. . .

Good luck fixing this one up and I'm glad you and your dad made it back safely.
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PostSubject: Re: 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA   Custom Cruiser - 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA Icon_minitimeThu Sep 06, 2012 10:39 am

scoffman wrote:
Nice trip Mike. I really enjoyed the pics and commentary.

I have a 3.23 open and cruising at 75 Ms. Roadie is just at or slightly over 2k RPM, and I think that's high. I was expecting like 1800. I would definitely check to see if lock-up is working correctly. Could be related to the cruise control issue if it's the pedal switch. just a thought. Course the cruise kicking off could be due to dirty contacts in the switch lever, But I would think other things would not work correctly too. Like resume or accel. . .

Good luck fixing this one up and I'm glad you and your dad made it back safely.

I sure hope it's not a transmission issue. It shifts fine, just seems to run pretty high. This car is a 3.23 posi. We'll see.
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PostSubject: Re: 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA   Custom Cruiser - 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA Icon_minitimeThu Sep 06, 2012 10:43 am

Oh and as I mentioned in the novel above, I only saw two round-body longroofs on the entire near 1600-mile trip. SAD!

The second car was a...you guessed it....another white woody Roady, a TBI car. This car pulled out of an apartment complex in Jonesboro Arkansas while I was cruising around. I beeped my horn at the driver gave me a big thumbs-up. His was pretty clean, wish we'd stopped for a pic.

In Alabama I spotted an 80's Electra wagon sitting in sad state beside a house along the highway.

That was IT. Two round Longroofs and a boxy in 1600 miles, and only one of the three was roadworthy. Sad!

-Mike
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PostSubject: Re: 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA   Custom Cruiser - 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA Icon_minitimeThu Sep 06, 2012 11:14 am

To test the lockup, get up to highway speed and - without letting off of the gas - TAP the brake. Not enough to stop or slow the car... just enough to get the light to come on. The RPM's should go up when you hit the brake. If not, you aren't in lockup.
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PostSubject: Re: 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA   Custom Cruiser - 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA Icon_minitimeThu Sep 06, 2012 11:38 am

Mike,great pics and story as always.Dont think its the convertor,remember my telling you about my tach reading high after a tune-up?I hooked up my old code scanner and there was about a 1000rpm difference between the tach on the dash and the tach on the scanner.The scanners readout was what the dash showed BEFORE the tuneup.I am pretty sure the the ignition module thats mounted inside the distributor is whats causing the faulty tach reading.I have hooked up the scanner 2 different times and I think the module,although the engine runs great is giving a faulty reading to the tach.Beautiful wagon but I already knew it was.
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PostSubject: Re: 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA   Custom Cruiser - 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA Icon_minitimeThu Sep 06, 2012 12:25 pm

Krzdimond wrote:
To test the lockup, get up to highway speed and - without letting off of the gas - TAP the brake. Not enough to stop or slow the car... just enough to get the light to come on. The RPM's should go up when you hit the brake. If not, you aren't in lockup.

Will try that and see how it acts.. Thanks!
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PostSubject: Re: 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA   Custom Cruiser - 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA Icon_minitimeThu Sep 06, 2012 12:31 pm

Flasheroo wrote:
Mike,great pics and story as always.Dont think its the convertor,remember my telling you about my tach reading high after a tune-up?I hooked up my old code scanner and there was about a 1000rpm difference between the tach on the dash and the tach on the scanner.The scanners readout was what the dash showed BEFORE the tuneup.I am pretty sure the the ignition module thats mounted inside the distributor is whats causing the faulty tach reading.I have hooked up the scanner 2 different times and I think the module,although the engine runs great is giving a faulty reading to the tach.Beautiful wagon but I already knew it was.

At idle, in Drive, the tach is reading about 800rpm....which I think would be correct. Do you think it reads wrong the higher the engine revs? The car seems to shift fine...but my mileage was pretty sad on the trip.

Will have the car scanned soon. Glad you liked the pics and story. Was a fun trip and I'm looking forward to working on this Olds through the "winter" here! Knowing me I'll spend a bunch of time and money on it, make it really sharp, get it just the way I want it, and then sell it when an LT1 Roady comes along I can't live without. Laughing

-Mike
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PostSubject: Re: 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA   Custom Cruiser - 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA Icon_minitimeThu Sep 06, 2012 12:36 pm

Ha, I just remembered one more thing. The Twilight Sentinal is psyco-sensative on this car. You pass under a cloud or a bridge and the lights come on. I ened up shutting it off and using the normal switch after the first day. The sensor is on the top of the dash....wonder if I can clean it??

Oh and I NEED keyless-entry fobs!! I didn't know how much I'd miss them...even my stupid Dodge Ram had keyless entry. Silly I know but I'm tired of digging for keys! Hahahaha! Rolling Eyes
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PostSubject: Re: 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA   Custom Cruiser - 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA Icon_minitimeThu Sep 06, 2012 12:42 pm

That tornado scared the you-know-what out of me. I'd never actually seen one in person and I looked out the window and it was RIGHT THERE. Amazed I got the funnel in that pic, it was pouring and I was yelling GO GO GO! to my Dad.

Other than that, it was a great trip. Glad you all liked the story!

-Mike
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PostSubject: Re: 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA   Custom Cruiser - 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA Icon_minitimeThu Sep 06, 2012 2:05 pm

SWEET OCC!

81X11 wrote:
Whenever we hit a large bump, the cruise control would shut off. Quickly hitting Resume would kick it right back in, but through the rest of the trip, especially in Mississippi and Arkansas where the roads generally stink, we got to hit Resume A LOT.

Ha! Mine does that too. As mentioned, it's probably goobered contacts.

81X11 wrote:
But the fun is far from over. We cross into Mississippi and get the Memphis station, and they are talking about more big weather....which we're heading right into.

That night was the first time I ever heard three National Weather Alerts within 10 minutes. Severe Thunderstorms, Tornado, then Flash Flood.

81X11 wrote:
We pass through Collierville and drive into Memphis, and the rain lets up... Dad has seen a place called Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken on Diners, Drive-In's and Dives, and finds it with the GPS.

Darn it, you were within spittin' distance of my house at that point and we have a Gus' Chicken Joint off the Collierville Town Square in an old house. Glad you made it home unscathed and hope to see that cherry machine one day.
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81X11

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PostSubject: Re: 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA   Custom Cruiser - 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA Icon_minitimeThu Sep 06, 2012 3:09 pm

Olds Weighty Eight wrote:
SWEET OCC!

81X11 wrote:
Whenever we hit a large bump, the cruise control would shut off. Quickly hitting Resume would kick it right back in, but through the rest of the trip, especially in Mississippi and Arkansas where the roads generally stink, we got to hit Resume A LOT.

Ha! Mine does that too. As mentioned, it's probably goobered contacts.

81X11 wrote:
But the fun is far from over. We cross into Mississippi and get the Memphis station, and they are talking about more big weather....which we're heading right into.

That night was the first time I ever heard three National Weather Alerts within 10 minutes. Severe Thunderstorms, Tornado, then Flash Flood.

81X11 wrote:
We pass through Collierville and drive into Memphis, and the rain lets up... Dad has seen a place called Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken on Diners, Drive-In's and Dives, and finds it with the GPS.

Darn it, you were within spittin' distance of my house at that point and we have a Gus' Chicken Joint off the Collierville Town Square in an old house. Glad you made it home unscathed and hope to see that cherry machine one day.

A guy on the general Station Wagon Forum with a 92 OCC says that you can adjust the switch on the brake pedal to fix the Cruise issue. I'm guessing he means the brake switch. Waiting for clarification.

And yes, that was some crazy weather...it just kept coming! We'd drive through a downpour, the sky would get lighter, and then off in the distance we'd see black clouds again...over and over!

I just almost called you when we got to Collierville. It was 8pm and sun was setting. It was also still raining...and I didn't want to bother you that late on a Sunday in that weather. I do think it's funny there is a Gus's near you. When they brought us out cups at the resteraunt, I saw the Collierville address and shook my head. So close! Ha!

Next time! Thanks for the nice comments about the new Cruiser. I like it a lot!

-Mike
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PostSubject: Re: 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA   Custom Cruiser - 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA Icon_minitimeThu Sep 06, 2012 5:09 pm

You can also call up the tach function on the HVAC to confirm that your dash tach is correct.

Use the light press on the brakes while at cruise speed (holding the gas, too) to check for lockup. As soon as you press the brakes, RPM will (should) increase 1-200. You can also check to make sure it's actually in OD! Drive on flat ground over 45mph in OD. Pull the column down to D. RPM should go up a few hundred.
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PostSubject: Re: 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA   Custom Cruiser - 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA Icon_minitimeThu Sep 06, 2012 6:35 pm

Love this picture Mike,Oldsmobile lover lives here.

Custom Cruiser - 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA Photo-2288

Great story ,time with Dad is priceless.

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Good story. Good looking car.
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PostSubject: Re: 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA   Custom Cruiser - 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA Icon_minitimeThu Sep 06, 2012 8:31 pm

I'm happy that you found a decent wagon, and it looks right at home in your driveway. but that gto has to go it don't fit the theme......

wish I could have some of the foods you got to enjoy on your trip but Sue wouldn't let me.......
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PostSubject: Re: 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA   Custom Cruiser - 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA Icon_minitimeThu Sep 06, 2012 9:02 pm

LOL


Nice wagon, Mike. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA   Custom Cruiser - 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA Icon_minitimeThu Sep 06, 2012 9:21 pm

buickestate wrote:
I'm happy that you found a decent wagon, and it looks right at home in your driveway. but that gto has to go it don't fit the theme......

No way Man! His collection is just taking shape. A '92 OCC, an '80s Cutlass and a '60s A-body...just need a Turbo Buick to round it out. Razz
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TylerW



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PostSubject: Re: 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA   Custom Cruiser - 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA Icon_minitimeThu Sep 06, 2012 10:36 pm

I'm glad you got the car, Mike!

I wish I had known when you were coming through because Huntsville is where I live. When you made the pic of the clouds with the Chevron station, you were in the little town of Gurley, AL.

As a matter of fact, if that was Monday, I was pulled over on the side of the road during that downpour, about 25 miles west of Decatur. That must have been YOU that blew by me doing about 80mph, LOL.

And, you are correct about old iron being everywhere here in Alabama. I was heading to Florence, AL to make my own car purchase, a 1977 Caprice Classic coupe I scored off craigslist.

Seriously tho, cool car and a fun trip looks like.


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PostSubject: Re: 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA   Custom Cruiser - 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA Icon_minitimeThu Sep 06, 2012 11:09 pm

buickestate wrote:
I'm happy that you found a decent wagon, and it looks right at home in your driveway. but that gto has to go it don't fit the theme......

wish I could have some of the foods you got to enjoy on your trip but Sue wouldn't let me.......

I promise not to paint the GTO white and will not install blue seats in it either. Smile

As for the food, think I gained 10 pounds on that trip. Dad could not remember the name of the famous catfish place in Little Rock or that would have made the story too.
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PostSubject: Re: 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA   Custom Cruiser - 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA Icon_minitimeThu Sep 06, 2012 11:11 pm

TylerW wrote:
I'm glad you got the car, Mike!

I wish I had known when you were coming through because Huntsville is where I live. When you made the pic of the clouds with the Chevron station, you were in the little town of Gurley, AL.

As a matter of fact, if that was Monday, I was pulled over on the side of the road during that downpour, about 25 miles west of Decatur. That must have been YOU that blew by me doing about 80mph, LOL.

And, you are correct about old iron being everywhere here in Alabama. I was heading to Florence, AL to make my own car purchase, a 1977 Caprice Classic coupe I scored off craigslist.

Seriously tho, cool car and a fun trip looks like.



Wasn't me! I was in the area on Sunday afternoon.

Did you really get a '77 Caprice "slantback" coupe? Love those, pics please!
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lornejay1

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PostSubject: Re: 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA   Custom Cruiser - 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA Icon_minitimeFri Sep 07, 2012 12:06 am

81X11 wrote:


I promise not to paint the GTO white and will not install blue seats in it either. Smile

This is in the GM heritage museum Mike.

Custom Cruiser - 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA DSC_2435

Custom Cruiser - 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA DSC_2436


See the complete tour,

https://s231.photobucket.com/albums/ee30/BigKahuna1313/ISSCA%20Nationals%202012%20GM%20HERITAGE%20CENTER/#!cpZZ4QQtppZZ16
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uxwbill

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PostSubject: Re: 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA   Custom Cruiser - 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA Icon_minitimeFri Sep 07, 2012 1:50 pm

Before I get started in my reply, I've just gotta say wow. That's a beautiful wagon, and even if you didn't get all the pics you would have liked, or the "best pics"...what you did get are very nicely done.

Comparing some things to my own longroof, especially in the cargo area, yours looks very good in some placeas and downright awesome in others. I've got those same scuffs and boo-boos in the cargo area to deal with, as well as what looks like a melted hole in the carpet. Not sure how that happened. I'm not sure if I'll fix them...they do give the car some character.

I don't think I'd much like the Vista roof and shade thing. Can it be closed completely off or are those perforated covers the best you get?

My own wagon still wears a "heated mirror" sticker on the driver's side mirror. I don't know if it's original, but it looks exactly the same. At first I thought the mirror might have been the victim of an accident, now I'm not so sure. The headliner in your car looks great, and it's wonderful that it's still up and in place.

Crackle in the radio speakers is caused by a few electrolytic capacitors on the amplifier board that go bad. They're small, usually green and cheap to replace if you have reasonable soldering iron skills. Worst part is the coating that GM put on the PCBs...I don't know what it is, but I haven't found anything that really takes it off nicely. After twenty years, the radio could probably do with a whole "recap" if you want to fix it.

I never heard of a windshield actually delaminating. Maybe that's why the one in my wagon was replaced in 1998? (Rock chips and rock-started cracks are also a common cause of windshield "death" here.)

The door trim on the Olds looks just like that of the Chevy. I actually prefer it to the Buick door trim. I think it just looks nicer.

That big rocket in Huntsville brought back memories. I was there in the mid-90s around my very early teens. (I might still have been twelve.) I was longroofing it then, as my mother drove an '89 Taurus wagon. Loved that car...

That weather is something else. You're very fortunate to have gotten through it without major incidents. I could never imagine being so close to a tornado.

Great story, and it looks like you found a great wagon...thanks so much for sharing it!
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81X11

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PostSubject: Re: 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA   Custom Cruiser - 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA Icon_minitimeFri Sep 07, 2012 2:41 pm

lornejay1 wrote:
81X11 wrote:


I promise not to paint the GTO white and will not install blue seats in it either. Smile

This is in the GM heritage museum Mike.

Custom Cruiser - 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA DSC_2435

Custom Cruiser - 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA DSC_2436


See the complete tour,


I've got a LONG way to go to get to that point!!

Custom Cruiser - 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA Goat2
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81X11

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PostSubject: Re: 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA   Custom Cruiser - 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA Icon_minitimeFri Sep 07, 2012 2:49 pm

uxwbill wrote:
Before I get started in my reply, I've just gotta say wow. That's a beautiful wagon, and even if you didn't get all the pics you would have liked, or the "best pics"...what you did get are very nicely done.

Thanks much!


Quote :
I don't think I'd much like the Vista roof and shade thing. Can it be closed completely off or are those perforated covers the best you get?

The kids love the vista roof on cloudy or cold days, and in the morning/evening. During the heat of the day those pull-out shades help the a/c a lot, but I do wish there was a slider to totally block the sun. It is what it is, a gimmic, that's kinda neat!

Quote :
My own wagon still wears a "heated mirror" sticker on the driver's side mirror. I don't know if it's original, but it looks exactly the same. At first I thought the mirror might have been the victim of an accident, now I'm not so sure. The headliner in your car looks great, and it's wonderful that it's still up and in place.

Weird, I figured the dealer prepping the car forgot to move it. I'm taking mine off.

Quote :
Crackle in the radio speakers is caused by a few electrolytic capacitors on the amplifier board that go bad. They're small, usually green and cheap to replace if you have reasonable soldering iron skills. Worst part is the coating that GM put on the PCBs...I don't know what it is, but I haven't found anything that really takes it off nicely. After twenty years, the radio could probably do with a whole "recap" if you want to fix it.

I've actually not heard any static in the rear speakers. The main issue is not having front speakers. Will hopefully sort that out this weekend.

Quote :
I never heard of a windshield actually delaminating. Maybe that's why the one in my wagon was replaced in 1998? (Rock chips and rock-started cracks are also a common cause of windshield "death" here.)

Will post pics soon....it's odd.


Quote :
That big rocket in Huntsville brought back memories. I was there in the mid-90s around my very early teens. (I might still have been twelve.) I was longroofing it then, as my mother drove an '89 Taurus wagon. Loved that car...

That weather is something else. You're very fortunate to have gotten through it without major incidents. I could never imagine being so close to a tornado.

Great story, and it looks like you found a great wagon...thanks so much for sharing it!

Yep I was REALLY glad to finally get through those storms...and I hope to never see another tornado in person again. Scary stuff! Glad you liked the pics!

-Mike
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brokecello
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PostSubject: Re: 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA   Custom Cruiser - 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA Icon_minitimeFri Sep 07, 2012 8:24 pm

Sweet!! Glad you made it back! I agree with Pat too...the Oldsmobiles look very happy together Smile
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Sprocket

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PostSubject: Re: 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA   Custom Cruiser - 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA Icon_minitimeSat Sep 08, 2012 4:36 pm

Cool story and nice funnel cloud pic! That weather you drove through is what we have been having here for the past two months. No BS, it's very tropical rain this year.

You scored a great wagon. I'm jealous.
Your rpm does seem a little high. I'm pulling about 2000 @ 70' 23 ish around 80. And avg about 22-23 on straight highway. I'll admit when I drove to WF10, I accidents left it in D for about 200 miles, the car was peppier passing, but knocked my gas mileage down into the 19s
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PostSubject: Re: 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA   Custom Cruiser - 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA Icon_minitimeSat Sep 08, 2012 4:37 pm

Too much tropical rain. Dumb.
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jayoldschool

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PostSubject: Re: 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA   Custom Cruiser - 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA Icon_minitimeSat Sep 08, 2012 4:56 pm

My 92 had the "heated mirror" sticker, too. Maybe it's a TBI thing.
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Cadet57

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PostSubject: Re: 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA   Custom Cruiser - 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA Icon_minitimeSat Sep 08, 2012 5:12 pm

jayoldschool wrote:
My 92 had the "heated mirror" sticker, too. Maybe it's a TBI thing.

My '92 did too. But my '93 doesn't even thou I have them.
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scoffman

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PostSubject: Re: 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA   Custom Cruiser - 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA Icon_minitimeMon Sep 10, 2012 9:57 am

uxwbill wrote:

I don't think I'd much like the Vista roof and shade thing. Can it be closed completely off or are those perforated covers the best you get?

You could always make one of these: http://gmlongroof.4umer.com/t6314-vista-window-shade

It looks a little on the tacky side what with all the snaps and how they could have been spaced more evenly; but it keeps the sun out completely. I believe this to be a previous owners mod to keep the sun out - heat down on the inside of the car since they lived in Arizona. It works for direct sunlight for me here in Kentucky, it just doesn't work against the humidity.
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formula455



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PostSubject: Re: 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA   Custom Cruiser - 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA Icon_minitimeThu Sep 13, 2012 3:52 am

Looked like great trip. Makes me miss my 92 OCC. I've had a 94 and 95 caprice wagon, a 96 rmw, and a 91 and 92 OCC, and by far my favorite of those was my 92 OCC. Oh well, I'll find another soon.
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81X11

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PostSubject: Re: 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA   Custom Cruiser - 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA Icon_minitimeThu Sep 13, 2012 9:49 am

formula455 wrote:
Looked like great trip. Makes me miss my 92 OCC. I've had a 94 and 95 caprice wagon, a 96 rmw, and a 91 and 92 OCC, and by far my favorite of those was my 92 OCC. Oh well, I'll find another soon.

I like the new OCC a lot.....but liked my '96 Roady wagon better. The TBI 350 is a good solid engine but it's no LT1...

But then I've still got to make the OCC "mine".

Glad you liked the pics.
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PostSubject: Re: 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA   Custom Cruiser - 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA Icon_minitimeThu Sep 13, 2012 11:32 am

81X11 wrote:
I like the new OCC a lot.....but liked my '96 Roady wagon better. The TBI 350 is a good solid engine but it's no LT1...
I guess I'd better be careful and stay away from the LT1. I'm really not unhappy with the TBI 350 that I have...it is in every way sufficient to get down the road and go fast when I "need" it to. afro I'd much rather have the conventional distributor anyway!

Never mind that I couldn't quite "take" my brother's 2010 Mercury Grand Marquis in a little "race"...though the old wagon did extremely well, considering that my brother had his car wide open and the wagon has a lot more, well, wagon to haul around. Both cars are geared the same (2.73:1). I refused to be that mean to the old engine.

81X11 wrote:
But then I've still got to make the OCC "mine".
Is this code talk for "an engine swap may be in this car's future"?
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81X11

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PostSubject: Re: 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA   Custom Cruiser - 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA Icon_minitimeThu Sep 13, 2012 11:43 am

uxwbill wrote:
81X11 wrote:
I like the new OCC a lot.....but liked my '96 Roady wagon better. The TBI 350 is a good solid engine but it's no LT1...
I guess I'd better be careful and stay away from the LT1. I'm really not unhappy with the TBI 350 that I have...it is in every way sufficient to get down the road and go fast when I "need" it to. afro I'd much rather have the conventional distributor anyway!

Never mind that I couldn't quite "take" my brother's 2010 Mercury Grand Marquis in a little "race"...though the old wagon did extremely well, considering that my brother had his car wide open and the wagon has a lot more, well, wagon to haul around. Both cars are geared the same (2.73:1). I refused to be that mean to the old engine.

81X11 wrote:
But then I've still got to make the OCC "mine".
Is this code talk for "an engine swap may be in this car's future"?

Nope. that's code for better tires, better shocks, dual exhaust, tinted windows, a hidden CD changer, underhood detailing, a better steering wheel...and so on. I LOVE a project!

-Mike
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scoffman

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PostSubject: Re: 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA   Custom Cruiser - 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA Icon_minitimeThu Sep 13, 2012 3:49 pm

Slap some vortec heads on their and you're good to go. Wink
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PostSubject: Re: 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA   Custom Cruiser - 1598 miles of Custom Cruising across the USA Icon_minitimeThu Sep 27, 2012 12:45 pm

Nice car, Mike! Crazy story! Verbose as ever. Smile

Good luck with it!
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