With all the weather and changes in our most recent event days, it was such a pleasure to be woken up by the sun streaming through my window and the sound of a V8 being warmed up in the parking lot. Carburetors being warmed up in the sunshine could only mean one thing…today was going to be a good day.
The previous days’ snow had melted, jackets were abandoned and the parking lot became a symphony of classic car activity. “Do you have a timing light?”, “Hey, anyone got a booster pack?”, “Okay, seriously how did we not pack JB-Weld?”. While the coffee pot was calling my name, a Volkswagen engine was calling louder…“Dave, your Volkswagen whispering skills are required in the parking lot.”
Jim and Zach’s ’57 beetle was plagued by fuelling issues yesterday, perhaps I could help. While i checked float, needle, tuning and timing I could hear other adventures going on behind me. An E-type’s charging system has decided to take a break, a Datsun roadster needed the complete tool kit spread out on the parking lot, and one of our Camaro’s appears to be using oil at an alarming rate. I suspect the pits at a 24-hour of LeMans have less activity than our parking lot did this morning, but with the sun shining none of us seemed to mind. Breakfast was had while peering into engine bays, which is pretty much the best way one can enjoy a breakfast.
Eventually all our cars would leave the parking lot, with the exception of Tim’s TR6. The overdrive clutches in the transmission have developed a case of ‘On or Off’ action, resulting in a loss of forward momentum, or a large bang followed by a violent launch forward. Rather than tear the drivetrain out of the TR, Tim and his son wisely chose to fill vacant seats in other entrant’s vehicles. Experiencing other classic cars, even from the passenger seat, is always better than the ride of shame in the sweep vehicle!
While the Oldsmobile 442 was a wonderfully relaxing couch-like ride yesterday, you may not be surprised to hear I jumped on the chance to trade keys with Victor and his 914 2.0L. Victor is participating in his fifth CCA adventure, having done the Spring Thaw, Silver Summit and Maple Mille multiple times. Each time, he’s suggested I try out his 914, but we’ve never followed through. Today, he insisted, and I must be honest I wasn’t arguing very hard!
Our group set out from Gunnison, heading south on CO-149. We traveled through canyons into Lake City, up the steep Slumgullion Pass and wound our way into the historic mining town of Creede. The 914 2.0L is a much better choice for the twisties, and Erik and I spent the morning dicing it up with 911’s, 914’s, a few Mustangs and the Mercedes. Arriving in Creede, we planned on lunch with Victor…but the red 914 kept calling our names. The targa top, the sunshine, the twisty roads…it just seems so unfair to leave a great car parked on the side of the road. There’s no delicate way to put this, while Victor and his son Ian dined in Creede, I stole his 914 and headed for the hills once again!
We meandered south through the town of South Fork, and over Wolf Creek Pass into Pagosa Springs. Here we met up with the Porsche crew, and dined while we waited for Victor to catch up. While I did text message him right away on where he could pick up his car, it appears it didn’t arrive. We waited a while for Victor to rendezvous, enjoying some quick visits with other entrants at the gas station. Victor had wisely traded the 442 for a Camaro, but that caused a new problem. Some people we met were telling us Victor was “definitely behind us” in the orange Camaro. The other half were telling us he was “definitely ahead of us”. With two orange Camaros in the event, who knows where he could actually be?! Should we wait, or venture ahead in the 914? Given the choice between waiting at the side of the road or driving a 914 2.0L…which would you choose?
As we headed towards New Mexico, we passed the 442, an MGB, the Ford Falcon and the ‘other’ Orange Camaro. The New Mexico loop was designed for cruising, and the 914 quickly ate away at the miles. We headed south, and then west along highway 64. Eventually the route took us North alongside the Navajo Dam and Reservoir, which offers tight twisty corners in a roller-coaster fashion. Victor’s 914 handles like the autocross champion that it is, carving around the corners and bumps like cones in a course. As I pushed the throttle down, Erik pushed the “virtual brake” on the passenger floor and together we giggled our way towards Colorado.
With our overnight stop in Durango near, the route book had one more surprise for us. Rather than take the usual route into town, we ventured off into little-known side roads for a gentle roller-coaster ride through trees and fields. The parking lot was quite full by the time we arrived. A traditional post-drive party of beers and stories was in full swing, with many curious how I was still in the 914. I pulled out my phone, called Victor and gave him the news…
“Victor, I’m pleased to report your stolen 914 has been recovered, and is down here in the hotel parking lot. Don’t worry, I’ve been keeping it safe for you!”
Fortunately, Victor is just as wonderful as our other Classic Car Adventures friends. It turns out, as he handed me the keys this morning, he knew he was unlikely to see the car of the rest of the day. While he does own an impressive array of classic vehicles, his 914 is definitely his favourite. Given the choice of anything to drive, he’ll take this particular 914 every time. Perhaps that’s why he’s owned it for over 25 years. I gotta say…I completely agree with him. The smile on my face is going to last as long as this sunburn!
Speaking of sun, Andrew Snucins and Dan Evans spent the day hiking cliffs and baking in the sun to bring us more stunning photos. Today’s preview of photos is below: