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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Greetings:

It may seem redundant, but we are heading out to the west coast again with the '91 Black S4 Spider, just as we had done in 2009. Same reason, again, the AROC Convention; this time in Sonoma Wine Country.

In preparation, we have done some wrenching on the spider to insure her good health for the trip.

- Replaced motor mounts (raised pan over 1" from skid tray)
- Two new power steering hoses (had done the other two for the 2009 trip)
- New master cylinder
- New Calipers, Rotors and flex lines in the front
- flush out all brake lines with new fluid F&R
- new front wheel bearings
- Ripped apart console to replace the shift tower boots (been leaking too long)
- While the console was apart, retrofitted older (and immensely less invasive) lower dash bolsters.
- swapped in a used but fully functional lights/turn/wiper stalk switch assembly (new is unobtainum?)
- IAP headlight relay upgrade
- swapped entire convertible top assembly for a used one in great condition
- New upper rear anti-sway bar bushings
- oil and filter change

Almost ready to go!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Photo Op

Greetings:

The cosmetics needed some attention before rolling off to California. So I ran over the paint with orbital polish, followed by a hand wax. Engine bay got a good wash, also. Looks as good as she ever did!

- Michael
 

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Have a safe trip and keep us posted as you head to Sonoma
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
1st Day!

We are off this morning, a bit ahead of schedule. First day travel to West Virginia.

One more "Upgrade" on the Spider. I had picked up a nearly-new convertible top, installed on a good frame, from a wreck being parted. This made a quick 3-hour swap, and now we are a bit more secure in bad weather (which we won't get, right?). The old top was not too bad, but several of the fabric hoops had ripped free, causing the top to bulge at speed and occasionally vibrate.

Installation note: pulling out the old frame and dropping in the replacement was facilitate by running a come-along across the frame to pull the ends closer together. This allows the frame to easily clear the bulkhead cavity the hinge ends set into.
 

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1976 Alfetta GT, 2018 Giulia Sport
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Great another fun trans-con Alfa trip to follow.
Post some interesting photos please.
See you in Sonoma.
 

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Safe travels to you and Kathy, Michael - Two x-country Spider trips in five years - getting to be pros at this!! See you in Rohnert Park!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
West Virginia and Kentucky

Greetings:

Our first day was uneventful, and today has been as well. We expect to be through Louisville, KY shortly, and continuing on to the St. Louis area for tonight's stop.

Our route has been Interstate, but scenic no less. Running these southern Interstates at posted 70 mph +; Top up, a/c on; constant mix of sun, clouds and rain.

Photo from visit to WV State Capital. Tail of our spider still has sticker from Largo Huron (2005) and Mt Rainer (2009) convention trips.

-Michael
 

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Michael, We (Baktash in his Super) Bev, Hans and I in the other Super are now in Tulsa OK for the Night. We plan to get through OK tomorrow. We're much slower as we're sticking to Route 66 - will you catch up to us?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Sunday Plans on 66 to Sonoma

Greetings all, and especially Fred and his growing caravan:

Sunday we will be in St.Louis, and traveling down to Claremont, OK. Monday's plan is to get as far as Amarillo, TX.

Photos: After the rain this evening; parking next to an Abarth 500 in NJ on Friday.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Onto The Mother Road in St. Louis

Sunday morning we crossed the Mississippi into St. Louis. First photo op is the Arch. We had a nice visit with my cousin in St. Charles, and then we headed west along I44.

We stopped at the RT 66 State Park in Eureka, where a stretch of original road and the old Rt 66 Meramec River bridge are being preserved.

From there we began following along the historic byway Rt 66 for most of the remainder of the day. Many old "relics" were visited along the way.

We had dinner at the Missouri Hicks restaurant, and afterward visited numerous wall art posters around the nearby town of Cuba.

Last shot here is of "The World's Largest Rocking Chair", which was built in 2008. Hardly a relic..... It stands 42' 1" tall and 20' 3" wide.
 

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Michael:

What fun to be following the 2013 chapter of "Michael and Kathy's Excellent Adventure". Have a safe and fun trip.

Stooie

Bob Stewart
Salem, Oregon (formerly Wallingford, CT)
73 GTV
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Greetings:

Running sporatically hard then casual, as we try to mix making miles with making memories.

Here are a few images from the last two days.

A visit to the Will Rogers Museum was a highlight of our travels on Monday. I had visited as a child in the fifties. Yesterday we spent some quality time with in the Oklahoma City area with visits to the Federal Building Memorial site there and a sobering visit to Moore's tornado site.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Running Strong - occasionally

Greetings:

We overnighted in Gallup, NM. Our plan is to reach into Arizona today, with a paranoid eye on the heat. Not only for our comfort, but for the Spider's reliability.

We had 4 "delays" in our progress late in the afternoon, during which poor thing simply would not run for 10 minutes, but then fire right up. Seems like fuel starvation due to heat, altitude (we were crossing the continental divide at over 7,000 ft) or perhaps just poor gas. We'll see what today brings!

We began in Amarillo at 6:15 to enjoy the cool morning air. That was nice, with the top down. Just after we stopped at the ghost town of Glenrio TX, right on the TX-NM border. Old '66 was a concrete highway with a median strip for a mile across that area, but it quickly deteriorated to a dirt road, and we had to retreat to the Interstate.

We have been attempting to run Rt 66 where it deviates away from the Interstate, but it seems nonproductive to run for miles side-by-side with the Interstate at 50 when we could be doing "75". Less chance of picking up a rolling tumbleweed, or of scaring up a flock of locust basking on the warm roadway.

We stopped for Lunch at the Silver Star in Albuquerque, NM. The stretch of Rt 66 is chock full of of old, but well maintained, buildings such as the Kimo Theater. While in town we attempted to join up with the group which had been running ahead of us, but our rendezvous failed for some reason. Perhaps today at Meteor Crater.

- Michael
 

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We'll hook up with you to day I think Michael. You were just moments behind us yesterday according to google latitude. See you later at the petrified forest or Crater - today is going to be a hot one!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Greetings Greg:

Perhaps your experience with vacuum lines would enable you to comment on my problems with altitude. I have a temporary fix identified, but a more permanent solution is needed. The gremlin did not appear till we got over 6,500 ft altitude in New Mexico.

gremlin-our-92-spider-mother-road.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Fourth of July

Greetings:

Running a bit behind with the posts, as our little altitude gremlin has been steeling away valuable time. Anyway, we did the Fourth in an explosive manner, by visiting Arizona's Meteor Crater. Mega-mega-ton blast!

But first we met up with the group running ahead of us. A photo opp ensued, with the 4 Alfas shining in the Arizona Sunshine.

We took a lunch break in Flagstaff, and discovered a big festival was being held. Just missed the parade, though. We snagged a nice parking spot on Rt 66, directly across from the train station.

Out of Flagstaff, we took 89A south through the spectacular switchbacks down into Oak Creek Canyon. I had travelled this road as a child in the 1950's in Dad's Packard. Different experience, I can tell you.

Further south, the scenery gets spectacular around Sedona. Fellow Alfesti Dennis and his wife welcomed us into their lovely home in Oak Creek Village for a needed respite. We traveled from there a short way to our overnight in Cottonwood, AZ.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
July 5th

Greetings All:

On July 5th we traveled from Cottonwood to Kingman. Offering perhaps the most stunning scenery and "Drivers Roads" we have encountered. We again started early, and managed to be the only vehicle climbing through Jerome and over towards Prescott on 89A. The road surface is mint, and the switchbacks are endless.

We traveled up to Ash Creek to jump on Rt 66 again. We soon reached Seligman, AZ. Full-up Rt 66 strip! Supposedly was the role model for the movie "Cars". We continued along Rt 66 all the way to Kingman - which is the longest contiguous Rt 66 roadbed still existent. On the way we stopped at the Grand Canyon Caverns, which historically had the first dual-lane Highway in Arizona constructed to service its clientele back in the day. We the ran out and back to the "Hualapai Hilltop", overlooking the Grand Canyon. On the way out, we encountered the typical high desert rain shower, where most of the water never reaches the ground. But the temperature drops to a refreshing level.

Lunch was at Peach Springs, in the Hualapai Nation HQ, where we had yet another great locally-inspired meal. Dinner was served superbly by the good folk at Kingman's DamBar Steakhouse.

.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Greetings:

Here is a summary of our day's experience on Saturday, when we traveled from Kingman, AZ to Fresno, CA.

The Black Spider spent some time in the early am prowling around the historic Rt 66 strip in Kingman, which runs for a mile or so along the rail line. She posed in front of a large wall mural, and again in front of Mr G'z Diner, where we had breakfast.

Attempting to make the quickest traverse to the Central Valley, we skipped I 40 and went due west. On the way, we ran the Joshua Tree Parkway, which is sprinkled with those marvelously weird tree.

Our hopes of easily transiting the 100++ heat of the Mojave faded as the Fuel Gremlin made an appearance, leaving us cooling our heals by the side of I 15 for the mandated 8 minute time-out. We had the top up all day and for most of it ran with the AC on, but there was about 100 miles across the Mojave that I feared the coolant temperature was running a smidgen too high.

Our initial plan was to run from Barstow north along the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada range. That would set us up to take the road across the Tioga Pass into Yosemite from the eastern side. With the specter the gremlin appearing at 9,945 ft, we took the western route, leaving us in Fresno for the night.

- Michael & Kathy
 

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