Yesterday we passed a nice Model T Speedster, red in color, large gas head lamps traveling west on Interstate 70 in Maryland about 60 miles east of the Breezewood interchange. Nice car, going about 55 MPH ! We stopped and got gas, then passed him again 50 miles down the high way ! This was a cold day out !
(side note, Breezewood PA is one corrupt little story. One of only 2 places in the nation where the Interstate ENDS into a small town full of gas stations and restaurants . You rejoin the interstate system after passing through these spots to spend money )
Man that's awful fast for a T even if it is a speedster. Keeping in mind about Rob's mishap hitting a deer in his regular car, I can only imagine how devastating it would be at that speed in a model T.
I think Breezewood was, and maybe still is, a big truck stop and commercial bus town, been a long time since I've been there. I remember the whole town smelled of diesel exhaust.
I have a speedster and I love driving it in the cold. I'm a thin-blooded southern boy so I'm bundled up enough that I look like I'm climbing Everest. I put on a nice North Face beanie, a motorcycle neoprene facemask, and then make sure I have some gloves to go with my heavy jacket and pants and I'm set.
When my granddad turned the touring into a speedster he didn't do a good job covering up the engine - so in the summer that hot air from the engine would just burn you right up. I discovered after driving in the cold this weekend that I had done a very nice job sealing up the engine compartment and blocking off every last bit of warm air. HA! I think I have seen where others have made a kind of grate that can be opened and closed. I need one of those.
Seth yes, the driver was dressed warm. It was 49 degrees outside so at 55 mph with no wind screen the wind chill was ??? Very chilly. The car just cruised along nicely.
Wind chill for 49F at 55MPH = 23.4F
It would soak in after awhile.
That comment on Breezewood takes me back to the Seventies. Willams on I-40 and Las Vegas on I-15 were the same kind of deal. Interstate to the town, then crawl along the main drag, then back to interstate. Vegas was the worst. You'd roast in 115º heat for miles along the Strip, seemingly forever, constantly stopping for red lights that were apparently the slowest on the planet. I always figured that in both cases somebody with political pull was able to hold off interstate completion for several years after the rest of the highway was done.
The "corrupt" mountains around Wallace, Idaho forced the Interstate builders to stop at each end of town or bulldoze the entire town to avoid
building the whole highway on stilts. The townfolk refused to pack up and leave and the mountains refused to move, so the highway folks were
left no choice but to build a very expensive piece of road to carry the highway up and over the town. But not until waiting for 25 years for the
townspeople to give up. I can still remember being amazed as the interstate choked down to a narrow little main street with stop lights and
everything, and then opened back up to a freeway on the other side of town.
My hometown, Dunsmuir,CA, was just the opposite. Abut 1958 a log truck lost its brakes and careened through town (main street was Hwy 99, and has a steep hill in the center of town)killing someone. The interstate highway system plan was brand-new then, and to prevent further "mayhem" and deaths, the state was lobbied heavily to put in the freeway. We were the first town in all of Northern California to be bypassed. The project wiped out whole neighborhoods, and took travelers around the town. Folks back then were used to driving through towns and stopping to buy gas or eat; they were not used to getting "off the highway" to do these things. They never saw downtown Dunsmuir any more, so didn't do any of that here. At the same time the Southern Pacific railroad converted to Diesel Locomotives, and shut down the large steam locomotive servicing/repairing shops in town. Used to have three shifts running 24 hours. The new diesels were serviced & repaired in Sacramento instead. The town went into an economic tailspin from which it still hasn't recovered, although it is a bit better then when I was a school kid (travelers are now used to getting off the freeway to stop). I was lucky, my folks had a resort motel on the north end of town that wasn't bypassed (well, not completely, 99 had been 4-laned there back in 1954--another project done to accommodate truck traffic, and there was an intersection right in front of our motel)so we did OK until the gas crisis in the 70s.
I had spent most of my life somewhere along highway 101 in Northern Califunny. Did most of my learning to drive on both its long stretches, and tight but fast curves (with no guard rails and long drops). Although it runs from Los Angeles to Canada, I don't know if it is technically considered an interstate or not. (I should know by now, I have seen the highway's signs like thousands of times?)
Finally! FINALLY! After sixty years of political maneuvering, WILLITS is being bypassed!!!! No town deserves it more. They have always gone out of their way to slow through traffic to a snail's pace. The end of holiday weekends can take two to three hours to cover ten miles because of the way all the traffic lights are set up.
I am not generally like this? But I hope Willits DIES! Less than twenty miles North of Willits, is Laytonville (a much smaller town). There, the two-lane highway runs right through town, NO traffic lights. No stop sign for through traffic. One fair-priced gasoline station and a couple places to eat if you want or need them. Otherwise a 45/35 mph speed limit for about two miles and sail on by. Long live Laytonville!
Then again. The 101 highway has to go through Eureka Califunny. Another full end to the freeway. Lots of traffic lights, gasoline stations and tourist traps. Much larger than Willits, at least Eureka does try to work the lights to favor through traffic. About ten miles across, it rarely takes much more than twenty minutes to cross. There are dozens of parallel roads if you know the area, and you can get around accidents or construction (Willits has made certain that there are no practical ways around).
Further North, is Crescent City. Another traffic light infested bump in the road. Still nowhere near the problem Willits is.
Do you wonder why I call it "Califunny"? The state considers itself the nation's leader into the future! Yet they spend more money on almost everything than any other state does. Yet they accomplish less.
Enough descending into rants for me.
Let us hear more about people driving a speedster a good distance!
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
101 is a US highway, not an interstate. As such, in various places it's freeway (up to ten lanes), four-lane divided road, and two-lane. Before the southern part of it was replaced by I-5, it ran from border to border. Especially in the Los Angeles area, the US 101 designation has been moved from one route to another. Until we moved from Wilmington to Lomita in 1950, it was the street outside my bedroom window. In Lomita it was four blocks from my house.
I'm with you on Willits. Every time I go to Fort Bragg, I have to endure that thing. The only thing worse is traveling around Clear Lake. Stayed in Eureka a couple months ago on the way home from Oregon. Yeah, they should bulldoze that one too.
Santa Barbara was that way for many years. Now 101 goes right through. I made the mistake of not gassing up at Ventura and turned off at Santa Barbara. Gas was VERY expensive in Santa Barbara.
Steve, I've been to Williams a number of times in years past, not so much now that the folks are gone. Just my sister left down in the valley. I loved Williams. She lived there for a couple of years but missed the valley so much they moved back down there. I'm a hankering to go back though, both the valley and Williams and on up to the Canyon. Maybe this time I'll take the Canyon Railway.