And the Winner Is…

Dodge-Shelby GLH-01 1986 BOW 140829 Dodge-Shelby GLH-02 1986 BOW 140829 Dodge-Shelby GLH-03 1986 BOW 140829

ETD for tomorrow’s return drive to St Louis is oh-dark-thirty, thus it’s time to present the award for the most entertaining vehicle of this two-week deployment to the Old Line State. Full disclosure: due to the circumstances, yr fthfl ed didn’t get out a lot, so the lack of LBC sightings wasn’t surprising. Did see some highly entertaining older US iron, including a really nice ’40 Ford pickup truck up near Aberdeen.

Having said that, here’s the winner which, ironically, sits in the garage of my sister’s next door neighbor: a somewhat modified 1986 Dodge-Shelby GLH (uh, y’all know what “GLH” stands for, eh?) which neighbor Don uses for “…drag racing, commuting and pizza delivery” (the back end’s gutted to clear space for the roll cage; plenty of room for pizza boxes back there).

Anyway, fully adjustable suspension, direct cold air induction to the K&N filter/intake, full roll cage, auto trans, header and an upgraded turbo. Don wasn’t quite sure how much horsepower the engine generated, but did admit the boost was adjustable up to 40 psi (!). I asked him if he’d ever actually run it up to 40 pounds and he replied, “Yes, but you can only do that once” (obviously he was able to clean up the engine bay afterwards).  Apparently he regularly surprises other competitors in the Friday night drag races at one of the local tracks.

Two days back to StL, semi-leisurely drive appropriate for the Labor Day weekend and someone who just turned 60 (AIIIIEEEE!). Let’s see what other cars we can turn up…

TR Country

Courtesy of Bing Maps

Courtesy of Bing Maps

Yeah, I realize this is a tad out of the greater St Louis OpArea and I have no doubt that the Triumph and other LBC clubs in the vicinity of DC/MD/Northern VA are well aware of this route. However, if anyone reading this blog ever has cause to spend time in northern West Virginia/Virginia and/or western Maryland, it’d be worth your time to take a drive on US 50.

Back in StL the roads to the west and southwest of town are legendary for their twists, turns and great scenery; the available routes include – ta-da! – US 50, which continues west from St Louis through Union, Jeff City, Sedalia and Beautiful Downtown Knob Noster before running into Kansas City (historical note: US 50 was one of the original transcons, starting at Ocean City, MD, on the Atlantic and running all the way to San Francisco on the Pacific. Officially it now ends in Sacramento).

However, the eastern stretch from Winchester, VA, in the Shenandoah Valley west to Athens, OH, is incredible. It runs through the Appalachians/Blue Ridge, over multiple rivers and streams including the west and north branches of the Potomac, the Tygart, Little Kanawha and Ohio and involves regular and highly entertaining driving up one side of a ridge and down the other…plenty of hairpins, switchbacks and outstanding scenery.

As always, if you make the drive, keep an eye out for traffic. On the run east to Maryland on Tuesday 19 August, yr fthfl ed drove the section from Bridgeport, WV east to US 219 and regularly had to fall in behind large dump trucks supporting various mining and construction activities. The big trucks didn’t actually constitute a major problem; the drivers demonstrated great skill in throwing their rigs around. The bigger problem was the drivers who felt obligated to stand on the brakes at every turn and every downhill stretch…

Still, this route’s highly recommended and by all means, keep a camera handy. If you’re willing to spend one full day in the twisties, giving your LBC a workout, US 50 provides one of the great opportunities.

Renaulting Along Life’s Highway

The sport variant of the Dauphin, moving east at a high rate of speed on I-64

The sport variant of the Dauphin, moving east at a high rate of speed on I-64

Here’s that Caravelle that I saw while passing through Louisville. A true French classic, eh?

BTW, for those who might feel their LBCs don’t get proper sporting awe and respect what with all the rodded Japanese cars and ubiquitous BMWs and Audis running around, it could be worse…YOU could be the individual who shows up at the annual European Auto Show with the ONLY French vehicle!

Voulez vous?

Yet another extended patrol – more like a two-week “deployment” – to the vicinity of Bowie and Annapolis, MD. This one came up rather quickly but I did manage to work on an alternative route: instead of the direct-to-Baltimore I-70, I instead made a sweep somewhat to the south, using I-64 to Charleston, WV, then north to Frederick, MD, before turning right for the Chesapeake

As per usual with these road trips, I maintain watch for LBCs and exotics. Regret to say that other than a couple of Jags and the ubiquitous Ranger Rovers, I didn’t see any Brit cars. However, in Louisville, KY, I did see a real rarity: a Renault Caravelle, the sports car version of the legendary (?) Dauphin sedan. Heavily modified front and rear (including the addition of a grill up front), jacked up front and rear, apparently to clear bigger tires and wheels, overall primer black with a blue racing stripe. Quite unique.

Looks like two weeks out here this time, the patrols for LBCs will continued!

First Comes Sun, Then Comes Rain…

Don’t know about the rest of y’all but thanks to the recent seemingly non-stop lines of thunderstorms and rain have turned the front yard of the estate into a lush green paradise. I might – emphasize, MIGHT – be able to get out there and actually mow tomorrow afternoon if everything dries out.

Fortunately, the last two weekends had near perfect weather, clear for the most part and semi-reasonable/unseasonable coolish temperatures. On the personal side, two weekends ago brought a run to Kansas City with the Bride of Morganstein to help the stepdaughter of Morganstein and her husband move into their new home on the east side of town, all part of his recent (and her pending) job change. In and around assisting my son-in-law with the stuffing of a 17-foot Penske rental truck with all of their earthly possessions (and requisite unloading of said possessions at their new hillside schloss), I did the regular patrol activities and watched for LBCs. Sad to say, didn’t see any Triumphs from the KC club or other Brit cars, but then again, I was rather preoccupied and only working a few specific parts of KCMO.

However, on Sunday’s RTB on I-70, we saw three mid-50s Hudsons heading westbound in formation, all in outstanding condition. Don’t know if there was a show or some other sort of gathering of the Hudson faithful somewhat east of KC but they sure were impressive.

AND, this last weekend, thanks to Ing. Karl of SLTOA, we managed to round up a fair number of cars for a pop-up/impromptu drive from lunch to dinner. The group included a section of section of Spitfires, the prez’s TR7, a BMW motorcycle and BMW Z4, plus the new Kia chase/photo vehicle. Other than an unexpected side trip up one dirt/gravel road (and then back down again), the team worked up a great route, starting at the Blumenhof Winery near Dutzlow, up to the Daniel Boone home and then down to Washington for dinner. Great fun and great job on the part of Karl and others to set it up.

Recognizing that we’re one week from the August meeting and roughly five weeks from ABCCS, the calendar’s still pretty full. But we really should do more of these “ya’ll come!” drives while we still have time. Fortunately, we have a couple of excursions setting up for October and November, details to follow.