Motor Mouth Blog

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The Drive Home III: Day eight – Memory Lane

By William Hall, The Drive Home veteran

The Lane Motor Museum in Nashville is certainly known for its collection of micro-cars and rare oddities of the automobile world, but the 500-vehicle museum that Jeff Lane has built is a true temple to transportation, saluting the unknown innovators that pushed forward automotive evolution through success and spectacular failure. Continue reading “The Drive Home III: Day eight – Memory Lane”

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A Diary from the Road – Day 7: The Long Drive to Nashville

By Rock Jenkins, State Farm, The Drive Home II and III Driver

A Drive Home III team cheer in the icy Charlotte hotel parking lot this morning and we were on our way for the longest daily drive yet: 400+ miles to Nashville. I drove the Camaro part way, and then my partner journalist Larry Nutson drove as well. We wound our way up into the Smoky Mountains, through fog that had settled in low spots along the way. We also took great care to steer clear of slick spots and the stretch west of Canton on I-40 that our friend Dale Wickell had warned us could be full of trucks and sharp curves. Continue reading “A Diary from the Road – Day 7: The Long Drive to Nashville”

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The Drive Home III: Day seven – The Gorge

By William Hall, The Drive Home veteran

The Drive Home team is heading west from Charlotte for a long, 400-mile push through Knoxville and onto Nashville. It’s a shame that we are flying past some of the country’s best driving roads around the Smoky Mountains, but we have a tight schedule to keep if we want to stay ahead of the weather and deliver our six classic cars to the North American International Auto Show on time. Continue reading “The Drive Home III: Day seven – The Gorge”

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A Diary From The Road – Day 6: Every Day Better Than The Last!

By Rock Jenkins, State Farm, The Drive Home II and III Driver

Day 6 for our Drive Home III team was chock full of fun and amazing cars. First stop was Michelin HQ in Greenville, S.C., where our hosts gave three of our cars a change to all-weather tires for the last half of our trip. A slight snag came when the new wheels wouldn’t fit the small alignment tab on the Fury. Not to worry, soon Mike and I were on our way to Jackson Motorsports with him driving the Fury and me in the International truck with the replacement tires in the back. Jackson does marketing and events for Michelin, and while the Fury was getting new treads we got an insider’s tour of the high-performance tire world from Jackson’s Lowell Eckart. Continue reading “A Diary From The Road – Day 6: Every Day Better Than The Last!”

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The Drive Home III: Days five and six – the heart of NASCAR

By William Hall, The Drive Home veteran

Day five saw the crew of The Drive Home III heading east out of Birmingham, Alabama, on the winding roads of Rt. 78 through the Talladega National Forest, briefly skirting the horrendous traffic on the I-285 loop around Atlanta, given reprieve this Sunday morning only by the fine local folk and their staunch churchgoing attendance.

We are in NASCAR country, and we will log about 300 miles today before reaching Greenville, South Carolina. It’s a great opportunity to rotate in and out of the cars for the journalists and staff that are taking these classic vehicles all the way to the Motor City. I take a turn in the El Camino, as everyone is eager to get seat time in “my” Camaro, which was easily the sportiest of the bunch on-track at the Barber Motorsports Park the previous day. Continue reading “The Drive Home III: Days five and six – the heart of NASCAR”

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A Diary From The Road – Day 5: Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive El Caminos

By Rock Jenkins, State Farm, The Drive Home II and III Driver

It was an exciting day of driving as Bill reluctantly relinquished the Camaro keys to me for our cruise through the rural backroads of Alabama and Georgia on our 300-mile trip to Greenville, SC. The Hugger Orange Camaro SS is enough to make a hot rodder’s mouth water. It slid through the forested Southern woods on Highway 78 with the hood louvers glistening in the sun, while the cammed-up 350 with headers growled along, snarling occasionally at pedestrians as I down-shifted the four-speed through small town intersections. Continue reading “A Diary From The Road – Day 5: Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive El Caminos”

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The Drive Home III: Days three and four recap

By William Hall, The Drive Home veteran

An early Friday morning start from a cars-and-coffee event at the Ace Cafe Orlando allowed us some much-needed repair time for The Drive Home III team in the radiant Florida sun.

Taking umbrage at my proposed pizza-box solution for the unhinged quarter window on the 1959 Cadillac Coupe de Ville, the Concours d’Elegance of America/Kettering University team swung into action. Within an hour, they had the rear seat and side panel out of the big coupe and a repair effected. After all, they did not want to disappoint their Kettering University Bulldogs—nor the Cadillac La Salle Club of New Zealand. Continue reading “The Drive Home III: Days three and four recap”

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A Diary from the Road – Day 4: Grand Reunions and High-Flying Emotions

By Rock Jenkins, State Farm, The Drive Home II and III Driver

The Day 4 itinerary included travel from Tallahassee to Birmingham with a bit of a twist. Part of the group took a direct route, while David, Tabetha, Keith, Dave, and I hatched a plot to surprise AAT Marketing Manager Ashley Bice at her house in Niceville, FL. Ashley has participated in the past Drives, but more than that she’s been the main marketing, communications, and social media strategist who has made these efforts such a success. She would have been right along with us on the Drive Home III as well, were it not for the fact that she and husband Jay are within a week or two of having their first child. (BTW, she continues to drive our schedule and provide detailed coordination for us on a virtual basis from home while she and Jay wait for the big day to arrive.) Continue reading “A Diary from the Road – Day 4: Grand Reunions and High-Flying Emotions”

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A Diary from the Road – Day 3: A TRIUMPH-ant Run

By Rock Jenkins, State Farm, The Drive Home II and III Driver

Ace Cafe Orlando pulled out the hosting stops again with a great Cars & Coffee event this morning, although it took a while in the 35 degree Florida temperature for the cars to show up.

Not to waste the opportunity, our crew busied themselves with fixing the back window of the ’59 Cadillac that had dropped down from its mechanism and replacing the voltage regulator on the ’62 International Travelette. Continue reading “A Diary from the Road – Day 3: A TRIUMPH-ant Run”

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The Drive Home III: Day two – when problems arise

By William Hall, The Drive Home veteran

Any old car, especially those yanked from museums and displays and thrust into winter’s cold, must undergo a shakedown period. The cars on the America’s Automotive Trust/North American International Auto Show’s winter road rally to Detroit are no different, and now that we have some miles on them, little problems are starting to pop up.

The first was rather unexpected. The rear axle of the dually truck pulling the support trailer had a wheel-bearing failure, and was sidelined for a short time. A quick call to Hagerty Roadside Assistance got the truck off the road and repaired within hours. Of course, with the support truck temporarily down, this set the stage for drama with the other cars. Continue reading “The Drive Home III: Day two – when problems arise”

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