Thursday, August 10, 2006
The next morning, Brennan woke semi-crippled. After only one day of sitting in the antiquated bucket seats, both he and Cheryl were having trouble raising themselves into an upright position. The maxim: "They sure don't make them like they used to" is in some ways a good thing.
A check of the fluids revealed the car was burning nearly a quart of oil every 200 miles.
After coming off the endangered...
After coming off the endangered species list, this buffalo decided to seek revenge on this Ford Five Hundred. Well, not really, but it would have been cool.
Even in August, the Montana...
Even in August, the Montana temperatures can plummet overnight and turn the condensation in the air into a layer of ice.
Within minutes of crossing...
Within minutes of crossing the Wyoming state line, they were pulled over, but instead of a citation, the officers only wanted to ask questions about the car and take pictures.
A short, low-speed drive landed them in Cheyenne Crossing, where the car became an instant attention magnet. At the time, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally was in full swing, and the bright orange Superbird stood out amid the swarm of Harleys. Continuing into Deadwood, they decided to drive through Sturgis despite the inevitable traffic jam. Hailed with thumbs up and nods of approval, the Bird made quite a splash.
With some daylight left, they decided to drive on to Devil's Tower.
You don't think we'd have...
You don't think we'd have an article that mentions Yellowstone National Park without showing the obligatory picture of Old Faithful now do you?
Within minutes of crossing the Wyoming state line, they were pulled over by a state highway patrol car. Much to Brennan's relief, the partolmen were self-proclaimed classic car guys and only wanted to pose for pictures and chat about the wing car, noting their department just took possession of new police-edition R/T Chargers.
At the the Devil's Tower National Monument, they just missed the King himself, Richard Petty, who was visiting the same day.
Friday, August 11, 2006
The next morning, Brennan pointed the long nose at Thermopolis, Wyoming. They passed through Sundance on their way to the natural hot springs the town was built upon. Cheryl observed that judging by how many people ran up to the Plymouth every time they stopped for food or gas, apparently, closeted Mopar enthusiasts are all over the country.
creeping along at 65 mph can be tiring, especially when looking down an endless beam of bleached asphalt. Brennan says, "If I had more time prior to the trip, I probably would have swapped in an overdrive transmission to make highway driving more tolerable. [We were] getting passed by every Geo, motor home, and loaded semi on the highway." The stock 3.54-ratio gears kept the rpms at 3,000 at 60 mph, the speed where the 440 ekes out its best of 10 mpg.
At their next stop in Buffalo, Wyoming, they first coined the term "Parking Karma" because they continually scored the best parking spots.
The remainder of the day consisted of a leisurely drive to Thermopolis, where weary from the August heat, noise, and tortuous seats, they crashed for the night, saving the therapeutic spring waters for the next morning.
Sitting slightly off the road...
Sitting slightly off the road in Cooke City, Montana, they spotted this '73 Challenger. The trip revealed that not only are desirable Mopars still out there, but some are still relatively cheap and straight.
Saturday, August 12, 2006
After a quick soak in the hot springs, they set off for Cooke City, Montana, and the entrance to Yellowstone National Park.
"One of the most common reactions I received when I told people we were going on this road trip was the concern that something would happen to the car," Brennan told Mopar Muscle. "Would it get wrecked, stolen, stripped, vandalized, or ripped off? Frankly, I really don't worry about all the bad things that could happen. Worrying about potentialities only poisons the moment. I made the decision to take the Superbird on this trip, and that was that."
Stopping for fuel in Cody, Washington, a '59 Cadillac pulled in next to them. The owner, Chris Jetter, makes custom blown-glass accessories for cars. He said when he saw the winged car turn into the station, he had to stop and say hi.
After Cody, the Plymouth and its occupants continued north towards Cooke City, Montana. Undaunted by the steep elevation change, the Superbird ate up the hills. All it took was a slight nudge from the accelerator and the 440 surged upwards with little more than some lowered mpg. they arrived in Cooke City right on time.