On cars, old, new and future; science & technology; vintage airplanes, computer flight simulation of them; Sherlockiana; our English language; travel; and other stuff
AS I observed back in Road & Track, June 1991, “Partway across the vastness of Delaware, I realized I had made a dreadful mistake.”
The idea was simple, if not utterly simple-minded: Buy an Austin Mini Moke in New Jersey and drive the car home to California in time for Thanksgiving.
Herewith, a photo collection of that trip.
Given November weather, my route was a southerly one: New Jersey, the Cape May-Lewes ferry across to Delaware, on through a corner of Maryland into Washington, D.C.
In Washington, D.C., Moke was honored by primo parking at Explorers Hall of the National Geographic Society.
Then on toward Virginia’s Skyline Drive and from there to the Blue Ridge Parkway.
It was along the Blue Ridge that matters were put in perspective by two wonderful women staffing the gift shop.
“Young man, that car of yours doesn’t have any windows.”
“No, ma’am, it doesn’t.”
“It doesn’t have doors either.”
“No, ma’am, it does not.”
“Well, what do you plan to do when it rains?”
“I guess I’ll just have to trust in the Lord.”
“Yes,” said one of them brightly, “it’s said the Good Lord looks after babies and fools.”
The Natchez Trace also made for excellent Moke motoring. And after a visit to Elvis’s birthplace in Tupolo, Moke crossed the Mississippi.
Wife Dottie joined me in Dallas for the rest of the trip. Her company was especially welcome because it took four days to get across that state.
On one stretch, we encountered a guy dragging a huge cross; it had little wheels on the end.
On another, we discovered the inspiration for Moke styling.
A stop at Bob Bondurant’s School of High Performance Driving in Phoenix gave me opportunity to set a Moke record on his track.
This was straightforward to do, because no Moke had ever run there before.
Crossing the Colorado was a moving experience. Our little car was going to make it!
The last part of our trip was the scariest. Some Interstate travel simply could not be avoided—and 18-wheelers have really big wheels.
Would we do it again? Well, there’s this Dellow in Rhode Island…. ds