Driving the SPF to Pardeeville, Wisconsin

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Re: Driving the SPF to Pardeeville, Wisconsin

Postby jhwalker » Sat Sep 05, 2015 9:05 pm

SonicVenum wrote:Sounds like a good, fun trip, so far! Say hi to Terri for us!

So, why were the headlights too dim? Is that just how the bulbs that come with the SPF are? You're definitely proving it to be a GT car. :mrgreen:


The stock lights from 10 years ago were just not up to modern standards, IMO. The new ones are nice.
Put another good day of messing around. Did the Pardeeville Car Show. Exhausted, will post tomorrow I hope.
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Re: Driving the SPF to Pardeeville, Wisconsin

Postby jhwalker » Sun Sep 06, 2015 11:28 pm

Had a fun day today and wrapped this Wisconsin trip with a night at the Slinger Speedway. It is a steeply banked 1/4 mile paved track where a lap takes 11.20 seconds (new record tonight) . :clap: I will talk a bit about Wisconsin when I get home. There are engine builders in every little town, and they build stout engines. http://www.slingersuperspeedway.com/

I drop Terri off at the Madison Dane Regional airport tomorrow morning and head back to Colorado. I want to just get the hell back home (Mexico) so plan to skip any scenic routes going home. I will still have covered over 3000 miles this trip (knock on wood).

Had some interesting stuff happen, but have to hit the sack and get up at 5am to prep to take Terri to the airport and hit the road.

Tomorrow will be day 8 of the trip. Great time, and much better once Terri arrived Thursday.
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Re: Driving the SPF to Pardeeville, Wisconsin

Postby jhwalker » Mon Sep 07, 2015 4:26 am

It is raining. Poncho time. :lol: I must post one picture of Terri, who has endless patience. This weekend she worked on the car with me for the first time.
She installed the new headlights. She helped me fill the brake res (sp). She worked on the electrical with me. This could be a bad trend. She now has a comment about everything. :doh:


We have dried the seats, and are heading out.
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Re: Driving the SPF to Pardeeville, Wisconsin

Postby Tetge » Mon Sep 07, 2015 6:12 pm

Good try but the first place the I&NS looks for illegals sneaking in from Mexico is the trunk..................
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Re: Driving the SPF to Pardeeville, Wisconsin

Postby jhwalker » Mon Sep 07, 2015 7:41 pm

Reporting in from Lincoln, Nebraska. Today started in the rain and ended in the rain. No biggie. Especially the end, because I 80 allows us to run 75+ and the SPF is DRY above 70 in the rain (unless it is monsoonal rain). The wonders of airflow. :clap: It looked very bad for a while but the massive black cloud over Lincoln rotated to the South. The local news is talking about hail damage, so I dodged a bullet I guess. I don't think the airflow would do much with the big hail... Or buckets of water.

Today was a bit more than 560 miles. Disregarding the GPS confusion miles. The GPS became confused in Madison, Wi., And had me wander around various neighborhoods coming to dead ends, and would then tell me to make a U tune. It was greyed out, no landmarks, few people around -- net result was that I wasted an hour. The GPS did a couple of strange things today. The little Wisconsin and Iowa roads do not align with the state and federal highways and it seems to confuse the GPS.

All's well that ends well. :-D

About 4pm I saw a 2003-2004 Terminator. It had dealer paper plates and a new registration paper in the window. Red, it was pretty perfect, and made my heart ache a little. When I saw it, I honked, and the driver and I rode along together for a while. It sounded good. I yelled to the owner that we had the same engines... Only a little bit of a :liar: We ran together for a while, it broke up the day a bit. This ride home has a sense of urgency. Not nearly as relaxed as the ride over. My ass is hurting as we close in on 3000 miles. :evil: I am ready to get on the Ducati. :lol:

Here's hoping that tomorrow is good. I will head out at dawn, barring some massive storm. It is scheduled as a final long day, but fewer than 500 miles. Here's hoping. I am pretty revved up over this trip.
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Re: Driving the SPF to Pardeeville, Wisconsin

Postby jhwalker » Tue Sep 08, 2015 4:02 am

It is raining pretty hard this morning. I'm pooped I think I will grab a breakfast here at the No-Tell and see how it looks in 30 minutes
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Re: Driving the SPF to Pardeeville, Wisconsin

Postby jhwalker » Tue Sep 08, 2015 4:01 pm

Just arrived at Adam's house. Damn, long day -- too much road construction. I will share some thoughts, but later. It gets a little weird hour after hour in the car alone listening only to the engine, the pipes, and one's own jibber-jabber.
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Re: Driving the SPF to Pardeeville, Wisconsin

Postby jhwalker » Wed Sep 09, 2015 6:22 am

Heading out to catch a shuttle to the Denver airport in a little while, need lead time to catch a Denver to Houston flight, and then a Houston to BJX (Leon) flight, and should be in my casa by 9pm tonight (knock on wood).

Thank goodness I really have nothing to do. I just took a look the SPF for the last time for a while. :( It gave me a great week of enjoyment. I wish I had time to put it on a rack. That never happened in Wisconsin, because the guy who was loaning me his rack had roadwork going on in front of his house and could not get to his garage... Country life.

It was a good vibe trip. I had so many opportunities to get hit in the wallet by every form of law enforcement, but either they were busy on real work, or they sensed that I meant no harm, just an old geezer having fun with his toy. The one who asked me to rev it, and gave the thumbs up was the best.

I have such appreciation for the work that my son Adam did to make this trip possible. I have some pics and vids and facts and thoughts that MUST be recorded here -- my official trip log. (thanks, Tim) The United States is very real out there in the hinterlands. I did not run into a bad attitude ANYWHERE.

Here are a couple of sound clips that show what I was listening to during the 3000+ miles. I love the sound of a good engine, so this was music to my ears, day after day. As I neared Adam's house, I started letting it run up to 6000 rpm. Should have trapped some of those sounds. But I deent. :doh:

https://youtu.be/y6VawDBQgv8

https://youtu.be/qDdgUyMFk6s
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Re: Driving the SPF to Pardeeville, Wisconsin

Postby jhwalker » Mon Sep 14, 2015 1:22 pm

This will be the last post on this thread except for some links to pictures. :clap:

Below is what I posted to the SPF Owners group -- :whistle:

Recap: My SPF trip from N Colorado to West Bend, Wisconsin and back to N Colorado.
The trip was a bunch of fun. Terri met me in Wisconsin, I picked her up at the Madison Wisconsin airport Thursday evening, and dropped her off Monday morning in Madison again as I began my trip home.
I was on the road for 9 days, covering about 500 miles a day on the 6 "road days". Drove Colorado, Wyoming, S Dakota, N Dakota to the Canadian border, Minnesota, Wisconsin (3 days with friends and a car show), Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming and Colorado.

The car ran great, using approx. 4 gallons of premium gas an hour -- to be safe I gassed it every two hours (and stretched my legs). (3000 rpm in 6th gear is 100 mph and very comfortable, but I normally cruised at 75- 80 mph).
I still have pictures to post, but life is intruding, so I wanted to post this note. The two links below are a hint of what I had the pleasure of listening to for the trip.
Then engine is a hardened 4.6 modular with a VMP blower. With stock SPF sidepipes.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6VawDBQgv8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDdgUyMFk6s

Ramblings from the trip.

Driving long distances alone with nothing to entertain me but an old GPS, I found interesting thoughts wandering thru my head.
There is a lot of maintenance being done on our highways. It is good to see. This network of roads was built in a simpler, less expensive time, and the normal wear and tear of driving on the roads clearly breaks them down. Every state had work going on.
Riding with the SPF side pipes, with minimum muffling makes it clear that driving in a car like this is a series of controlled explosions. That any engines actually run hour after hour, mile after mile seems miraculous.
Cars made by brands that are no longer being made, named for planets, are everywhere in the states that I was driving thru. Mercury and Saturn both ended production in the 2010-2011 time frame. Both have distinctive branding, with the Saturn red inserts being impossible to miss. The Mercury grill logo is also very different. The mid-country states must have bought all of these cars, because I ran into them constantly. And the folks who bought them take care of them. They, the Saturns and the Mercurys, looked like they came off a showroom floor. In nine days of country driving I might have seen 2 Porsches, a couple more Mercedes, but saw Saturns and Mercurys daily.

The Chevy Cruz should have been a Ford. GM got the styling right. Sort of like the minus-1 generation Ford Escape, it has a timeless look. No geegaws.

Maybe it was the classic shape of the SPF Cobra replica, or the engine noises, the exhaust noises when pulling up to the gas pump, or the cranking experience after filling, but I received nothing but appreciation on this trip both driving and gassing up. Without exception. Filling up, I don’t think there was ever a “no comment” stop. Everyone had a comment or a question. My favorite was this crusty chick, full cowgirl, who stepped out of a pickup in Wyoming and said, “I had me one of them early 'Vettes too. Shoulda kept it. Good car. Did I mention that it sucks around here? Land is dirty, the people dirty, bleep, I’m leaving here today, just decided.”
There were an amazing number of “tracking” vehicles, cars or motorcycles that slowed down or sped up to just ride along for a while. Kids heads sticking out of the back window was a common sight, all grins. I didn’t count the number of thumbs ups or V signs, and especially riding along in the rain, with me dry from the air flowing over the windshield, seemed to fascinate people. Like riding in a cocoon, with the little windshield wipers working.
The big-ass 15” MT ST tires worked like a champ in the rain. I always view water on the pavement as an opportunity to “play a little” without having to drive aggressively, but I had to press the gas pedal get the STs sliding sideways. Drifting the on-ramps is always fun. And both when playing in the rain and accelerating thru the gears, I tried to remind myself that the goal was to make it back to Adam’s garage in Colorado under my own power. Until I was within 200 miles of Adams’s house I generally used 4000-4500 rpm as a shift point, because it sounds so leisurely strong and mellow at that level, whereas winding up to 6000 sounds like I’m racing, and draws unwanted attention.

Being safe with the "un-tuned" engine, not wanting to risk a lean condition from fuel slosh when playing (every curve and stop/start are play opportunities) I gassed up every 2-2.5 hours except for two times when there were no filling stations (that I trusted) to be found. I almost never needed fewer than 8 gallons, and almost never needed more than 10.5 gallons. The fill ups gave me a chance to raise the hood and look around, sniff around under the hood. And stretch the old legs. Twice I needed 13+ gallons. And the tank is more or less 16 gallons. It is a Fuel Safe fuel cell, with some foam inserts, and as I was driving along, the thought occurred that maybe I should have replaced the foam – uh -- 5 years ago. Too late now, but every time I filled up, I wished that I had checked out the condition inside the fuel cell.

I ran a lot of the rural roads. Sometimes out of necessity, sometimes just to see what was hiding back there. There are a lot of sweet little towns hiding off the main roads. Some look gentrified, some are weathered, but still good-looking stuff. The only scary part was the small town 65 to 45, to 35, to 25 (or 20) mph speed limit signs that all happened in a ¼ mile and just felt like a ticker-maker. Although I was almost always over the speed limits on the open road, I observed the 25s and 20s like a choirboy. I have mentioned before that I was arrested a lot in my youth, and the little guy inside my brain still expects me to be arrested and feel some pain when feel some pain when in proximity of a law enforcement vehicle. But this turned out to be a good vibe trip. People were ready to see an SPF chugging thru town. Saw a lot of law enforcement, and had NO negative experiences. I felt really lucky that I got no tickets and only a couple of sniff stops and cautionary waves. Pressing the palm in a downward direction seems to be a universal signal. One law enforcement gentleman cupped his ear and I obliged with a serious rev which produced a laugh and a thumbs up.

Gearing -- at 3000 rpm in 6th gear #2117 runs at 100 mph. At 75-80ish, I am just above lugging the little 4.6 modular in 6th. In my attempt to “finish” the SPF, I am going to replace 5th and 6th on the T56. 1,2,3,4 are perfect so I don’t want to change the final drive ratio. 5th is a hair too tall, and 6th is really serious overdrive. I will work it out. I am sure this work has already been done. I will just buy the solution from someone. The engine, being tiny, is happy at 2300 rpm and up, and so am I.

My hearing is strange. At age 72, it is very sensitive. I hear things in social settings that I wish I would not hear. :-D  I love listening to the SPF pipes, but wore some ear plugs (Cobra Valley Road Trip ear plugs) because I knew that I would be listening to the pipes for 6 days, 9-11 hours a day. The ear plugs muted the pipes a little but caused me to hear other things. I could hear the fans turn on and off, I could hear the fluids circulating in the engine. I might have been hallucinating, but it was all good.

Time to wrap up the rambling. Last year I drove #2117 1500 miles from Gary Osbourne’s garage in Houston to my son’s garage in N Colorado. That was fun, but a challenge. This year, with some work my son Adam had done on the car, the ride was much more fun. Then with Terri flying in for the event, and meeting everyone in Wisconsin in West Bend, hanging out at the Thomas car barn/palace, driving the Wisconsin roads, cruising to and attending the Pardeeville car show, visiting the Slinger Speedway, eating and drinking and telling tall tales -- and meeting a few folks in person for the first time and connecting with folks that I had already met.

Take your SPF on a long ride. Do it when you can hook up with your SCOF friends. You owe it to yourself.

James and Terri Walker #2117
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Re: Driving the SPF to Pardeeville, Wisconsin

Postby jhwalker » Wed Sep 30, 2015 4:55 pm

Terri gave me a little recap of the cost of the trip! The Amex bill came in.
Just for me, not for the two of us staying in West Bend, Wi. for 4 nights.
26 gas stops, averaging 28.68 a stop.
$717 for gas over the 9 days.
3200 miles, $717 in gas and no other caca. 22.4 cents a mile! A friggin economy car, I tells you :dance:
3 motels, since I slept at a friend's house on Lake Metigoshe. $346

All in, $1063 for all of that fun -- this does not include the 4 nights in a hotel with Terri in Wisconsin. We ate and drank like maniacs with the SPF knuckleheads.
So I guess maybe another $1000, and I am not counting the flight to Denver Colorado, or the trip back to Mexico.
Christ, no wonder I am broke :evil:

All good fun. I still have to turn in my mileage to the SPF owners group. I might be in the top 10 single trip mileage. Or might not. The number one single trip mileage number is some crazy zig-zag across the USA, just like the high mileage for an SPF is 130,000 miles, with a bunch of them at the track. :shock:

hard core
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