Advice for driving a 46 year old Spider across country - Page 6 - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #76 of 136 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by autobroker View Post

Oh yeah, I decided to detour a little north and see the Badlands, Black Hills and Mt Rushmore. Anyone have advice on Crazy Horse or Jewel Cave. I read that Wind Cave is closed due to a bad elevator.

One final item. Forecast if for rain mid to late next week in the midwest. Any advice on driving a Spider in the rain and what to do after the rain, to keep rust away.

Greg
The Northern route is awesome. I did it last year in my 1970 Giulia, as detailed here: https://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/sed...g-country.html

Badlands and Yellowstone are must sees. When I do these trips I alternate between a few hours on the interstate and a few hours off, to save time. I wasn't great about documenting my exact route, but I got off I-90 just north of Badlands then took state highways for a while from there, camping in Black Hills National Forest to see Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse. I don't think the Crazy Horse tour is worth it but I figured the $10 or whatever they charge you to get into the parking lot was worth it, to at least check it off the bucket list.

There is not much to see in Eastern SD. After getting off I-90 my route was 240 south/west through Badlands then 44 west to Black Hills for the night. From Crazy Horse it was 385 south through Custer then 16 West to I-90 West at Moorcroft. Hopped off I-90 at Gillette, WY and took 14 north then west for a long time through Sheridan, Big Horn National Forest, and on to Yellowstone. It was an absolutely stunning drive but you should be aware there are long stretches that are beautiful but desolate and out of cell phone range. I was flying solo and that was part of the adventure but it's a big roll of the dice and I was always mindful to have extra food and water in the car. Black Hills to Yellowstone via that route is doable in a day in an old Alfa and the Dellorto's did not have any issues with altitude even at ~12,000 feet in Big Horn.

As for driving a Spider in the rain, make sure the cowl and top drain tubes don't leak and are clear of debris. You've gotten a lot of sound advice here. For my long trips, I always carry an extra alternator and fuel pump. There may not be time to gather these but I would definitely clean the alternator contacts so it's charging properly.

If you are coming through the Upper Midwest next week, in addition to the air show at Oshkosh (beware of traffic) the Weathertech / Brian Redman vintage races are next weekend (July 18-21) at Road America in Elkhart Lake, WI. It's an awesome event and track if you've never been. I am planning on attending from Fri night - Sunday in my Giulia. Feel free to PM me for my contact info if you have any questions or issues while passing through. And good luck! Sometimes you just need to go for it...
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'74 Spider
'70 Giulia 1300TI

Last edited by Green Meanie; 07-12-2019 at 07:35 AM.
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post #77 of 136 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 07:22 AM
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I would recommend going to the night lighting of Mt Rushmore. Super cool the way they light it up. Get there early.

You can see Crazy Horse from the highway if you don't want to pay to go in.

Keep us posted!
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post #78 of 136 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 07:39 AM
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Where in NY is the car?
I think he said Rochester
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post #79 of 136 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 09:16 AM
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If you are driving through Colorado maybe some of the local AlfaBB members will drive with you. If some kind of repair is needed you can fix it at my place in Nederland,CO. I have driven many Spica Alfas for thousands of collective miles without major issues. Centerline Parts is located near Boulder,CO. Strange dirty gas could load the filters. Drive slow and you can drive around the world.
Mark, 303-258-7905.
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post #80 of 136 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 09:29 AM
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I want to thank everyone for their words of wisdom and humor. We have less than 24 hours before we jump on the plane!
We have ignition!!

I hope you have a heavy duty hitch and a trailer for all the **** we've recommended you carry!
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post #81 of 136 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 10:10 AM
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I am going to repeat what Paulinct said
Get a bucket hat (or whatever they are called) that covers your ears, ear plugs and long-sleeved shirt. I once drove a motorcycle from Ottawa to Hamilton Ontario, (about 300 miles) and what the sun did to my bare but very well tanned forearms was not pretty. When hiking etc your arms are always on the move, but when driving a car or bike they stay in one position. Luckily my ears and face were covered by the helmet.
I did the same trip a number of times in my 79 spider and always wore a hat, ear plugs and kept my arms covered (gee, I can learn form experience). The ear plugs are a necessity because of the wind noises.
Have a great trip, it sure should be fun.
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post #82 of 136 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 10:45 AM
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Maybe a lightweight fly fishing or backpacking shirt.....

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I used to bake my head just driving back and forth to work every day top down.
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post #83 of 136 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 03:21 PM
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Bicycling sun sleeves are great. My daughter uses them to protect her skin when driving her non-convertible in LA.

For example,

https://www.pearlizumi.com/US/en/sho...ves/p/14371503
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post #84 of 136 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 03:30 PM
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Bicycling sun sleeves are great. My daughter uses them to protect her skin when driving her non-convertible in LA.
That puts a picture back in my head - When I was a kid, my dad fired up the non-A/C Ford wagon, and drove us all from Denver to central Mexico, a 4000mi roundtrip. We had a great time. Of course there was a line down the middle of the back seat that my sister and I never crossed, so I burned the crap out of my right arm hanging out the window, and she burned the crap out of her left arm.
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post #85 of 136 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 04:30 PM
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How many of us are (maybe a little) envious??
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post #86 of 136 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 05:00 PM
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How many of us are (maybe a little) envious??
I think it's cool but I've done that trip several times in a modern vehicle and not sure I would be up to it at my age without A/C.

When I was in college I had a 69 Spider. A guy comes up to me one day and says "that's my car." I was a bit confused and asked him to elaborate. He proceeded to tell me, still with some anger in his voice, that he had a 69 red Spider picked out at the Alfa dealer and told his dad he was going down the next day to buy it. He goes down the next day and the sale guy tells him they sold it. Turns out his dad bought it out from under him. His mom and dad proceed to take off on a three month road trip and finally come back home with 30K miles on the car. They stay a little while and proceed to do it two more times. By the time they're done the car has 90K miles on in the first six months of ownership, gets parked and never runs again (no maintenance according to my classmate). So, it can be done, just remember to take care of it. I like the idea of the white bicycle sleeves to reflect the heat. I see those on riders here in Colorado since the sun can be so intense.
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post #87 of 136 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 05:06 PM
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I think it's cool but I've done that trip several times in a modern vehicle and not sure I would be up to it at my age without A/C.

When I was in college I had a 69 Spider. A guy comes up to me one day and says "that's my car." I was a bit confused and asked him to elaborate. He proceeded to tell me, still with some anger in his voice, that he had a 69 red Spider picked out at the Alfa dealer and told his dad he was going down the next day to buy it. He goes down the next day and the sale guy tells him they sold it. Turns out his dad bought it out from under him. His mom and dad proceed to take off on a three month road trip and finally come back home with 30K miles on the car. They stay a little while and proceed to do it two more times. By the time they're done the car has 90K miles on in the first six months of ownership, gets parked and never runs again (no maintenance according to my classmate). So, it can be done, just remember to take care of it. I like the idea of the white bicycle sleeves to reflect the heat. I see those on riders here in Colorado since the sun can be so intense.

Are you over 30?
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post #88 of 136 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 06:17 PM
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Are you over 30?
Way over. I did a road trip from Denver to Salt Lake with that same Spider back in October of 82 with a broken top frame and nearly froze going through Wyoming but kept going. I think the cold is easier to deal with than the heat.
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post #89 of 136 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
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@Green Meannie

I just checked the post on your trip last year. What a beautiful car! And the scenery is phenomenal!

We've been to Yellowstone (all around the park in our Volvo 850R). Loved it - but it got pretty cold at night (mid Sept trip).

I'll add photos as we progress!

Leaving for the airport in less than 12 hours!
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post #90 of 136 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 08:34 PM Thread Starter
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@divotandtralee

Yes, the car is just outside of Rochester NY.
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