My plan again was to drive cross-country to Monterey Car Week

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Interstate 80
The view along Interstate 80 from inside a vintage Porsche 944 | Andy Reid photos

I will say up front that while I am not really someone who seeks out special roads, I am a fan of road trips in classic cars. In fact, I have driven a classic car of one type or another to Monterey for car week for years. Most of these I have done solo, but at times I have also had a friend come along, which makes the trip that much better. 

There is something quite special, even meditative, about this annjal trip to Monterey for me. Sure, it takes a little longer to get there, but this trip is an example where the journey and the destination are of equal importance.

For many of these trips I have lived on the East Coast, so they tend to involve lots of interstate driving and I tend to pick cars that can best accomplish that task. Does this make Interstate 80 my favorite road?

The first time I did this drive, I headed to Monterey in my then new-to-me Ferrari Daytona. This was in 2002, and I did not document the trip with any photos. That being said, with no traffic in sight, I could  properly exercise the Daytona. Happily, I made it from Northern Virginia to Monterey without any issues — or tickets.

The Alfa at the Great Platte River Road Archway museum in Kearney, Nebraska
The Volvo at the Bonneville Salt Flats

Another time I started from the Chicago area in an Alfa Romeo GTV6. Again, the expanse of interstate 80 was too much to resist and I had to let the Alfa stretch its legs a little. I was stopped in Wyoming, but only received a warning. The car functioned flawlessly, the only issue being a gas cap that was broken after I dropped it.

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Another trip was in the 1966 Volvo 1800S I restored. I drove with my friend and automotive historian and author John Nikas from Connecticut to California. One thing I learned on the trip that was that John was afraid of buffalo, which I really wanted to stop and pet.

We did have a minor issue — a generator failure — but John and I were able to repair it in a Park City, Utah Marriott hotel parking lot.

We arrived, and wearing matching Porsche shirts
The 944 with other Porsches at Laguna Seca

My most recent cross country to Monterey trip was in my 1984 Porsche 944. This was a car that Peter from Lombardo Motorcars found me that was a true survivor. I had the timing belt, water pump, and engine mounts replaced and got in and drove. 

The car was wonderful to drive, the epitome of a Porsche road car and covered the route with ease. I stopped in Omaha along the way and picked up my friend Trent Abbott and we made the rest of the trip together. I got to introduce Trent to a number of fast-food delicacies including Del Taco and In-N-Out Burger. 

The last night of the journey we stayed at the Circus Circus Casino in Reno because we are both serious Bond fans. The next day we drove the rest of the way to Monterey, stopping at a Porsche dealer for an oil change and to get a pair of matching Porsche polo shirts to commemorate the trip. 

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I ended up selling the car in Monterey that week, as I had done with the Volvo. I am likely to have another 944 or, even better, a 924 Turbo in the near future and that might be the next car I take on the route.

This was to be the car for the drive to Monterey Car Week 2020

But now we have 2020. The plan was that Trent and I would drive to Monterey Car Week in my new-to-me Titanium Silver 2005 BMW Z4 3.0i 6-speed. Covid 19 squashed that plan, and all of Monterey Car Week.

Some people who write for this website disdain driving the interstates, but if you live on the East Coast and have never taken the time to drive to the other coast, the scenery along Interstate 80 is fabulous. Doing the drive in a collector car is a great way to arrive for car week.

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Andy Reid's first car, purchased at age 15, was a 1968 Fiat 124 coupe. His second, obtained by spending his college savings fund, was a 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2. Since then, he has owned more than 150 cars—none of them normal or reasonable—as well as numerous classic motorcycles and scooters. A veteran of film, television, advertising and helping to launch a few Internet-based companies, Reid was a columnist for Classic Motorsports magazine for 12 years and has written for several other publications. He is considered an expert in European sports and luxury cars and is a respected concours judge. He lives in Canton, Connecticut.

3 COMMENTS

  1. My first car in 1970 was a 1963 Hillman Super Minx Station Wagon. It was red. This was in Dayton, Ohio near right Patterson Air Force Base——where this car was probably imported by some Air Force Officer just returned from duty in England. Why import a Hillman wagon? Who knows……there had to be a reason, but the sales people at British and European Imports in Fairborn, Ohio didn’t get an explanation from him when he traded it in on a restored Lotus Europa (note: this guy loves punishment, so do I………… I found out). I bought the Hillman at age 18, in the beginning of my senior year in high school, because my Dad, a VW person, thought it would be interesting having me learn the nuances of the Prince Of Darkness experiences in owning a British vehicle. It unexpectedly turned out to be extremely reliable, durable, ran well, was not attractive (sort of an off red color)……and was very popular with all of my teen friends…(if I was there at the gathering, the beer was in the back of the Hillman). It died one day a year later when the rear engine seal blew/leaked….and I just got it shut off from 70 MPH by the side of Interstate 70 north of Dayton, Ohio. It was towed away never to be seen again and I was paid $125.00 “murcun” dollars for it.

  2. Andy, I hope you read about the woman who got her pants torn off this week by an enraged buffalo cow, when the lady approached her calf for a picture. Horned in the pelvis too, apparently. Discretion is the better part of valor.

  3. Andy, I live in Pebble Beach and it seems many car enthusiasts decided to come here anyway. I hear the racing on 17 Mile Drive late at night. And, today, while in Carmel Valley, about 50 racing cars (the shiny Tokyo Drift kind) came into the parking lot. It’s still Car Week!

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