I’ve now been back from the USA for 36 hours. Our trip took us to lots of really great locations, so there are some fascinating features to write up over the next few weeks. Not everything will make it into a magazine though, so I thought I’d tell the story of the trip via a few blog installments.
My flight over on Virgin Atlantic was great. Arriving at my buddy John Gray’s house late at night meant I didn’t get to see much of my new 911 until the next day. In daylight, there was a bit more sun damage to the paint than I had been expecting, but I wasn’t that bothered: it still looked like good value for money. Driving it was initially a little weird, as the clutch had a slight on/off action that I think has since calmed down. We soon got the hang of it, and it was an entertaining daily driver while out there.
Buying a ride rather than renting is definitely something I will do again. There were a few minor jobs we had to do to the SC while in CA, but I’ll detail that stuff in a later post.
Our first full day was a mix of settling-in stuff. After picking up some coffee at Peets, we took a spin out to Sears Point raceway, where the CSRG race weekend was taking place. Jamie and I got some press wristbands and bought our tickets (it’s a charity do, after all). The weather was properly hot – about 110 degrees – so we came back in the early afternoon and played with the Lipmobile: a Honda Cub which had just been ridden 3,800 miles from Chicago to California, by my erstwhile photographer friend and colleague. Here’s a pic:
Later on, we took a trip to the unit our host rents with a couple of other petrolhead buddies. They have some very impressive stuff there! Roommate Alex is restoring a pair of Road Runners, and was working on a ’63 Dodge Polara owned by a drummer with a successful local rockabilly band. The Polara was originally a 440, but it now had the 426 Hemi motor fitted. Talk about sweet! I could just imagine the shoot, so I pitched it via email to a UK magazine who never came back to me, which was a bit disappointing.
Here’s a pic of the Polara in the workshop. It is inch-perfect sixties drag nostalgia, with slicks on the back and a Hemi in front, all wrapped up in black with hot red trim – pretty cool! An evening in the company of big block hot rods could only be followed by dinner at Max’s Diner, with a pint of Coke float, curly fries and a world-class burger. Heaven!
That was day one, and there’s plenty more to share. I’m keeping clear of jet lag so, as it’s 1 am here, I’m hitting the sack – will continue this tomorrow.